By Walid Shoebat & Theodore Shoebat
Make no mistake about it, the US military withdrawal from Syria is being done to help Turkey. The US is giving Syria to Turkey and this is only fortifying the utopian vision that the Turks have of a revived Ottoman Empire. The United States is helping to revive the Beast of Revelation.
Turkey is already using the presence of Kurdish militants in Syria as a pretense for invasion. With the United State’s pulling out, this will only increase the opportunity for further Turkish invasion into the region. As we read in a report from the New York Times:
“The exit of American troops would leave Turkey open to taking action to curb the power of Kurdish forces in Syria.”
This is why Turkey was in glee upon finding out that the Americans will be leaving Syria. In fact, there was a phone conversation between Trump and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in which they discussed Turkish military intervention in Syria. As Erdogan recounted:
“Our phone call with President Trump, along with contacts between our diplomats and security officials and statements by the United States, have led us to wait a little longer … We have postponed our military operation against the east of the Euphrates river until we see on the ground the result of America’s decision to withdraw from Syria.”
This proves that the Americans know that by leaving Syria they are only giving the green light for a further Turkish invasion into Syria. Hence why Lindsey Graham said that: “What Turkey is going to do is unleash holy hell on the Kurds … In the eyes of Turkey, they’re more of a threat than ISIS. So this decision is a disaster.”
The United States leaving Syria means that an American ally — and a supposed enemy of Turkey — the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is mainly Kurdish led, will be left vulnerable. A report from the Council of Foreign Relations:
“Trump’s decision also boosts Turkey. The Turkish government has sought an end to the United States’ military and diplomatic relationship with the SDF. Ankara argues that the SDF’s primary component, the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG), are part of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged a terrorist campaign against Turkey for almost thirty-five years.”
If the Syrian government allows for an autonomous Kurdish state within Syria, then this will put further enmity between Turkey and Syria, and will give further propaganda fodder for Turkey’s drive for expansionism. As the same report reads:
“The Kurds are almost certain to make a deal with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who can probably live with some form of Kurdish autonomy in the northeast if it maintains the fiction that he retains overall control of Syrian territory. That would raise the possibility of a confrontation between Syria and Turkey, which wants to enlarge its sphere of influence in northern Syria to prevent Kurdish autonomy in any form and provide a haven to which Syrian refugees could go.”
What is quite bizarre is a report from NPR’s Peter Kenyon, who is an international correspondent based in Istanbul, that states that the Kurdish YPG is actually talking about releasing ISIS fighters from prison back into society so that they can supposedly fight Turkish forces. As was reported by NPR:
“The Kurds of the YPG have “talked about maybe even releasing thousands of ISIS prisoners so they can use the men guarding them to help with the fight against Turkey, if that’s what’s going to come,” Kenyon explains, noting that one YPG spokesman disputes this possibility.”
If the Kurds of the YPG actually release ISIS fighters it will not slow down Turkey at all (ISIS fighters, for the most part, are terrible in the battlefield and are no match to a trained force like that of Turkey); it will only cause more slaughter of civilians, and it will actually help Turkey because an ISIS presence will make for perfect propaganda. We would not be surprised at all if there are Kurds in the higher ups who are, behind the curtains, collaborating with the Turks. Turkey is utilizing the propaganda of stopping ISIS and the YPG as a means to form a pretext for further military measures in Syria. As we read in the Hurriyet Daily News:
Turkey will adopt a new operation strategy to eliminate both the YPG and ISIL from Syria as it postponed an already announced operation into the east of River Euphrates, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, cautiously welcoming and confirming the start of the United States’ pullout from Syria.”
“We will be working on our operational plans to eliminate ISIL elements, which are said to remain intact in Syria, in line with our conversation with President [Donald] Trump. In other words, over the next months, we will adopt an operational style geared toward eliminating PKK-PYD elements and ISIL residues,” Erdoğan told a group of businessmen in Istanbul on Dec. 21 in his first public comment on the U.S. withdrawal.
When Trump announced that the US is going to withdraw from Syria, Turkey’s first reaction was to announce that the Turkish military would enter Syria to fight ISIS. Again, Turkey is only using ISIS as a pretext. Yes, ISIS is evil, but it created a perfect crises that Turkey has taken advantage of to present itself as the solution to the problem, when she will only present an even worse problem, and that is a very organized, extremely well trained and highly armed Islamic military force — the Turkish military — in Syria. It will be a force that will not be easy to take down like ISIS. Turkey is the second most armed country in NATO. She is a very formidable force.
