Turkey Fires On Syrian Army, Kurds, Says "Massive Escalation" In Syria Imminent As Saudis Ready Airstrikes

Tyler Durden's picture

Update: At least two sources confirm that Turkey also fired on the Syrian army on Saturday, an exceptionally provocative move. 

Update: Washington has now weighed in and is asking the Turks to please stop shelling the soldiers the Pentagon is arming.

*  *  *
Even as all sides - including the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and select rebel groups - pretend to be working towards a ceasefire and a diplomatic solution to the five year conflict in Syria, actions speak louder than words, and to put it as succinctly as possible, everyone is still fighting.

In fact, the fighting is more intense than ever. Russia and Hezbollah are closing in on Aleppo, the country’s largest city and a key urban center where rebels are dug in for what amounts to a last stand. If the city is liberated by the government (and yes, “liberated” is more accurate than “falls” because occupied territory belongs to the Syrian government, not to Sunni extremists), Assad will have regained control of the country’s backbone in the west.

That would effectively mean the end of the rebellion and the Gulf monarchies, not to mention Turkey, are not happy about it. “The main battle is about cutting the road between Aleppo and Turkey, for Turkey is the main conduit of supplies for the terrorists,” Assad said in an interview with AFP on Friday.

That supply line has been severed and now, it’s do or die time for the rebels’ Sunni benefactors in Ankara, Riyadh, and Doha. Either intervene or watch as Hezbollah rolls up the opposition under cover of Russian airstrikes, restoring the Assad government and securing the Shiite crescent for the Iranians.

As we documented extensively this week, the Saudis and the Turks are now set to invade. Assad has promised to “confront them”, which of course means that the IRGC and Hassan Nasrallah's army are set to come into direct contact with Turkish and Saudi troops, setting the stage for an all-out sectarian war that will almost invariably end up pitting NATO against the Russians. Note that this is different from Yemen, where Tehran fights via proxies rather than directly against the Saudi military.

On Saturday the stakes were raised when Turkey said Saudi Arabia is set to send warplanes to Incirlik.

As a reminder, access to Incirlik was the carrot Erdogan used last summer to convince NATO to acquiesce to Ankara’s brutal crackdown on the PKK. “Let me wage war against my political rivals, and you can use our airbase,” is a fair approximation of Erdogan’s proposition.

Now, it appears the Saudis are set to use the base as a staging ground for strikes in Syria.

As RT reports, “Saudi Arabia is to deploy military jets and personnel to Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base in the south of the country.”

Of course the excuse is the same as it ever was for everyone involved: the fight against ISIS.

"The deployment is part of the US-led effort to defeat the Islamic State terrorist group," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said. "At every coalition meeting, we have always emphasized the need for an extensive result-oriented strategy in the fight against the Daesh terrorist group,” he added.

Cavusoglu was speaking to the Yeni Safak newspaper after addressing the 52nd Munich Security Conference where over 60 foreign and defense ministers are gathered (see here for more from the meeting).  

"If we have such a strategy, then Turkey and Saudi Arabia may launch a ground operation,” he added.

Remember that Ankara’s primary concern in the country is ensuring that the YPG (i.e. the Kurdish opposition that Erdogan equates with the PKK and thus with “terrorism”) doesn’t end up declaring a sovereign state on Turkey’s border. That, Erdogan fears, may embolden Kurds in Turkey who are already pushing for more autonomy.

In short: somehow, Turkey and Saudi Arabia need to figure out how to spin an attack on the YPG and an effort to rescue the opposition at Aleppo as an anti-ISIS operation even though ISIS doesn’t have a large presence in the area.

How they plan to do that is anyone’s guess, but the following tweets should tell you everything you need to know about where this is headed. 

As you can see, Turkey has begun shelling Aleppo in what is indeed a very serious escalation that will likely prompt a Russian response.

"Shelling was reported at Menagh air base, a former Syrian Air Force facility that Kurds seized from Islamist rebels just days ago, and at three other positions between the airport and Turkish border," The Independent reports. "The air base has been a key target for several parties in the Syrian civil war since 2012, being besieged by rebels for almost a year until it was seized by a coalition including an early form of Isis and the al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra in August 2013 [and] it remained in rebel hands until Thursday, when Kurdish PYD fighters capitalised on the diversion caused by Bashar al-Assad’s forces and Russian air strikes attacking rebel areas to the south to seize Menagh." 

PM Davutoglu says the shelling was in line with "rules of engagement."

