Turkey, Saudi Arabia Mull Syria Ground Invasion As Russia, Hezbollah Decimate Rebels

Tyler Durden's picture


“What’s going on in Syria can only go on for so long. At some point it has to change,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on a plane back to Turkey from Latin America over the weekend.

As we’ve documented extensively over the past several days, Ankara, Riyadh, and Doha have their backs against the wall when it comes to the effort to oust Bashar al-Assad and perpetuate Sunni hegemony in the Arabian Peninsula.

Hezbollah has surrounded Aleppo and their advance is backed by what’s been described as an unrelenting Russian air campaign. The rebels’ supply lines to Turkey have been cut and without a direct intervention by either the US or the Gulf states, the battle for Syria will have been lost for the opposition which pulled out of peace talks in Geneva citing the ongoing aerial bombardment by Moscow.

Now, with time running out, both Saudi Arabia and Turkey are weighing ground invasions.

“You don’t talk about these things. When necessary, you do what’s needed,” Erdogan said, when asked if Ankara was considering sending troops into Syria. “Right now our security forces are prepared for all possibilities,” he added.

For Erdogan, there’s only one acceptable outcome: Sunni militants oust Assad and take control of Damascus. Assad’s ouster is the desired outcome for the Saudis as well, but Erdogan has a secondary agenda in Syria: preventing the conflict from strengthening the Kurds. That means he’s against any support for the YPG - even if such support would help facilitate regime change.

Over the weekend Erdogan blasted both Russia and the US.

What are you doing in Syria? You’re essentially an occupier,” he said, in a message to Vladimir Putin. “How can we trust you? Is your partner me, or is it those terrorists in Kobani?” he asked Obama’s envoy for the international coalition against Islamic State. By the “terrorists in Kobani", Erdogan is referring to the YPG.

Erdogan's frustration reflects the fact that the various groups fighting to take control of Syria are now virtually guaranteed to lose. As we said from the time Russia first flew combat missions from Latakia on September 30, the opposition has virtually no chance of winning a war with Hezbollah and the IRGC as long as Moscow is providing air cover. The rebels have no air presence whatsoever and no anti-aircraft capability and on top of that, there's no advantage to be had in fighting an asymmetric battle with Hezbollah. Hassan Nasrallah's army practically invented urban warfare.

The only option now is a coordinated ground invasion by the rebels' Sunni benefactors.

“With rebels losing ground, Gulf states said they would be prepared to send in ground troops as part of an international coalition battling Islamic State,” Bloomberg reported on Sunday.

Please note: that quote makes no sense. The rebels aren’t losing ground to ISIS, so why should their battlefield losses trigger international calls for ground troops to “battle Islamic State”?

This is a ridiculously transparent attempt to fabricate an excuse to shore up Sunni militants who are about to be relegated to the annals of sectarian history by the combined military prowess of Hezbollah and Russia.

Sure, there’s an ISIS presence in Aleppo, but if anyone was actually interested in eradicating the group, they’d be talking about Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor, not Latakia nand Aleppo. 

Underscoring just how close the world is to careening into World War III, various reports out over the weekend indicated that the Saudis may be preparing to stage 150,000 troops in Turkey. That comes on the heels of reports out of Russia which indicate that Moscow believes Erdogan is on the verge of sending in troops to prop up the rebels. And then there was this, out earlier today from Reuters:


Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir confirmed that Washington would support Riyadh if the Saudis did indeed decide to invade Syria just as they have Yemen.

For what it's worth, AA denied the Saudi troop reports.  

While that particular "rumor" may be unfounded, Turkey and the rest of the Sunni world will need to make a decision in the next few days as to just how they plan to proceed, because as is abundantly clear from the following first-hand account from a rebel fighter, this war is just about over.  

"Our whole existence is now threatened, not just losing more ground. They are advancing and we are pulling back because in the face of such heavy aerial bombing [by Russia] we must minimize our losses."

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Mon, 02/08/2016 - 19:29 | 7158289 stinkhammer
stinkhammer's picture

this aggression will not stand man

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 19:35 | 7158307 junction
junction's picture

If Hillary were still Secretary of State, she would be leading the charge to attack everyone threatening her Benghazi brigades.