The media was totally fixated on ISIS from 2014 to 2015, and we can see why. ISIS was the perfect crisis to justify military intervention. ISIS is to Syria what 9/11 was to Iraq; and just like the Iraq Invasion, the US’ plans with Turkey have nothing to do with fighting terrorism. The US used a big vicious dog — ISIS — to only unleash an even bigger, meaner dog — Turkey. As the Hurrieyet Daily reports:
“It was Turkey’s first reaction after U.S. President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw all American troops from Syria that have been there since 2013.
Erdoğan has referred to his phone conversation with Trump on Dec. 14 after which the U.S. leader had pushed the button for the complete withdrawal from Syria. The Turkish president confirmed that Trump asked him whether Turkey can eliminate ISIL in the event that the U.S. troops leave Syria. Erdoğan affirmed Turkey’s readiness and determination to get rid of “any kind of terrorist” that would pose a threat against its border.”
Erdogan confirmed that the Turkish plan is in line with that of the Trump administration:
“In face-to-face meetings and phone calls, President Trump and I have seen that we thought similarly and shared the same views on a range of issues related to the Syrian question. Yet the translation of that agreement to the ground was overdue and difficult. Finally, in recent days, we have been able to hear the clearest and most encouraging statements to date from the U.S. administration”
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also confirmed American-Turkish collaboration in this plan:
“With regards to the withdrawal, the decision of the United States to withdraw from Syria, we welcome that decision and Turkey fully supports the territorial integrity of Syria… We need to coordinate this withdrawal with the United States; we are already in touch at different levels”
As we reported back in May of 2018, the United States was conspiring with Turkey for a Turkish invasion of Syria. Hence Mike Pompeo, from all the way back to early 2018, was talking about a “roadmap” plan with Turkey in Syria. This was the whole purpose of the US intervention, it was to back Turkey. As we wrote back in July of 2018: “The United States is facilitating Turkish expansionism with its recent agreement with Turkey on the ‘Manbij agreement’ which esteems Turkey as a partner to bring stability to Syria.” We also wrote back in November of 2017:
“The United States armed Turkey to the teeth, so that it could be the superpower in the Middle East. Now, the US is staying in Syria to go against Assad, and this is being done to help Turkey control the region, which will only lead to a revived Ottoman Empire and the resurgence of genocidal policies the likes of which the world saw in the Armenian Genocide.”
Back in 2012 we were warning about this. This was during Obama’s administration, but the policy, and what it presaged, was the same:
Obama’s re-election has caused a major boost in confidence for countries like Britain and France in their wanting to topple Assad. But, it has also given confidence to Turkey, in their desire to oust out Assad; but the goal of the Turks is to conquer Syria, in order to revive the Ottoman empire.
Now under Trump this policy is continuing, and what we warned about is happening.
The United States has been helping to form the Turkish monster going all the way back to Operation Gladio under which the US armed Turkey to the teeth. As Swiss historian Daniele Ganser has written:
“As Turkey furthermore guarded a third of NATO’s total borders with Warsaw Pact countries, the Turkish elite became an excellent defense contractor for the United States military industry and recipient of billions in US aid. Armed by the United States during the Cold War, Turkey set up the largest armed forces in Europe, and the second largest in NATO after the United States. In a reckless gamble the United States in 1961 stationed even nuclear missiles in Turkey targeting the Soviet Union.” (Ganser, NATO’s Secret Armies, ch. 17, p. 225)
The US is setting up another bloodbath in the Middle East. Hence, Trump saying: “time for others to finally fight”. So the United States destabilizes the Middle East, and after hundreds of thousands are dead and there is a mass migration crises, she then says: ‘let others fight’ after creating the problem. Well who are these “others”? By looking at the situation it is obvious: NATO is contriving a situation for a major bloodbath, with Turkey leading the way.
The United States has known for decades the tensions between Turkey and Syria. In a 1986 document from the CIA archives, entitled: Turkey: the Syrian Threat, it reads:
“Relations between Turkey and Syria have been historically strained, and the Turks view Syria as a potential military threat. Turkish suspicions are fed by Syria’s military relationship with the USSR, its irredentist claims on Turkish territory, and its support for anti-Turkish terrorists. Turkey is also worried about an alleged buildup of Syrian and Soviet buildup. Syria probably does not want a confrontation, but the differences between the two countries will keep Turkish suspicions alive.”