"A Kurdish official confirmed the shelling of Menagh air base in the northern Aleppo countryside, which he said had been captured by the Kurdish-allied Jaysh al-Thuwwar group rather than the Kurdish YPG militia," Reuters says, adding that "Both are part of the Syria Democratic Forces alliance." That group, you're reminded, was the subject of intense scrutiny late last year as we documented in our classic piece "Full Metal Retard: US Launches "Performance-Based" Ammo Paradrop Program For Make-Believe 'Syrian Arabs.'" It's the same group the US has been paradropping weapons to

To sum up, Turkey is deliberately attempting to reverse gains made by the US-backed Kurds in an area that is under siege by the Russians and Iran. Or, more simply: utter chaos.

Here's what happened according to pro-AKP (i.e. take it with a grain, or maybe a whole shaker full of salt) Anadolu Agency:

The Turkish military responded to an artillery attack on an army base close to the Syrian border on Saturday, a military source said. According to the unnamed source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media, the Akcabaglar base in Kilis province was shelled by the forces of the “PYD/PKK” -- referring to a Syrian Kurdish group and its affiliate PKK, which has waged war on Turkey since 1984.

 

The shelling came from Azaz in Aleppo province, which has been the scene of recent heavy fighting. Turkish forces reacted within rules of engagement that provide for an immediate response to any border threat, the source said. There was no further description of the form of response or detail on when the incident occurred.

 

In a separate incident, the army also responded to mortar fire from Syrian government troops on a Turkish police station in Calibogazi, Hatay province, at 2.55 p.m. local time (1255GMT). Again, there was no information on the type of response.

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e-recep's picture

Turks and Saudis are just bluffing. They can't dare shit.

Looney's picture

Just a sidenote…

King Salman is supposed to visit Russia in the middle of March. HILARIOUS!!!  ;-)

Looney

Looney's picture

I’d love to see how the Saudis cut their oil production after the Russians shoot down their plane… or two.  ;-)

Looney

Took Red Pill's picture

"somehow, Turkey and Saudi Arabia need to figure out how to spin an attack on the YPG and an effort to rescue the opposition at Aleppo as an anti-ISIS operation even though ISIS doesn’t have a large presence in the area."

How do they usually do it? False flags of course!

Latina Lover's picture

Normally I would assume that Turkey and Saudi  Arabia are chicken shits that would run away from any confrontation with Russia. 

 

Problem is that the USSA is likely egging them on from behind the scenes, Neocons/Neoliberal humanitarian bombers playing their usual dirty games. It wouldn't surprise me if Saudi Arabia sent a probing attack just to test the Russian systems. Remember, the western financial system is falling apart, so the banksters need a diversion to focus blame on someone else for their criminality.

Money Counterfeiter's picture

You telling me I get to kill Zionist, and you will pay me?  Sign me up.

BaBaBouy's picture

SYRIA WorldWar::: APPARENTLY NOTHING has been learned from the Muslim Iraq Invasion By USA  4 Trillion Dollars+ Debacle...

847328_3527's picture

Look at the bright side; the USA MIC is supplying weapons to all sides so that's bullish for MIC jobs sector as they sell or dump all that outdated napalm, etc on muslims, while creating a demand for new and better death rays.

 

The funny thing is to watch MSM interview some muslims in America who are upset with Trump's immigration possible proposals, while completely ignoring the very real and present ongoing bloodbath of muslims in the ME.

 

Odd NPR, and the other MSM WaPo an dHuffPo don't interview muslims in America about that.

strannick's picture

We will have to assume Erodgan and the Kings of the Koran will behave like prudent statesmen, and with careful forethought will do what's best for the world.

That's not likely wiith Arthur Ash's hand up their asses moving their hands and lips.

America ruins the world to rule it.

God Bless Vladimuir Putin.

WTFRLY's picture

JOO WORLD ORDER LOADING... ... 72% ... ... ... (UNPACKING SYRIA SURPRISE)

SEE? WHAT DID I SAY JUST YESTERDAY...

FALSE FLAGGOTRY WARNING: ZIONISTS WILL STIR UP UKRAINE NEXT.

