Hidden training: what is behind the words on a ground operation in Syria


Who says preparation for the invasion?

That Turkey is preparing for a full-scale military invasion of Northern Syria, announced on Thursday the official representative the Ministry of defense Igor Konashenkov. “Signs of covert training of the Turkish armed forces to action in Syria, we are fixing more and more,” he said. As an example, he cited the defense Ministry has already published “irrefutable video evidence”: as argued in Moscow, on records recorded with the shelling of the Turkish border self-propelled artillery Syrian villages in Latakia province.

Washington did not comment on these statements. State Department spokesman John Kirby said that can’t say that “do the Turks on the border in every single day.”

That meet in Ankara?

The Turkish armed forces do not prepare for the invasion of Northern Syria, but the Russian accusations are meant to hide the crime of Moscow in this war-torn country, CNN said a source close to the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Thursday. “They just distract attention from the attacks on the civilian population, as this country already conquers Syria,” he said.

The idea that the Russian VKS if the airstrikes do not take into account the civilian casualties, Ankara has long advocated. “Those who help the regime of [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, commit the same war crimes [he], — Davutoglu said on Thursday. I particularly insist on this, because today, Aleppo was subjected to massive bombardment from Russian planes”. Assessment Syrian Observatory For Human Rights, over the past day in the area of the city that since 2012, government forces are divided and supported by Turkey and Western countries the rebels, were put up to 500 of bombings.

Why Russia and Turkey accuse each other?

Russian-Turkish bilateral relations in deep crisis. After the destruction in November of last year the Turkish air force Russian bomber su-24 Russia has restored against Turkish citizens visa regime (Turkey responded by introducing visas for Russian journalists), and introduced a series of economic sanctions.

Last Saturday, there was another incident in the air to Ankara and then Washington accused Moscow of violating its airspace. The defense Ministry called the claims “baseless propaganda”. But this time the plane in the air shot down was not the government of Turkey has limited to call at the foreign Ministry of the Russian Ambassador and a number of harsh statements. “Despite appearances a tough position, [the government of Davutoglu] behaves more gently in order to avoid yet another armed incident with Russia”, — says targeting the Arab audience of the English-language newspaper Al Monitor. However, in the Turkish air force was declared “orange” threat level — pilots must demonstrate “full commitment to everything” and to get answers to a potential enemy without coordination of actions with the command.

Ready for that Turkey?

In mid-January, Turkey has bombed Syrian territory — then it was a retaliatory strike after the school grounds in the Turkish province of Kilis fell three mortar shells, killing two people. Responsible for the attack in Ankara called “Islamic state”. Source CNN surrounded by Davutoglu stated: “Turkey has all rights to take any measures to protect own security.”

Threat in Ankara is seen not only in banned in Russia “Islamic state”. The same enemy they believe rebels from the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union (PYD), fighting with ISIS. PYD is closely connected with operating on the territory of Turkey by militants from the Kurdistan workers ‘ party (PKK), claim Turkish authorities. After the Kurdish rebels succeeded in February 2015 to dislodge Islamic state from Kobani on the border with Turkey, in Ankara began to fear the strengthening of the Kurds on their own territory. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan broke an unspoken truce with the PKK and has conducted several large-scale special operations against the underground, during which since last summer has killed only by law enforcement 257 people, the number of casualties among the PKK militants and the civilian population is difficult to count.

Washington shared fighting on the side of the PKK and PYD, the latter he even provided military assistance. Moscow PYD not only supports but insists that they participated in the negotiations on the future of Syria in Geneva, which was scheduled for 29 January. Special representative of the UN and the League of Arab States, Staffan de Mistura, as a result, the participation of Kurds in the conference ruled that didn’t prevent it from failing.

Why failed negotiations in Geneva?

On Monday in Switzerland was attended by all expected participants in the negotiations of the International support group Syria, but on Wednesday, the consultations were suspended officially until February 25. Armed Syrian opposition demanded Assad to immediately cease hostilities — on the fourth month that Russia provides government forces with air cover, they launched a massive offensive near Aleppo, in the North and in the South, in the province of Deraa. A week before the talks, government forces had taken the town of Sheikh Miskin (province of Deraa), prior to that, held supported by the US rebels.

Turkey, the U.S. and France called on Wednesday for Russia to stop bombing, which foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said they will continue to as long as “we really don’t defeat a terrorist organization such as ISIL [is prohibited in Russia], “Dzhabhat EN Nusra”, and similar groups”. Telephone talks between US Secretary of state John Kerry with Lavrov on Thursday ended inconclusively.

As a condition for the successful continuation of the negotiations in an interview to the Italian magazine Limes Lavrov called the creation of a common list of terrorist groups. Otherwise, international support group Syria to be one of the “working body for international assistance to settlement in Syria <…> in a discussion club”.

“The operation here is considered as quite successful”, — quotes The New York Times of Lieutenant-General reserve, Vice-President of the PIR center’s Buzhinsky Evgeny. “Russian intervention had already reached the big results that could qualify, it ensured the unity and stability of the Syrian regime,” — says in the same article, the former Director for the Middle East and North Africa at the national security Council USA Steven Simon.

While the winner is Assad himself. As explains the logic of an event publicist from UAE Faisal al-JFBA, the negotiations on Syria “were going around the idea of small assignments that build upon a deliberate, gradual path to a more distant goal.” But in Damascus on Tuesday preferred to think otherwise: “the Assad Regime never accepted the purposes, to the execution which failed peace process, and although he tried to persuade to go down this path its ally Russia, he did everything to ensure that the negotiators never reached the final point”.

Who really says about the invasion?

If peace talks finally reached a deadlock, a military invasion of the Western coalition is still possible. Anyway, a week before the start of the consultations talked about this Davutoglu and came to him in Istanbul, Vice President Joe Biden. “We [U.S. and Turkey] is ready to make a decision about the military operation to defeat the “Islamic state”, — said an American politician.

Now, when the negotiations were suspended, this is evidenced by Saudi Arabia, another regional player whose interests are radically opposed to Russian. Advisor to the Minister of defence of the Kingdom Ahmed Asseri noticed on Friday: “the Kingdom is ready to participate in any ground operations that decide to conduct anti-terrorist coalition in Syria” (to quote Reuters). Saudi Arabia might be sent to Syria to participate in a land-based anti-terrorist operation, several thousand special forces, writes The Guardian with reference to sources in Riyadh.

According to the source, Saudi Arabia is likely to act in coordination with Turkey. The U.S. Secretary of defense Ashton Carter welcomed the readiness of Riyadh. “Such news is welcome,” said he to the journalists at air force base Nellis air force base.