Things hotting up with Turkey

Thanks. That has been going on for a while now hasn't it. Like the merger of Pope Air base with Fort Bragg. Does the US provide military aid to Turkey ?
Every once in a while they happen.

 
Any results of this upcoming meeting will need rapid implementation if the whole sh1tfest isn't going to head further south. It seems that Putin may once again prove the overall winner, standing resolutely by his ally with both financial and military support to show the world how trustworthy he is as a partner.

'Next week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will trek to a summit with the leaders of France, Germany, and Russia to attempt to sort out the utter mess that is Idlib Province. The location has not yet been announced, but whether he travels by car or jet, one wonders what he will be thinking about his country’s long-running involvement in Syria’s disastrously internationalized civil war.

'Under Erdoğan’s leadership, Ankara staked much of its recent fortunes in Syria on cooperation with Russia, believing that President Vladimir Putin would negotiate on behalf of the Syrian regime in good faith and ultimately reach a mutually beneficial agreement with Ankara that would make concessions to the opposition Turkey backs and take into account Turkish security concerns about Syrian Kurdish nationalists.

'Turkey is paying for this poor decision. Putin is intent on defeating the Syrian opposition forces Turkey supports in Idlib and seems to care little what Erdogan thinks about it. Meanwhile, key leaders in Washington still seem to believe that America can somehow deny the Syrian regime a victory, and that because Damascus is in such financial distress it will be willing to make political compromises that Bashar al-Assad has signaled are off the table.

'As Idlib collapses, the best path forward also seems the most unlikely: Washington should pressure Turkey to negotiate the opposition’s surrender, rather than backing Ankara’s decision to give open-ended but inadequate support to these armed groups. Absent a dramatic Turkish escalation, support from Ankara will not stop Damascus’ advance against the opposition forces in Syria’s last rebel held enclave. Turkey’s support to armed groups in Idlib will make the war longer, but will not change the outcome — a lesson that too few have learned from this tragic war.

'Turkey shares few interests in Syria with its allies, and the Syrian civil war is not an issue NATO is prepared to deal with. It is out of NATO’s core area, as defined in Article 6 of the North Atlantic Treaty, and Turkish support for the Syrian opposition presents a series of broader problems for much of Europe and for many in the United States. The fundamental challenge is that the most dominant group inside Idlib is Hayat Tahrir al Sham, a militant group that has links to al Qaeda, and which Ankara has pledged to defeat in its negotiations with Moscow.

'The West is unlikely to do more than condemn. On the military level, the threat of escalation with Russia outweighs the benefits of stepping in to defend the insurgency, taking a Western military operation off the table. Moscow can then comfortably assume that the worst it may face is more punitive sanctions or more Turkish support to its rebel proxies.

'The United States is Turkey’s ally, but has little interest in the Turkish armed forces being bogged down in an unwinnable war in Syria, taking casualties and being humiliated by Russian bombardment. It is distracting. A ceasefire makes sound strategic sense.'


A much lengthier, more detailed version here - Cleaning up Turkey’s Mess in Idlib and Ending the War - War on the Rocks
 
Erdogan/Turkey wanders deeper into the mire.

When the thirteenth Turkish soldier died in Idlib Erdogan upped his threat to Syria to withdraw and said he would attack Syrian forces anywhere in Syria. Feb 20th this year two more were killed, and on the 22nd the sixteenth. Erdogan’s threats remain just that. Empty threats.

It is Russian air support that helped Syrian forces regain large areas around Aleppo in Idlib territory, and the recent Russian air strikes that prompted the somewhat unusual request for US Patriots after the 2.5 billion S-400 purchase/fiasco which resulted in the Turkish loss of the F-35, and a distinct cooling of Turkish US relations. The Turkish Air Force, (air support) ...well, Erdogan effectively gutted that, and air superiority it seems, really does count.

The recent flip plops in Turkish foreign and security policy displayed recently, can only lead the West, the EU, and NATO, to seriously question just which direction Erdogan thinks he is heading in? Turkey however is continuing to pour in armour, vehicles and personal Ito Idlib, and area Syria is determined to recapture from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham opposition. Between Feb 2nd to the 22nd approaching three thousand military vehicles and over seven thousand soldiers.

