As Turkey marches forward in its invasion of Syrian territory, the true purpose for the initial invasion is becoming more and more clear. While some commentators maintain that Turkey’s recent military adventure is actually coordinated with the Russians and the Syrians, the fruit of Turkey’s labor tells a different story.
For instance, on Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced his intention and desire for the creation of a “buffer zone” in Northern Syria that spans over the territory recently seized by Turkish forces and, interestingly enough, also spans the same dimensions of a “buffer zone” called for by numerous military industrial complex firms, “strategy” organizations, and “think tanks” angling for the destruction of the Syrian government.
Speaking from the G20 meeting in China, Erdogan stated “We are working for this region to be declared no-fly zone. This is my proposal to Mr Putin and Mr Obama. This can be done with coalition forces.”
He added that “Now in this summit, to all of our friends, we have brought up this issue and told them this.” Erdogan called for a “no-fly zone” last year at the Antalya summit and has been a cheerleader for the plan for quite some time.
The United States has been assisting the Turks in their military operations in Northern Syria by contributing airstrikes. Recently, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy to the anti-ISIS coalition tweeted “Welcome progress in sealing final 98-kilometer strip of Turkish border from #ISIL terrorists, who increasingly have no way out #ISIS #Daesh.”
The Turkish invasion is predicated on the basis of “fighting ISIS,” a wholly unbelievable goal since Turkey itself has been supporting, training, and facilitating ISIS since day one. Not only that, but Turkey is arriving in Syria with terrorists in tow since, as the BBC reported, “Between nine and 12 tanks crossed the frontier, followed by pick-up trucks believed to be carrying hundreds of fighters from Turkish-backed factions of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA).” If Turkey was interested in stopping terrorism, why would they lead the charges for more terrorists to enter Syria? Indeed, if stopping terrorism was truly Turkey’s goal, it is capable of sealing the border from its own side without any need for invasion so why the war the party?
Turkey’s interests do not lie in stopping terrorism. Far from it. Turkey’s foreign policy and military decision to invade Syria are based along three lines: its desire for more territory (which it believes was stolen from it long ago), its willingness to continue working with NATO in its attempt to destroy the secular government of Syria, and its concern over the Kurdish expansion.
With this invasion, Turkey has solidified its willingness to risk outright war with Syria and perhaps even Russia in order to fulfill the goals of NATO and Anglo-American powers who have sought to destroy Syria from the beginning. Part of this strategy is the creation of “buffer zones” and “safe zones” in the north, precisely the concepts that were re-floated and discussed by the United States and U.K. only days before the invasion. Note that the invasion and operations are centering around Jarablus, the eastern border of the famed Jarablus corridor which, bordered by Afrin and Azaz in the West, make up the last fully functioning terrorist supply routes coming in from Turkey. These were precisely the dimensions that were discussed by Western think tanks and NGOs in regards to what a “safe zone” in Syria should look like. Although argued on the basis of “giving civilians somewhere to go” the zones were supposed to be controlled by “moderate” Western-backed terrorists and were clearly designed to prevent the Syrian government and Russian forces from closing the supply routes coming from the Turkish side of the border into Syria.
This “safe haven” is also a way for the neo-Ottoman Erdogan to lay claim to more territory in order to placate his dream of becoming the 21st Century equivalent of the leader of the Turkish empire. At the very least, this desire for more land under the Turkish flag will lead to a situation similar to that of the Golan Heights, which Israel has illegally occupied for decades but which there is frequent threat of military action and controversy.
Erdogan is also incredibly concerned about the growing Kurdish movement both inside Turkey and in Syria. With the Kurds gaining more and more territory in the north of Syria, in large part because of support being given by the United States, as well as Kurds in Iraq becoming more and more willing to work with YPG Kurds in Syria and the growing interest of dissent and military operations inside Turkey by the PKK, Erdogan is undoubtedly concerned that the Kurds could decide to unite and initiate a massive campaign for autonomy and independence or, at the very least, inspire Turkish Kurds to launch a revolution.
The idea of establishing a “safe zone” in Syria is, of course, not a new concept. In July, 2015, the agreement being discussed would have effectively created a “buffer zone” that would have spanned from the Turkish border line into Syria. It would have extended from Azaz in the west to Jarablus in the east and as far south as al-Bab. The width of the zone would have been about 68 miles and would have extended around 40 miles deep into Syria, right on the doorstep of Aleppo.
The zone would have much smaller than that which Turkey and the United States have called for in the years prior and wouldn’t have necessarily stretched the length of the Turkey-Syria border. But it is a start.
True to form, the US and Turkey attempted to obfuscate the fact that their agreement was the creation of a no-fly zone by renaming it an “ISIL-free zone.” This is the same tactic used when the term “no-fly zone” and “buffer zone” began to draw too much ire from observers only a year ago. Then, the term became “safe zone.”
Semantics have served NATO and the United States well over the years. After all, a simple name change of terrorist organizations has made the Anglo-American powers able to produce “moderate rebels” and the most frightening terrorist organization the world has ever seen while using the same group of terrorists.
The description of the “ISIL-free zone” of 2015 was that it would be a distinguished area in which the Turkish and U.S. military would engage in aggressive operations against ISIS. It was floated that this area would have also functioned as a place where civilians displaced by the Syrian crisis may run to for safe haven and where “moderate rebel” forces can maintain a higher presence free from the battles with ISIS.
“Once the area is cleared, the plan is to give control to as-yet-unidentified moderate Syrian rebel groups. The United States and Turkey have differing interpretations as to which groups can be defined as ‘moderate,’” the Washington Post reported.