Soul Glow's picture

Did this just happen while I was cooking breakfast?

weburke's picture

Aleppo is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world; it has been inhabited since perhaps as early as the 6th millennium BC.[10] Excavations at Tell as-Sawda and Tell al-Ansari, just south of the old city of Aleppo, show that the area was occupied since at least the latter part of the 3rd millennium BC;[11] and this is also when Aleppo is first mentioned in cuneiform tablets unearthed in Ebla andMesopotamia, in which it is noted for its commercial and military proficiency.[12] Such a long history is probably due to its being a strategic trading point midway between the Mediterranean Sea and Mesopotamia (i.e. modern Iraq).

The city's significance in history has been its location at the end of the Silk Road, which passed through central Asia and Mesopotamia. When the Suez Canal was inaugurated in 1869, trade was diverted to sea and Aleppo began its slow decline.

Keyser's picture

The Turks and Saudis know they only have 11 more months to complete the overthrow of Assad...  Trump won't keep this farse going, Bernie would shut it down too and Hillary, well, we can only hope she is behind bars because she is the only hope the MIC has of keeping the Syrian conflict alive... 

TheFutureReset's picture

How is saudi going to get their jets to Turkey? They can't fly direct. They have to be refueled inflight, or stop off in Egypt. Is the US helping saudi with air refueling?

Max UK's picture

Bingo. The Shia crescent cuts the middle east in half; by land and airspace. It is a catastrophic situation for the ziocons.

J S Bach's picture

This is why so many of "those in the know" last week bet that oil prices would soon rise dramatically.

What a god-damned criminal world we live in.

WordSmith2013's picture
A Mideast Conflagration is Being
Stealthily Set Up by the NWO Cabal

 

http://stateofthenation2012.com/?p=31003

McCormick No. 9's picture

Don't be surprised if there is a sudden and surprising cease-fire. Israel is the king of the North. When WW3 is started, it will be started by Israel, not Turkey. I could be wrong. Anything is possible.

Manthong's picture

Gollum Erdogan thinks NATO has his crooked little back.

Since NATO cares not for the rule of law or truth, he will be in for a rude awakening as the Presidential Crib goes up in a puff of smoke.

Chief Wonder Bread's picture

check out latest news,

Antonin Scalia just died.

Sorry about threadjack.

BlindMonkey's picture

Maybe Barry will hire the best constitutional scholar that he knows for the gig, himself.   

Bokkenrijder's picture

Putin outmanoeuvred? Will he call the bluff of the Saudi's and Turks?Will he pull back his air force out of Latakia? Of will he 'sell' (i.e. lend) some of those S400's to Assad and allow him to blow the Saudi's out of the sky?

I'm missing the picture at the end with Putin wearing dark sunglasses and eating popcorn...

weburke's picture

OH SURE

russia will only fire some missles

HEZBOLLAH? taking a city? oh come on.  impossible.

weburke's picture

the israelis have wanted to trash hezbollocks. they must have set this up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJ9r8LMU9bQ

weburke's picture

why would the alawites die to save allepo and their enemies the arabs? no way. sure send in hezboallah. alawites are not muslim. Shiites from saudi arabia know it.

eforce's picture

Turkey may end up getting booted out of NATO.

Bokkenrijder's picture

I doubt that. I get the impression that Turkey is the proxy for the US/UK/EU/NATO.

They are allowed to play dirty (downing that SU24 and now with these artillery attacks) and then Obama will gallantly give Turkey a slap on the wrist in public, but at the same time the weapons deliveries to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the 'Free' Syrian Army continue.

HopefulCynic's picture

Uhu, Alavi are not muslim, just like Sunni aren't muslim.

weburke's picture

why would the alawites die to save allepo and their enemies the arabs? no way. sure send in hezboallah. alawites are not muslim. Shiites from saudi arabia know it.

Joe Trader's picture

I'm confused - why do the saudis & turks think they're invicible to the S-400s?

KesselRunin12Parsecs's picture

Drop your bombs between the minarets

down the Casbah way! <<<[EDIT: some dickhead just downvoted THE CLASH ~ lol]

The Blank Stare's picture

Guatemala
Honduras
Poland
100 years war
TV re-run invasion
Death squad Salvador
Afghanistan
Meditation
Old Chinese flu
Kick junk
What else
Can a poor worker do?

Dancing Disraeli's picture

Didn't downvote you, but the Clash wasn't that great.  The Damned were better.

BarkingCat's picture

the Clash were like a silver coin in a pile of shit.