Turkey’s Syrian and Libyan adventures...and that’s another story altogether, may well be diverting it’s populations attentions away from Erdogan's failing internal policies, and souring relations with NATO and the US, but, with these military adventures also coming badly unglued, that might not now be such a diverting spectacle.

Erdogan announced he would hold a 4 way summit on March 5th with Putin, Merkel and Macron. The Kremlin announced Feb 25th they are not interested. It looks increasingly as though, despite the huge Turkish military investment going into Idlib, given Russia’s determination to back the ruling Syrian regime, Turkey’s gamble is looking like a busted flush.

Having proved to be a less than reliable NATO ally, this is now backfiring badly with none of the Western partners now willing to step in with military assistance in the Turkish move into predominantly Kurdish territory, and Russia definitely not stepping aside.

Erdogan’s dreams of a cosy relationship with Russia, replacing the F-16’s with Russian SU-35’s, co-production of SU-57’s in place of F-35’s: of having Turkish aircraft carriers, on losing out on the massive co-production contracts on the F-35’s... together with possible sanctions on other US military aid and co-production joint ventures at risk, would now seem about as safe as a large ice cream cone in the worst of Australia’s recent bush fires.

What effect this nightmare will have on internal politics however, will certainly be interesting.


 

Well it seems like the situation in Syria is going to escalate and spiral. Any thoughts on trying to bring the Turks back into the fold by risking NATO assets when the Russians strike back?
Never happen. Turkey was only in NATO as a stopper to keep the USSR/ Russia away from the middle east oilfields. Since Russia is now permanently based in Syria, Turkey has already failed in its singular mission. The US bases in Turkey could save a lot of grief by simply upping sticks and moving to Akrotiri, Beersheba, Greece or Italy, any of whom would welcome them.
Turkey's only threat now is to the EU in regard to releasing/ pushing MENA " refugees" over the border into Europe. The EU/ Germany/France will whine but cough up the Danegeld for now, since none of them have the capability, let alone will, to tell Erdogan to poke it.
Meanwhile in Syria, the Kurds are kicking the rebels, pointing out online Turkey's use of and support for daesh fighters against the Syrian government, and the Russians are, reportedly ( by Kurdish sources) enthusiastically bombing and strafing Turkish armoured columns. Over in Libya there are, online, reports of French navy intercepting a shipload of Turkish supplied weaponry destined for a faction there.
I suspect no NATO country will waste any blood or money in Syria, as the Syrian government forces, with Russian help, appear to be winning the civil war.
Erdogan's getting old, his dreams of a new Ottoman empire are turning to ratshit, and he's many more enemies than friends.
 
Never happen. Turkey was only in NATO as a stopper to keep the USSR/ Russia away from the middle east oilfields. Since Russia is now permanently based in Syria, Turkey has already failed in its singular mission. The US bases in Turkey could save a lot of grief by simply upping sticks and moving to Akrotiri, Beersheba, Greece or Italy, any of whom would welcome them.
Turkey's only threat now is to the EU in regard to releasing/ pushing MENA " refugees" over the border into Europe. The EU/ Germany/France will whine but cough up the Danegeld for now, since none of them have the capability, let alone will, to tell Erdogan to poke it.
Meanwhile in Syria, the Kurds are kicking the rebels, pointing out online Turkey's use of and support for daesh fighters against the Syrian government, and the Russians are, reportedly ( by Kurdish sources) enthusiastically bombing and strafing Turkish armoured columns. Over in Libya there are, online, reports of French navy intercepting a shipload of Turkish supplied weaponry destined for a faction there.
I suspect no NATO country will waste any blood or money in Syria, as the Syrian government forces, with Russian help, appear to be winning the civil war.
Erdogan's getting old, his dreams of a new Ottoman empire are turning to ratshit, and he's many more enemies than friends.
Well it seems like Erdogan is trying to play the US off against Russia again. But America is not going to intervene on the Turk's behalf and Russia knows it. So they will tee off against the Turks in Syria with relative impunity as long as they don't target our forces or proxies.
 
