Thursday, October 15, 2015








The double suicide-bomb attack in Ankara, the Turkish capital, which killed at least 86 and wounded up to 126 people at a peaceful demonstration of the Kurdish opposition People’s Democracy party continues to reverberate across the region.  The list of  suspect organisations which was immediately issued to world media by the Turkish Government includes all the usual suspects with an implied attitude of  “kill them all, we’ll figure out who it might have been later” but, said media were discouraged from asking the question of who might be the beneficiary of further unrest and public insecurity on the eve of the parliamentary elections due in November when the obvious answer was Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the country’s president. It gave him a blank cheque to do whatever he wants against anyone he considers a supporter of the “radicals”, i.e. the Kurdish opposition People’s Democracy Party, who deprived Erdogan’s party of “ Justice and Development”(AKP) of its parliamentary majority earlier this year.

The list of suspects naturally does not include Turkey’s MIT secret service, even though this brutal strike really resembles the recent terror act in Suruc which launched Erdogan’s latest military campaign against the Kurds. All efforts by the ruling AKP to exploit the attacks politically and mount a crackdown have backfired.  A recent survey by Metropoll found that the AKP would only increase its vote by 1 percent—and that was before the suicide bombing. Although Erdogan issued a statement condemning the “heinous” bombings, he has not spoken in public since the attack. He left this to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who said on Sunday that groups including Islamic State (IS), the PKK and the far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party–Front (DHKP-C) were all capable of carrying out such an attack and that “Work is continuing to identify the corpses of the two male terrorists who carried out the suicide bombings.”

Thousands attended funerals of those slain in the towns of Tunceli and Suruc, while hundreds marched on a mosque in a suburb of Istanbul where other funerals were held, denouncing Erdogan as a murderer. The Confederation of Progressive Labour Unions (DİSK), the Public Workers Labour Unions Confederation (KESK), the Chamber of Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) and the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), issued a joint statement convening a two-day general strike beginning Monday and continuing Tuesday. Announcing the calling of the general strike, TTB President Bayazit İlhan said, “We know who the murderers are, they’re the ones whose dreams of dictatorship fell through in the June 7 general election. They’re the ones who have plunged Turkey into a war because they couldn’t get their 400 MPs.”

Protests and mourning in Ankara following the vicious terrorist attack on Peace Rally.

Kani Beko, president of DİSK, said, “We are not unfamiliar with these massacres: on May Day 1977, in the towns of Maraş and Sivas; and recently with the killings in Diyarbakır and Suruç; we have seen similar attacks. We have lost our friends here, in a meeting that was authorized 20 days ago. We will continue struggling until this fascist AK Party government and its tradition of murders are held accountable.” The pro-Kurdish HDP, which had a major presence at the bombed peace rally, supported the strike call. Addressing tens of thousands of mourners in the capital at the weekend, the HDP’s co-leader Selahattin Demirtas said, “The state which gets information about the bird that flies and every flap of its wing was not able to prevent a massacre in the heart of Ankara.” The AKP’s hands are red with blood and they support this terror,” he told reporters at HDP headquarters in Ankara. “It reminds us of the Suruc explosion.”

It is unusual, as in this case, for no claims of responsibility to be made by anyone for terrorist acts, except in cases they were organised as political provocations. The likelihood that the election results will give Erdogan what he needs to maintain the Party of Development and Justice hold on power is very low: he has too many enemies, and he has made too many mistakes including the participation in the Syrian civil war together with Saudi Arabia and Qatar on the side of the opponents of Assad Government. Moreover, the Arab monarchies assigned Turkey the role of a near-frontline state with all the associated negative consequences, including the refugee problem.

Erdogan has nowhere to retreat to having advanced himself into a cleft stick. The border with Syria and Syrian refugees in Turkey cannot be wished away. His relations with Russia have deteriorated which is damaging to the Turkish economy and his Party’s ability to retain public support on standards of living in Turkey. Moreover, terrorists are streaming through Syria. The oil trade which represents the Islamic State’s main source of revenue is also happening with Turkey as an intermediary. If control of the border is regained by Assad’s army and its allies, with the assistance of Russia’s aerial assaults and the arrival of thousands of Iranian troops this week for a major advance in the ground war by the Syrian Arab Army, then the city of Raqqah will be lost by the Islamists and Washington’s Assad overthrow project will fail and, what’s worse for Erdogan, his own rule may suffer a fatal blow. When you play with fire it’s quite likely you can get burned.

Ankara, Qatar, and Saudi spent the beginning of this year working out the outlines of their “spheres of responsibility” of  rebel groups in Syria each Capital controls in preparation for a general offensive against Damascus. The Kurds launched an offensive in late summer toward Raqqah, forcing Erdogan to start a war against the PKK. He planned to rally a wave of Turkish nationalism and lower the vote share of Demirtash’s Peoples’ Democracy Party at the November parliamentary elections, but Kurdish resistance damaged his chances of victory, and he can’t now draw away enough votes from Demirtash’s party to gain an electoral victory. The biter bit.