The reality, however, is that the “ISIL-free zone” would have been nothing more than a Forward Operating Base deeper into Syrian territory, working under the direct protection of the U.S. military and Turkish air force. That is exactly what the British and the U.S. are arguing for today.
Going further back, public discussion of the implementation of a “buffer zone” began as far back as 2012 when the Brookings Institution, in their memo “Assessing Options For Regime Change” stated
An alternative is for diplomatic efforts to focus first on how to end the violence and how to gain humanitarian access, as is being done under Annan’s leadership. This may lead to the creation of safe-havens and humanitarian corridors, which would have to be backed by limited military power. This would, of course, fall short of U.S. goals for Syria and could preserve Asad in power. From that starting point, however, it is possible that a broad coalition with the appropriate international mandate could add further coercive action to its efforts.
The Brookings Institution went further, however, describing a possible scenario that mirrors the one currently unfolding in Syria where Turkey, in coordination with Israel, could help overthrow Assad by establishing a “multi-front war” on Syria’s borders. Brookings writes,
In addition, Israel’s intelligence services have a strong knowledge of Syria, as well as assets within the Syrian regime that could be used to subvert the regime’s power base and press for Asad’s removal. Israel could posture forces on or near the Golan Heights and, in so doing, might divert regime forces from suppressing the opposition. This posture may conjure fears in the Asad regime of a multi-front war, particularly if Turkey is willing to do the same on its border and if the Syrian opposition is being fed a steady diet of arms and training. Such a mobilization could perhaps persuade Syria’s military leadership to oust Asad in order to preserve itself. Advocates argue this additional pressure could tip the balance against Asad inside Syria, if other forces were aligned properly.
Richard Haas, President of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) also added to the discussion of “buffer zones” in his op-ed “Testing Putin In Syria,” where he wrote,
In the meantime, the United States and others should pursue a two-track policy. One track would channel steps to improve the balance of power on the ground in Syria. This means doing more to help the Kurds and select Sunni tribes, as well as continuing to attack the Islamic State from the air.
Relatively safe enclaves should emerge from this effort. A Syria of enclaves or cantons may be the best possible outcome for now and the foreseeable future. Neither the US nor anyone else has a vital national interest in restoring a Syrian government that controls all of the country’s territory; what is essential is to roll back the Islamic State and similar groups.
Brookings itself has openly stated the nature and purpose of the “buffer zones” being sold to the American public as “protecting civilians.” The “think tank” clearly demonstrates that the zones are nothing more than forward operating bases in its article “Deconstructing Syria: A New Strategy For America’s Most Hopeless War” where it states,
…the idea would be to help moderate elements establish reliable safe zones within Syria once they were able. American, as well as Saudi and Turkish and British and Jordanian and other Arab forces would act in support, not only from the air but eventually on the ground via special forces.
. . . . . .
The end-game for these zones would not have to be determined in advance. The interim goal might be a confederal Syria, with several highly autonomous zones and a modest (eventual) national government. The confederation would likely require support from an international peacekeeping force, if this arrangement could ever be formalized by accord. But in the short term, the ambitions would be lower—to make these zones defensible and governable, to help provide relief for populations within them, and to train and equip more recruits so that the zones could be stabilized and then gradually expanded.
We should make no bones about it. It first entails killing a lot of people and destroying the Syrian air defenses and those people who are manning those systems. And then it entails destroying the Syrian air force, preferably on the ground, in the air if necessary. This is a violent combat action that results in lots of casualties and increased risk to our own personnel.
General Philip Breedlove also echoed this description when he said,
I know it sounds stark, but what I always tell people when they talk to me about a no-fly zone is . . . it’s basically to start a war with that country because you are going to have to go in and kinetically take out their air defense capability
Regardless of the fact that the Anglo-American empire may very well be risking a direct military confrontation with another nuclear power, the NATO forces are intent on moving forward in their attempt to destroy Syria and its government. The major victories by the Syrian military that have taken place in recent weeks as well as the inability of the West’s terrorists to roll back SAA gains have obviously convinced NATO that more drastic measures are needed and that proxies are simply not enough to defeat a committed military supported by its people. Thus, we now see the plan so heavily promoted by Western think tanks and military industrial complex firms being implemented.
Clearly, the Turkish agenda is not focused on combating ISIS. If it was, the Turks would have long ago sealed their borders with Syria as well as ceased their training and facilitation of terrorist groups flowing into Syria from Turkish territory.
The Turks do not need NATO Buffer Zones to end terrorism within their own country. They need to seal the borders with Syria, immediately cease funding, training, and facilitation of terrorists operating inside Turkish borders alongside a massive sting operation netting and eliminating these organizations. Turkey would also greatly benefit by backing away from Erdogan, his idiotic policies, and his equally idiotic Islamist government. Turkey must put aside “political Islam” and return to a culture of secular governance. Lastly, Turkey must pursue a reasonable and fair policy toward the Kurds in its southeast.
Of course, Turkey has sent every signal possible to announce that they intend to stick with the NATO line of destroying the secular government of Bashar al-Assad and replacing it with a government or governments beholden and favorable to Washington and the Anglo-American oligarchy.
Obviously, a “buffer zone” and/or a “no-fly zone,” of course, is tantamount to war and an open military assault against the sovereign secular government of Syria because the implementation of such a zone would require airstrikes against Assad’s air defense systems. With the establishment of this “buffer zone,” a new staging ground will be opened that allows terrorists such as ISIS and others the ability to conduct attacks even deeper inside Syria.
Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 650 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.
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