Turkey’s Syrian and Libyan adventures...and that’s another story altogether, may well be diverting it’s populations attentions away from Erdogan's failing internal policies, and souring relations with NATO and the US, but, with these military adventures also coming badly unglued, that might not now be such a diverting spectacle.
Apparently he is also trying to get involved in Somalia as well. There was a bit in the 'Times' about it a few weeks ago. I wonder how he is paying for all this. I don't think the Turkish economy is too healthy. With Erdogan's purges in the Turkish military, how is this affecting their military competence? You mentioned the Turkish Air Force being gutted. I assume they were heavily effected by the purges.

There was a bit on the news tonight about how Turkey is not going to stop Syrian Refugees crossing to Greece. That should make him popular with the EU.

I wonder how the Russians can afford all this as well, They are not the Soviet Union. Their economy is smaller than Italy's apparently.

Putin seems to have played a blinder, with clear military and strategic aims, which he is on the verge of achieving.
 
Well it seems like Erdogan is trying to play the US off against Russia again. But America is not going to intervene on the Turk's behalf and Russia knows it. So they will tee off against the Turks in Syria with relative impunity as long as they don't target our forces or proxies.
It all seems a bit of a buggers muddle to me. If you see 'The Don' tell him to keep well clear of it all.
 
(...) I wonder how the Russians can afford all this as well, They are not the Soviet Union. Their economy is smaller than Italy's apparently.
The relevant measure for Russia's ability to fund military operaitons would be Purchasing Parity Power (PPP) GDP, which takes into account the lower cost of living in Russia. That puts them at #6, just behind Germany.

Italy is #12, and just over half the size of Russia's PPP GDP. Turkey on the other hand is #13, and just behind Italy.

PPP GDP isn't the be all and end all when making international comparisons, but since the Russians are paying for arms they make in their own factories and for the salaries of their soldiers in roubles, it's what matters in this instance.

Putin seems to have played a blinder, with clear military and strategic aims, which he is on the verge of achieving.
The question will be if Russia are able to capitalise on the victory in anyway other than diplomatic prestige in the region. Syria is one of the more advanced societies in the Middle East in social and economic terms, but they don't have much in the way of valuable natural resources from which Russia can derive a benefit.

The main thing that may interest Russia though is that having influence in Syria may give them some leverage over Turkey and Iran, who themselves sit nearly on Russia's doorstep in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Those are areas which affect Russia's security very deeply and it should be no surprise if they actively defend that space.
 
Turkey is the “example” for NATO. Go to far out of line and big brother will cut you loose. Will see who is paying attention.
Is Erdogan aware that NATO wont be assisting under article whatever, if he gets deep in the poo with Russia. Or is he under the illusion that this is a fail-safe for him in his little adventures.
 
Is Erdogan aware that NATO wont be assisting under article whatever, if he gets deep in the poo with Russia. Or is he under the illusion that this is a fail-safe for him in his little adventures.
Who knows?

It seems many NATO members are more than willing to take America for granted. Take Turkey and the S-400 debacle. Months of lobbying and trying to prevent them from jumping off the cliff and away they went. Now they expect the US to back them against the Russians. Which is being met with Crickets and a “good luck”.

America has its own security interests that are important to our country. If you ignore those facts or don’t give a toss you won’t find much in the way forgiveness here. The entitlement mentality many have grown accustomed to is offensive to many here.

Unless the rest of NATO wishes to intervene the Turks can embrace unilateralism.
 
Is Erdogan aware that NATO wont be assisting under article whatever, if he gets deep in the poo with Russia. Or is he under the illusion that this is a fail-safe for him in his little adventures.
Erdogan stuck his neck out a long ways when it came to overthrowing Assad through the use of local proxies and may not be able to wind it back in quickly without losing enough face to threaten his own grip on power.

Some sort of political solution is needed which satisfies Damascus, the Kurds, and Turkey, but I haven't seen any realistic ones yet. If Erdogan ends up being the one going (and it would more likely to be over domestic issues than Syria), then whomever followed him may lose interest in Syria provided the Kurds were not allowed to establish a de facto independent state out of northeastern Syria.

Just think though that if certain people had their way we ourselves would be stuck in Syria right now fighting an endless insurgency against jihadists, all while wrestling with a Turkey who would not be happy with any sort of long term solution which we could live with and who were actively supporting their own insurgents operating against us.
 
Erdogan stuck his neck out a long ways when it came to overthrowing Assad through the use of local proxies and may not be able to wind it back in quickly without losing enough face to threaten his own grip on power.