Further, the escalation of the Syrian conflict indulged in by Washington/NATO from the West and Turkey, Qatar and Saudi in the region makes even more likely the realisation of the Turkish elite’s constant nightmare: the rise of an independent Kurdish state after the defeat of IS on the ground. In Syria, the Government forces have re-grouped and are organised for major advances in the next few weeks. On October 8, Chief of the General Staff of the Army and Armed Forces, Gen. Ali Abdullah Ayoub officially announced that the Syrian armed forces had started a large-scale assault aimed at retaking several key cities and regions from terrorist forces after a week-long bombing campaign by Russia targeting the jihadists. The main aims are the Hama-Homs axis and to lift the ISIS siege of the Kuweries Military Airport. The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) with the National Defence Forces (NDF) conducted a large-scale offensive at the terrorist-controlled towns of Kafr Zita, Qala’at Al-Madayq, Latmeen, and Al-Lataminah in the Hama Governorate. The “Free Syrian Army”, CIA-backed Liwaa Suqour Al-Ghaab, Sham Legions, Jabhat Al-Nusra and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham militant groups are opposing the Syrian forces there.

The clashes started off successfully for the SAA as they recaptured Al-Mughayr, Lahaya, and Markabah. Following this success the SAA advanced closer to the Idlib-Hama border, capturing the hilltops of Tal Sakhar, Tal-Sikeek, Tal Uthman and the town of Al-Haweez near the city of Kafr Zita. A the moment the SAA is reaching the Latmeen-Morek axis and the eastern perimeter of Latmeen. The primary objective of this offensive is to seal off the Northern Hama border with Idlib and build a buffer-zone around the city of Khan Sheikhoun located on the important Aleppo-Lattakia Highway. Then the government forces will be able to concentrate on the remaining pockets in the Hama governorate that are under the control of the jihadis and local supporters.

On October 7, four Russian Navy warships in the Caspian Sea fired 26 missiles at the positions of ISIS in Syria. The missiles flew some 1,500 km to destroy 11 ISIS targets. The Russian Navy got  combat experience of using the Russian Kalibr missile systems (3M-54 Klub) which are intended to strike naval and land targets. The warships of the Caspian fleet involved in the missile attacks were: the Gepard-class frigate Dagestan and the Buyan-M-class corvettes Grad Sviyazhsk, Uglich and Veliky Ustyug. They fired cruise missiles from the Kalibr NK (Klub) VLS launchers. The missiles used are capable of hitting a target within 3 meters at a range of up to 2,500 km.This action required cooperation from Iran and Iraq because missiles had to travel through their airspace to reach Syria. At the same day, the chairman of Iraqi parliament’s defence committee Hakim al-Zamili said that Baghdad may soon officially request Russia for airstrikes against ISIS. In this case, the Russia-Iraq-Iran-Syria joint information centre’s role will be expanded to coordinate Russia’s airstrikes in Iraq. Thus, we could conclude Iraq was almost moved from the US zone of influence in the Middle East.

Also, it’s a sobering demonstration of power for the  Western NATO aggressors. Earlier, the head of the Defence Committee of Russia’s State Duma, Vladimir Komoyedov, said that Russia is ready to use its naval forces to establish a blockade along the Syrian coastline to disrupt the delivery of armaments for terrorists in Syria. Russia shows that it can defend its military group in Latakia even from the Caspian Sea. The Russian military group in Syria seriously depends on the supplies through maritime transport. So, if Turkey which failed in its policy in Syria decides to cut it from the Russian Naval base in Crimea by closing straits exiting the Black Sea, Russia will be ready.

On October 6, Erdogan said that Russia could lose Turkey as a friend. But, his relationships with the US are becoming shaky also. At the moment, it’s clear that there are no “moderate” rebels which could be publicly supported by the US in Syria. The so-called “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) is more a myth then reality. A large part of the FSA’s units are directly linked to the Syrian Al Qaeda/Al Nusra Front. The US in this case is relying on a phantom army to back its foreign policy aims of “regime change” in Syria. The US has little option but rely on the Kurds in an attack on Raqqa, the Islamic State headquarters and important logistic centre in Syria if its alleged “fight” against IS can have any credibility. This alliance would be unacceptable for Turkey which strongly opposes any kind of Kurdish autonomy at its borders. Furthmore, Raqqa is a crucial point for the Islamic State’s oil trade with Turkey. If Raqqa falls, the both will lose serious profits. Anyway, the US has no other choice but to replace its “moderate rebels” with the YPG and pay the price for it – even if the price includes a cooling down of Washington-Ankara relations.