In another document from the CIA archives, produced in 1984 and entitled, Turkey’s Role in Western Security, it describes Turkey as “the largest standing Allied force.” It also speaks of the US’ work to strengthen Turkey’s military capability:
“Turkey, with US assistance, is modernizing or constructing twelve airfields to improve NATO’s combat capabilities there.”
The same document reads about how “All major Turkish modernization efforts are being undertaken with outside assistance.” This signifies American buildup of the Turkish military force. Hence, America has been the biggest player in creating the Turkish monster. Supposedly, the Americans see Turkey as an asset because of its threat to Russia. The CIA document states that Turkey’s “primary military threat is from the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact.” The whole purpose of Operation Gladio was to prepare European paramilitaries to fight the Soviets in case they ever invaded Europe. It was under this Cold War mindset that the US armed and backed Turkey. One of the functions of the Gladio operation was to also spark nationalism in Europe. The same was done in Turkey, hence why the CIA collaborated with Alparslan Türkeş, a Turkish neo-Nazi who was quite a figure in Turkish nationalist circles.
The CIA thought Turkey as a bulwark against Russia. As the document states: “Early seizure of the Straites, would be important to the Soviets in an attack on Europe.” Thus, in the plan of the US and NATO, Turkey had to be extremely well armed to defend Europe against Russia. Hence why the CIA backed Turkish and European nationalism. What is fascinating is that now, with a surge in Turkish Muslim nationalism and European nationalism, we are also witnessing the rise of Turkish and European militarism, with the Germans striving for a pan-European army with Germany as its head, and Turkey further advancing into Syria with the backing of the US. The past plans of the CIA, it appears, are coming to fruition, and the people of the world are as ripe fruit, ready to be picked by the hands of tyrants.
What these documents also reveal is that what has been happening in Syria is part of a plan that goes back decades.
While Turkey right now is putting its focus on ISIS and the YPG, lets remember what Erdogan specified back in 2016: “We entered [Syria] to end the rule of the tyrant al-Assad who terrorizes with state terror. [We didn’t enter] for any other reason”.
So ISIS and the Kurds are just pretenses. The objective is to topple the Assad regime and establish Turkish rule in Syria.
But what of Russia?
Russia also wants hegemony in Syria, but will have to deal with being a geopolitical power in the region while at the same time maintaining ties with Turkey, which also wants to rule Syria. As the Council of Foreign Relations has reported:
“If Putin can manage this complicated situation without a major confrontation between the Turks and Kurds, and between the Turks and Syrians, he will solidify his role as a regional leader.”
We are not arguing that Russia is innocent, though. When Turkey invaded Afrin, Russia, in the words of one report, turned “a blind eye on the military offensive. Russian forces were withdrawn from the area just before the operation began and Turkish jets were allowed to use the Afrin airspace, controlled by the Syrian government and Russia.”
Russia, like the United States, has allowed Turkey’s invasion. Russia and Turkey have collaborated on controlling Syria. While it is true that Turkey and Russia have agreed on “deescalation” zones in Syria, how long will this last? Will Russia and Turkey turn on each other? Its quite possible, given how many wars the Russians and Turks had against each other.
Turkey is entering Syria under the pretext of fighting Kurdish nationalists. Russia is also present in Syria. The question is, will these super powers collide?
A LOOK TO HISTORY
The Turks are using the presence of Kurdish nationalism to justify military expansionism. In the past, the Turks used the presence of Armenian nationalism to justify military tyranny. In the latter situation, the Russians collided with Turkish troops.
Lets go back to the early 1900s. The Ottomans fought and killed Armenians who had the strongest nationalistic movement against the Ottoman empire. In 1909, the Ottoman Turks suspected that the Armenians were planning to rebel against and secede from the Ottoman Empire. At this time, the Armenians were scattered between the Russian and Ottoman empires, but their biggest population was in Istanbul. Armenians had recently gained their own territory within the confines of the Russian empire, but now wanted to use this gain to get more autonomy within the Ottoman Empire. This goes back to 1878 at the Congress of Berlin, which was convened to settle the Russo-Turkish War (which the Turks lost). In this assembly the Turks were forced to give up three provinces all of which had large Armenian populations — Kars, Ardahan and Batum — to Russia. What this did was bring in hundreds of thousands of Armenians from Turkish rule to Russian rule. This gave the Armenians who were still in Ottoman territory the confidence to demand for more autonomy. These Armenians wanted Erzurum, Bitlis and Van, which they esteemed as “the provinces inhabited by the Armenians”.
The European governments responded to this by adding to the Treaty of Berlin an article requiring the Ottoman Empire to provide “improvements and reforms demanded by local requirements in the provinces inhabited by the Armenians” and to give security to the Armenians from Muslim attacks. The European powers also demanded from the Turks to report periodically to them on what they were doing for their Armenian subjects.
Having already given up three provinces to Russia — under the demands of Armenians — the Turks did not want to risk giving up more provinces, and became very weary of the growing Armenian nationalist movement and its ties to Russia and Britain. Two of the most distinct Armenian nationalist groups were the Hunchak (formed in 1887 in Geneva), and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation — better known as the Dashnak — which was formed by Armenians living within the Russian Empire. Both believed in using violence to achieve their ends. While they saw themselves as freedom fighters, the Ottoman Empire deemed them as terrorists. All that the Hunchak and the Dashnak did was increase tensions between Christians and Muslims. They did this deliberately to get the attention of the Europeans with the hopes that they would intervene and demand more land for the Armenians. “The cry of these men is to keep the Armenian cause alive by lighting a flame here and there and calling: Fire!” wrote British traveller, H.F.B. Lynch. “The cry is taken up in the European press; and when people run to look there are sure to be some Turkish officials drawn into the trap and committing abominations.”
From 1894 and 1896, Armenians were victims of massacres. The bloodshed began in the Sasus region of southern Anatolia in the summer of 1894, when Kurds slaughtered Armenians after they refused to pay the ‘protection tax’ (jizya), which was imposed on them after already having to be taxed by the Ottoman government. Thousands of Armenians were slaughtered. By February 1896, it was estimated that around 37,000 Armenians were butchered, and 300,000 left without homes. Another report puts the death count at around 100,000.
In August of 1896, a group of Dashnak militants took hostage the Ottoman Bank in Istanbul and threatened to blow the place up. They murdered two guards and took 150 employees hostage. They demanded that a European high commissioner impose reforms for Armenian rights in eastern Anatolia and for amnesty for all Armenian exiles. The Armenian terrorists were surprised when they found out that the bank, regardless of its name, was not Ottoman owned, but foreign owned, with almost all of its shareholders being British or French. The plan failed. The terrorists fled on a French ship and escaped Ottoman domains. All the hostage situation did was spark more anger. 8,000 Armenians were slaughtered in pogroms, and the Europeans did nothing against the Ottoman Empire.
This forced the Armenian nationalist movement to change its strategy and become more diplomatic. The Dashnaks even went so far as to support the Young Turk Revolution of 1908. In a dark irony, it was these very Young Turks and their Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) — praised as European influenced and liberal — who would organize the worst massacre of the Armenians — the Armenian Genocide. A member of the Ottoman Council of Ministers testified in 1918:
“I’ve learned of a few secrets and have come across something interesting. The deportation order was issued through official channels by the minister of the interior [i.e., Talat] and sent to the province. Following this order the [CUP] Central Committee circulated its own ominous order to all parties to allow the gangs to carry out their wretched task.”
The Armenian priest, Grigoris Balakian, who lived through the Genocide, recounted how Ottoman officials, “in the name of holy jihad invited the Muslim population to participate in the sacred religious obligation” of exterminating the Armenians. (See Rogan, The Fall of the Ottomans)
The Ottomans would fight against Armenian militia fighters in the region of Van. Russian forces then invaded Van and backed the Armenian fighters. On May 12th of 1915, the Russians forced Ottoman troops out of Van.
So what can we pull from this history? The Turks used the presence of Armenian nationalism to justify systematic genocide. Russia and Turkey ended up fighting over an Armenian territory (Van).
Today, the Turks are using Kurdish nationalism as a pretext for military expansionism. Meanwhile, Russia wants to establish its hegemony in Syria. Will the Russians and Turks end up fighting in the Middle East? Given that Turkey and Russia have been at war in the past numerous times, it is not far-fetched to suspect that history will repeat.
The United States is helping to revive the Beast of Revelation.