Some sort of political solution is needed which satisfies Damascus, the Kurds, and Turkey, but I haven't seen any realistic ones yet. If Erdogan ends up being the one going (and it would more likely to be over domestic issues than Syria), then whomever followed him may lose interest in Syria provided the Kurds were not allowed to establish a de facto independent state out of northeastern Syria.

Just think though that if certain people had their way we ourselves would be stuck in Syria right now fighting an endless insurgency against jihadists, all while wrestling with a Turkey who would not be happy with any sort of long term solution which we could live with and who were actively supporting their own insurgents operating against us.
The Times were pushing big style for Western involvement in Syria in 2013 after the death of Marie Colvin in 2012. Cameron seemed to be all for it but luckly Obama showed little enthusiasm. That was my impression anyway.
 
Which is being met with Crickets and a “good luck”.
Americans playing cricket. Who knew. Good luck. Hope you thrash the Russians and Turks. If you do well enough we may consider letting you back in the British Empire. You would have to drive on the left, learn to spell and pronounce English properly. And be nice and say sorry all the time like the Canadiens. In fact you could become Canadiens. It would make life simpler. We could call it British North America.
 
Americans playing cricket. Who knew. Good luck. Hope you thrash the Russians and Turks. If you do well enough we may consider letting you back in the British Empire. You would have to drive on the left, learn to spell and pronounce English properly. And be nice and say sorry all the time like the Canadiens. In fact you could become Canadiens. It would make life simpler. We could call it British North America.
The Canadians can be a snarky lot!

The Russians are going to beat up on there new besties the Turks. America will just watch from a lawn chair. Funny how the Russians don’t seem to fear the S-400’s they sold to their client’s.
 
if Russia are able to capitalise on the victory in anyway other than diplomatic prestige in the region. Syria is one of the more advanced societies in the Middle East in social and economic terms, but they don't have much in the way of valuable natural resources from which Russia can derive a benefit.
Well not really, it is a hugely strategic asset as well as large user of military hardware. The Tartous Naval base is Russia's only naval facility where it enjoys sovereign jurisdiction, its only base in the Mediterranean and only remaining military facility outside the former USSR.
In 2017, Russia and Syria signed an agreement with Russia allowed to expand and use the naval facility at Tartous for 49 years on a free-of-charge basis and is allowed to berth nuclear powered vessels.

Khmeimim Hmeimim are Russian air bases and recently Qamishili a new Syrian airbase on the Turkish border, only a few weeks after US forces, had left. Russian and Syrian officials reported to be putting final touches on a 49-year lease deal similar to lease of Tartous.

Russia’s biggest electronic ‘eavesdropping post’ outside Russian territory is in Latakia.

It has significant investments in Syria, investments in the country were valued at $19.4 billion in 2009, exports to Syria were worth $1.1 billion in 2010. They sold around $1.5 billion worth of arms to Syria, making them Moscow's seventh-largest client. Russian firms in 2011 had a substantial presence in Syria's infrastructure, energy and tourism industries.
 
Well not really, it is a hugely strategic asset as well as large user of military hardware. The Tartous Naval base is Russia's only naval facility where it enjoys sovereign jurisdiction, its only base in the Mediterranean and only remaining military facility outside the former USSR.
In 2017, Russia and Syria signed an agreement with Russia allowed to expand and use the naval facility at Tartous for 49 years on a free-of-charge basis and is allowed to berth nuclear powered vessels.

Khmeimim Hmeimim are Russian air bases and recently Qamishili a new Syrian airbase on the Turkish border, only a few weeks after US forces, had left. Russian and Syrian officials reported to be putting final touches on a 49-year lease deal similar to lease of Tartous.

Russia’s biggest electronic ‘eavesdropping post’ outside Russian territory is in Latakia.

It has significant investments in Syria, investments in the country were valued at $19.4 billion in 2009, exports to Syria were worth $1.1 billion in 2010. They sold around $1.5 billion worth of arms to Syria, making them Moscow's seventh-largest client. Russian firms in 2011 had a substantial presence in Syria's infrastructure, energy and tourism industries.
How is Syria going to pay for all this if they don't have natural resources like oil. And a lot of their infrastructure must have been trashed after 11 years of war.
 
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