Few good songs and a lot of crap.

jeff montanye's picture

london calling is the best double album.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

They don't think they're invincible. They know and have agreed to sacrificing some planes, to test the S400 for the US and IDF. QED.

johngaltfla's picture

Janet Yellen may yet get her wish. A nuclear war definitely will stop trading from opening on the Nikkei, Shanghai, and NYSE for quite a while. Let's call it a somewhat permanent trading halt.

johngaltfla's picture

FYI, Syria just started shelling Turkish military positions where the fire was coming from.

Shit is now officially real.

#GotGold

Element's picture

A barrage of long range rocket artillery from Turkey, alone, could kill that S-400 and destroy aircraft on that air base in minutes. There are maybe 100 times more rockets available to hit it with than the Russians and Syrians have SAMs to defend it. When you have to use a SAM to defend a SAM you're screwed. The S400 intimidates no one, the Turks and kikes and Saudis won't even be concerned much about it, it's a mere target to be circumvented and killed. The only people who yap about the allegedly mighty S400 have no idea how exposed and incapable it is against the weapons all around it that are ready to destroy it in minutes. It's been sitting there as a symbolic Russian 'threat' for months, so I guarantee you the Turks (and yids) have the EM spectrum fully covered with electronic warfare kit and strike weapons it has no hope of stopping or surviving. Don't kid yourself.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

element lets play a war game..you the blue team use arty to kill my s400,  I as the red team , drop a nuke armed cruise missile down your throat.

now where were we?

Element's picture

Are you seriously trying to say that's a Russian military option?  haha!

Prior to and during WWII, all the world's large and middle powers had extensive chemical and biological weapons and delivery mechanism (bombs and shells the artillery and bombers), and not one of them was used in that conflict, not matter how viscous and brutal it got. They dared not do it. They were prepared to face a complete city and battlefield obliteration and many millions killed and a total defeat and surrender, and even risk a noose at the end of it all, in preference to using the millions of chemical and biological weapons they had, which were only there to deter anyone else from being tempted to ever use them.

That's how reality actually worked. And works today, as well. If you think people will feel different about using nukes, especially Russia, I strongly suggest you rethink that, as they will not dare to do any such thing, no matter what they might say or threaten, or what people like you want to pretend represents an option.

Turkey, or even someone else will smash that S400, if and as they need to and likewise destroy every Russian jet parked on that airbase if they need to, and there's actually nothing the Russians can do to stop it. Their retaliation will not be nuclear, chem, or bio, so quit with the silly doom fantasy scenarios.

perchprism's picture

If the Turks destroy the cruiser-based s400 Incirlik will go bye-bye.

Paveway IV's picture

Wrong. We'll all go bye-bye.

"SKYKING SKYKING, do not answer..."

Or SKYBIRD for you old SAC bastards - you know who you are. And I tip my glass once again to Maj. Harold Hering. I will never forget.

Element's picture

Wet the bed much?

Ships have been hit by missiles, mines and torpedoes many times since WWII, some of them to US ships, and did the US nuke any one for that? No. Do try to grow up. The world doesn't work like that, if it did, no one would be here, since about the mid 1950s.

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/03/03/russian-admiral-orders-ukr...

What makes you think the Russians are immune to having their entire fleet wiped out? You clowns can pretend to be Neanderthals all you want, the chest beating impresses no one, it won't make a difference. 

jeff montanye's picture

the kikes as you call them seem unlikely to attack the russian air force.  the turkish air force and the saudi air force and whatever associated firepower those countries can manage will be bested by the russians, imo, should it come to that.  i'm thinking the rulers of both countries are less secure in their office than is putin.  

unlike the dollar and the u.s. military, this won't take twenty years to play out.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alastair-crooke/syria-putin-assad_b_916999...

but what does he know? he's just mi-6, inferior to your expertise.

Element's picture

Jeff, you're suggesting I should respect other people's analysis and opinions on key matters.

Well I don't (though I may sometimes agree with them).

That should have been obvious to you by now. Appeals to authority are not going to work on me.

I've told you that before too, that I don't polarize like that. Are you really unable to grasp that? I mean, clearly most here are totally unable to, but I sort of figured you understood that by now.

Maybe not.

 

PS: I have no more respect for the 'kikes' than any other state. I don't dislike them enough to hate them either, or give a stuff about them either way. If they shit in their own nest, they will live with it, and I'm OK with that level of natural justice. ... and no, I won't follow huffpo links.  ;-)

UNCOMPROMISED's picture

These fucking threads get so old that the comments extend out to fucking infinity and you cannot read them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The website owners do not GAS about the members reading experience!

Cheap juice skimping and skimping. Fuck it!