Thus, the US-led web of political alliances and relationships in the Middle East is disintegrating rapidly. The vestiges of control on the terrorists groups sponsored by the pro-Western bloc could be lost. It would lead to escalation of the free for all war in the region. The growing Russia-led anti-ISIS coalition is the only chance of the regional stabilisation. The coalition also includes Iran, Syria and Iraq. China and Egypt are candidates for membership. Egypt has a serious internal problem with the local branch of ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula. China will probably participate actively in the Syrian anti-ISIS campaign, as it agrees with Russia that failure to deal with IS in Syria and Iraq would lead to future problems in central Asia and Western China in the near future with jihadi uprisings among the population there.

Shocked by the rapid success of the Russian air operations, the Saudi regime hastily sent a delegation to Moscow to discuss areas of “mutual” interest, implying a dissatisfaction with Washington and the West’s inept handling of the current situation. No major disclosures have emanated from the Moscow meeting with both sides keeping their cards close to the chest in the fast moving situation.

On the ground though, it’s shit-in-pants time for the Saudi backed jihadis in Syria. Forces such as the “Army of Conquest” must now be asking themselves why their patron abandoned them as sitting ducks on the battlefield. It’s not realistically thought that Russia informed the Saudis in any way whatsoever of their coming military campaign, but for the Islamists on the ground being killed by Russian airstrikes, it sure seems like a possibility, and they may be seething with anger against the Saudis for being set up. Already, over 3,000 terrorists have fled Syria for Jordan, likely en route back to Saudi Arabia, and Riyadh’s security establishment must surely be aware of the threat this entails. Couple the returning jihadis with the homegrown ISIL terrorists that have already struck in the country previously, and a cocktail of domestic disaster is being mixed before the Saudis’ own eyes, and their military establishment is too bogged down along the Yemeni border to adequately focus on it. This dire state of affairs could be made even more severe if the Ansarullah are successful enough in their attacks against the ‘Arab NATO’ that some of its Gulf members (especially Qatar and the UAE) pull out, which would then force the Saudis to compensate with their own overstretched forces. Furthermore, their paranoid fantasies of “Iranian-Shia encirclement” are probably kicking into high gear right now, meaning that it can’t be guaranteed that the country will react rationally to any threats that it perceives. In connection with this, a heavy-handed crackdown, whether against suspected terrorists or Shiites, can’t be discounted, and this would obviously add to the country’s domestic destabilisation.


Across the border in Israel, the Netanyahu Government threatens further oppression of the Palestinian people in the occupied West Bank and Gaza while denying any responsibility for the current rise in violence precipitated by Tel-Aviv’s intrusions on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.
Palestinians protest Israeli provocations in East Jerusalem.

Since October 1, daily clashes have left 30 Palestinians dead, mostly youths, women and children, nearly 1,600 injured, around 4,000 harmed by toxic tear gas, hundreds arrested, and an entire population under attack – reflecting longstanding Israeli collective punishment in flagrant violation of international law. Instead of holding Israel accountable for ongoing violence and brutality, complicit media blame ruthlessly persecuted Palestinians, effectively endorsing Netanyahu-ordered state terror. On14 October, The New York Times headlined “Attacks by Palestinians Kill 3 Israelis and Wound More than 20,” – quoting Netanyahu saying “we are in a struggle, a struggle for all of us, and we will face it together.” The Times highlighted a handful of Palestinian attacks against Jews. Not a single word about decades of state sponsored terrorism against a defenseless population, ruthless persecution demanding accountability, and Israel’s full responsibility for ongoing violence and the horrific toll as described above.

The Palestinians demand only their legitimate state and civil rights due to every nation under the UN Charter but constantly denied them since 1948 by Israel and its main supporter, Washington.

In a sleazy manoeuvre, motivated by sheer Russophobe hatred, the criminal fascist Junta in Kiev, Ukraine, has been secretly depleting its supplies of TOW anti-tank bazookas, supplied covertly to Kiev by the CIA via NATO, and selling them to the IS terrorists in Syria and Iraq. The weapons are delivered to Kiev under a covert arms deal by the US Defence Department then sold to IS although not “officially” counted in the Junta’s ordnance records to fool any US Congressional inquiries. The US Congress has banned such transfers but the deal is effected through the “black budget” arrangements introduced by Cheney and Rumsfeld in 2004 and supervised by the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).Over 2500 of these weapons have “vanished” from US Defence inventories without any written authority or licenses and no authority exists for transfer of such weapons to Ukraine in the first place. The weapons are then transited to Georgia and Turkey. Trucks owned by Bechtel Corporation and British Petroleum and drivers supplied by Turkish Intelligence, MIT, take the weapons across the borders into Syria and Iraq. This is all part of the “double-game” being played in the Middle-East by Washington for years, allegedly “fighting” IS with a cobbled together “Coalition” but covertly supplying weapons to them at the same time. Washington’s propaganda lies have now totally collapsed as a result of Russia’s intervention.

A US made TOW anti-tank missile being used by the Hazzm terrorist faction in Syria.

 New Articles on Blagaroon 2 :

No comments: