- Published on Feb 16, 2016
Turkey is renewing calls on some countries, including the United States, to join it for a ground operation in neighboring Syria. An unnamed senior Turkish official has said that it’s now impossible to end the Syria conflict without a military operation. Turkey and Saudi Arabia both favor a ground invasion. They claim such a move is aimed at fighting the Daesh terrorist group. Damascus has warned against any ground operation, saying foreign aggressors will return home in coffins. It accuses Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar of funding and arming terrorists who’ve been fighting against the Syrian government since 2011.
- Turkey Will “Definitely” Join Ground Operation In Syria, Accuses Russia Of “War Crimes”
by Tyler Durden, www.zerohedge.com
Update: Here are the latest headlines out of Russia where the defense ministry is at wit’s end with the Turks.
* RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY SAYS ‘TERRORISTS’ IN SYRIA’S IDLIB AND ALEPPO PROVINCES CONTINUE TO RECEIVE WEAPONS AND REINFORCEMENTS FROM TURKISH TERRITORY – INTERFAX
* TURKEY IS LAUNCHING ‘MASSED’ ARTILLERY STRIKES ON SYRIAN GOVT FORCES AND ‘SYRIA’S PATRIOTIC OPPOSITION’ – RIA CITES RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY
Turkey shelled Syria for a fourth consecutive day on Tuesday as Ankara steps up efforts to bolster rebels in the face of an advance by the Kurdish YPG. “As many as 150 terrorists were killed during the 4-day-long shelling targeting PYD points,” the pro-government Yeni Safak wrote today, adding that “the PYD, backed by both the US and Russia, is working with President Bashar al-Assad to control areas along the Turkish border.”
The move by Russia and Iran to encircle Aleppo and cut rebel supply lines to Turkey has allowed the YPG to advance on towns near the border, effectively consolidating the group’s grip on northern Syria, where they’ve been highly successful at holding large swaths of territory.That’s an especially undesirable outcome for Ankara where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is hell bent on rolling back a groundswell of popular support for the pro-Kurdish HDP which, at least in AKP’s mind, is merely the political arm of the PKK.
Erdogan doesn’t distinguish between the PKK (which both Turkey and the US officially designate as a terror group) and the YPG. The US, on the other hand, openly supports the Syrian Kurds and has backed their advances with airstrikes. Ankara fears that if the YPG are allowed to bridge the territory they control east of the Euphrates with territory they control west of the river, they will effectively establish a proto-state on the border which would embolden the PKK to try something similar in southeast Turkey where some Kurds are already pushing for autonomy.
Throw in the fact that the towns the YPG are seeking to capture are held by rebels Ankara supports in the faltering bid to oust Bashar al-Assad, and there’s every reason to suspect that Turkey will not only persist in the shelling of Azaz, but will in fact invade Syria. You know, “to fight ISIS.”