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 19:50 | 7158381 Clint Liquor
Clint Liquor's picture

A ground assault would be suicide without air support. Therefore, an air war must preceed a ground war.

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 20:00 | 7158425 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

Where's "the Red Line" on that map?

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 20:09 | 7158474 Scooby Dooby Doo
Scooby Dooby Doo's picture

Vlad is bad for America. Even President Trump want to "be friends" with Vlad.

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 20:47 | 7158635 valjoux7750
valjoux7750's picture

Cant you come up with something better than scooby? How gay is that

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 21:55 | 7158972 GreatCaesar'sGhost
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Come on, Scooby's cool and I think he digs the chicks. See scoobydoo.wikia.com/wiki/Amber

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 22:34 | 7159145 Rock On Roger
Rock On Roger's picture



Dooby On

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 23:06 | 7159296 Bumpo
Bumpo's picture

Why doesn't Russia just bomb that airstrip being built by Turkey and Saudi Arabia on the Turkish Syrian border? They got no right being there. Why wait for them to announce a war. They've already invaded.

Tue, 02/09/2016 - 05:37 | 7159966 giovanni_f
giovanni_f's picture

With Syria essentially a no-fly zone it is hard to imagine how a troop contingent of colombian and somalian blackwater mercenaries will be able to penetrate deeper into Srian territory than 20 miles before being completely disintegrated in one single Russian counterstrike. Just watch how those mercenaries get meat-grinded by flip-flop wearing Yemeni tribe fighters on a daily basis. As to the destiny of a Turkish tank battalion trying to pass into Srian territory without air support I leave it to your fantasy what the likely outcome will be.

For both, Saudi Arabia and Turkey the risk of a bay of pigs event is not only high but a certainty. Both regimes would not survive a defeat.

(Russia will allow the Syrian Air Force to bomb the airstrip when circumstances require)

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 20:52 | 7158657 MegaOlmecanManiac
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Being stupid isn't cute. It's tiresome.

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 21:32 | 7158809 Scooby Dooby Doo
Scooby Dooby Doo's picture

Bring it! Scooby's a Great Dane not a Great Russian Bitchez!


Tue, 02/09/2016 - 00:08 | 7159504 COSMOS
COSMOS's picture

That would explain the mass anal rape by a crowd of muslims

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 20:10 | 7158479 johngaltfla
johngaltfla's picture

I wonder what happens when Russia retaliates by mining hundreds of square miles of territory in front of the Saudi and Turkey troops....

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 20:24 | 7158526 New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

One can hope... Kill anyone who tries to cross the Turkish border in either direction.  Chase any surviving jihadis down into Saudi Arabia where they will have all sorts of fun.  Come on Vlad, show the Empire of Chaos how it's done!

Tue, 02/09/2016 - 00:00 | 7159489 El Crusty
El Crusty's picture

Mining the border with turkey would solve several problems since turkey is the primary path for all those unacompanied children to get to europe.

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 21:23 | 7158803 Baby Bladeface
Baby Bladeface's picture

Turkish and Saudi apes then find they into wahhabattoir have marched.

Tue, 02/09/2016 - 08:12 | 7160120 onthesquare
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You mean those little air dropped knee capping mines that were so (un) popular is Afganistan back in the 80's?  So inhumane

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 20:11 | 7158484 thesonandheir
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It is a lie that we, House of Saudi will be sending 150000 troops to Turkey for the invasion of Syria.



We only have 149999 ready at the moment.

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 20:17 | 7158495 philipat
philipat's picture

An air war? Leaving aside for a second the fact that it would be against International law for anyone other than Russia to enter Syrian airspace uninvited (Not that the exceptional country ever worried about International law, but it has itself created a situation where Russia is on the moral high ground), Russia would win an air war. It has state of the art s400 SAM systems in place and has deployed its latest Su35s fighters in Syria, far superior to anything NATO could deploy. So, for Putin, I'm sure that anyone wanting to start an air war would be a "Go ahead, make my day" moment.

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 20:55 | 7158669 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Hezbollah has surrounded Aleppo and their advance is backed by what’s been described as an unrelenting Russian air campaign. The rebels’ supply lines to Turkey have been cut and without a direct intervention by either the US or the Gulf states, the battle for Syria will have been lost for the opposition which pulled out of peace talks in Geneva citing the ongoing aerial bombardment by Moscow.

Heh heh.  The vile Captagon crazed Sunni headchoppers must be shitting in their pants.  Hezbollah pound for pound are some of the best fighters in the world.  Massive respect for them for helping all Syrians including Syrian Christians.


The IDF in 2006 in Lebanon said Hezbollah were like ghosts.  They would almost invisably shadow them, hit hard and disappear.  Very demoralizing when your friends end up dead on the battlefield killed by ghosts.


Tue, 02/09/2016 - 03:24 | 7159863 researchfix
researchfix's picture

It´s a situation like the Donbass cauldrons.

Merkel and her likes gets moving.

So there must be many, many shady operators in Aleppo.

I hope Hezbollah is not as nice as the Donbass people and lets them go.

Tue, 02/09/2016 - 04:11 | 7159905 Invinciblehandaxe
Invinciblehandaxe's picture

I too hope Hezbollah will tear the cia operators asses to bits

Tue, 02/09/2016 - 08:20 | 7160143 onthesquare
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...hand axe

remember this?  "as always should any of your IMF force be caught or killed, the secretary will disavo? any knowledge of their actions.  This tape will self desctruct in 5 seconds.  Good luck Mr. Phillips" then music starts

by the way IMF stands for 2 organizations but i think they are actually the same.  he he


Mon, 02/08/2016 - 21:15 | 7158762 Mareka
Mareka's picture

Putin doing the job Obama won't

Never thought I'd see the day when Russia would be working more in the interest of American citizens than my own government.

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 20:55 | 7158667 Baby Bladeface
Baby Bladeface's picture


If Hillary were still Secretary of State, she would be leading the charge to attack everyone threatening her Benghazi brigades."

...and while riding on broomstick provides the air cover.

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 21:18 | 7158779 pilager
pilager's picture

Auhhh..... Auhhh.... Let's auhhh, have a conversation

Tue, 02/09/2016 - 08:25 | 7160160 onthesquare
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Kerry will be asking for more peace talks on the condition that Russia stop liberating Syria.  But those dang Russians are sceptical and everybody knows that.  Kerry is not Hitlery.

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 21:44 | 7158913 StychoKiller
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Putin: "Bang, bang, you're dead!"

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 19:34 | 7158304 Soul Glow
Soul Glow's picture

Russia will wipe the world clean of the House of Saud if this happens.  No wonder Kerry is hiding behind Russia.  At this point the US just wants to come out alive!

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 19:40 | 7158328 3Wishes
3Wishes's picture

Hell, even Israel will take out Ukraine if it helps.

Tue, 02/09/2016 - 04:12 | 7159906 Invinciblehandaxe
Invinciblehandaxe's picture

Izrahell can STFU now. Their air assets have been frozen dead on the ground. Fuckers cannot move a plane now. 

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 19:39 | 7158320 12357111317
12357111317's picture

I can't wait to see a Saudi ground army at work.  Will every tank commander be a Saad Prince?  Will every tank be a Rolls Royce or Ferrari?  They are SO masculine and manly!  :-)

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 20:03 | 7158359 The_Prisoner
The_Prisoner's picture

Saudi Army is a mercenary force.

Officers, planes and helicopter pilots are Blackwater (former low-ranking officers in US and UK forces)

Infantry are Somalians, Pakistanis and Ethiopians.

NCO's are Colombians and former US/UK enlisted men.

No suprise they cannot even defeat the Houthis in Yemen, even with top US-made kit like Apaches, M1 Abrams and F22s.

When the going gets tough, they cut and run. There is no chance in hell they will move against the RuAF.

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 20:12 | 7158487 krage_man
krage_man's picture

this is true. 

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 20:24 | 7158533 Normalcy Bias
Normalcy Bias's picture

I watched the decent documentary series Mercenaries over the weekend.

In it is clearly explained the fact that mercs are only doing a job for pay and have little interest in dying for the cause.

On the other hand, local forces or true believers are more likely to see the conflict as a life or death struggle, and are therefore typically much more motivated.

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 20:59 | 7158689 Freddie
Freddie's picture

This is why Hezbollah puts so much fear in the mercs.  Some might say they are also Mercs but Hezbollah does not run around shouting Allah Akbar.  Hezbollah knows it is life or death for them.  Same as the Houthi defending Yemen.  Also like every poor dumb soldier sent to Afghanistan over hundreds of years - Americans, Soviets, Brits and more.

The Saudis are so stupid.

Tue, 02/09/2016 - 09:53 | 7160556 darkpool2
darkpool2's picture

And don't forget Vietnam......

Tue, 02/09/2016 - 03:31 | 7159869 researchfix
researchfix's picture

"In it is clearly explained the fact that mercs are only doing a job for pay and have little interest in dying for the cause."

So these mercs must be not quite happy to meet Russia.

If these bullshit Turkish and Saudi invasions would ever come true, Russia would hit them hard, and why not at home?

Would put a quick end to it and maybe two regime changes.

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 19:50 | 7158379 bookofenoch
bookofenoch's picture

You forgot the nose. Le Grand hook nose.

And the hair. Let's not lose sight of the hairy backs.

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 19:54 | 7158397 SmedleyButlersGhost
SmedleyButlersGhost's picture

Uh oh - and how do we know about the hairy backs?

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 19:58 | 7158417 SmedleyButlersGhost
SmedleyButlersGhost's picture

No shit - no one has seen a Saudi army (or anything) at work

Tue, 02/09/2016 - 08:36 | 7160217 onthesquare
onthesquare's picture


The Saudis are so sold on the "Racket" that they are hoping for the F35 to arrive and save the day.  

I think I will send our new PM, Mr. Trudeau, a letter suggesting he cancel Canada's order for F35s and go for some of those new Russian fighters.  He is naive to the max and he may just take my advise.

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 20:12 | 7158486 johngaltfla
johngaltfla's picture

The Saudi officer corps and regulars are being slaughtered by the Houthi in Yemen. IN fact they are crossing into Saudi, launching ambushes on columns and creating havoc; so if the Hous of FR(s)aud, can not win next door to its own nation, how the hell are they going to resupply and manage combat missions almost 1000 km north of Riyadh?

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 20:27 | 7158551 Freddie
Freddie's picture


The Saudis are so stupid.  They started a war with Yemen and yemen is going to eventually invade Saudi Arabia and overthrow the House of Fraud or Saud.

The Saudis think they are going to beat the much smarter Persians?  Who are friends with the smart Russians.   Good luck with that.

Meanwhile in Obola's America with the zio-MIC we have Gomer Pyle USMC.  I see pictures of US Army soldiers and there are all these fat women and men.


Mon, 02/08/2016 - 19:37 | 7158321 Kaiser Sousa
Kaiser Sousa's picture

fucking Saudis....

what a bunch of chicken shit bitches....

go ahead...try Vlad.

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 19:40 | 7158327 Expectorant
Expectorant's picture

Vlad will impale you all..Sunni bitches!!

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 19:42 | 7158332 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  Bring it Bitchez... You'll get NOTHING.

   John Kerry, is such a fucking scumbag! This shit gets twisted like Russia and Iran don't want to deal with the State Department,but have been open to working with them from day-1.

  The blowback on this debacle is going to be epic.

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 19:43 | 7158334 ThroxxOfVron
ThroxxOfVron's picture

It remains to be seen whether Russia merely routs and bombs the 'opposition' back to the Turkish and Saudi borders or chases them right into Turkey and S.A. and continues to bomb and shell them in these inucbator/sanctuaries.

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 19:42 | 7158335 Supafly
Supafly's picture

I can't believe how willing they are to spill somebody else's blood.  And for what, really?  Scum.

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