Road To World War III: Turkish Army Enters Syria After Second Day Of Shelling As Saudi Warplanes Arrive

Tyler Durden's picture

Update: The following video depicts the aftermath of the shelling, which has reportedly claimed the lives of at least two civilians.

(as RT reports, "a video released by the Syrian Kurdish news agency ANHA and obtained by Ruptly shows damaged buildings and people rushing to take care of the wounded in the village of Maryamayn near the town of Afrin")

Update: Reports indicate the Turkish army has crossed the border into Syria.

"The Syrian government says Turkish forces were believed to be among 100 gunmen it said entered Syria on Saturday accompanied by 12 pick-up trucks mounted with heavy machine guns, in an ongoing supply operation to insurgents fighting Damascus," Reuters reports. "The operation of supplying ammunition and weapons is continuing via the Bab al-Salama crossing to the Syrian area of Azaz," the Assad government says.

Meanwhile, since all that would take to unleash a full-blown war is for some Russian to be unexpectedly blown up, events like this do not inspire much confidence in the Syrian "ceasefire":

On Saturday, the geopolitical world was shocked when Turkey began shelling Aleppo, where the Syrian opposition has its back against the wall in the face of an aggressive advance by Hezbollah and the IRGC supported, of course, by Russian airstrikes.

To be sure, everyone knew Ankara and Riyadh would have to do something quick if they wanted to preserve the rebellion. Their proxies are being rolled up rapidly by Hassan Nasrallah’s army and Vladimir Putin’s air force juggernaut. But few expected the escalation would come so quickly.

But Recep Tayyip Erdogan is unpredictable (just ask the lone surviving pilot of the Su-24 Turkey shot down in November) and this weekend, he decided that there’s no time like the present when it comes to starting World War III.

Officially, Turkey says it’s shelling Kurdish positions in Syria in self defense. It’s all about securing the border against hostiles, Ankara says. Of course the idea that the YPG are set to invade Turkey is laughable. The Syrian Kurds have secured enough space in their own country to declare an autonomous proto-state, and they needn’t aspire to capturing Turkish territory.

“They are abusing U.S. support to capture land from the opposition,”a Turkish official said, reflecting Ankara's anger at the fact that Russia and Hezbollah's offensive is making it easier for the Kurds to consolidate their gains. “The U.S. should tell them to stop rather than telling Turkey to stop.”

But for Erdogan, that’s precisely the problem. Ankara fears the YPG’s gains will embolden the PKK militarily and the HDP politically and last June’s elections clearly suggest that an emboldened Kurdish minority has the power to shake up the political scene.

And so, Turkey is set to take the fight to Syria in the name of fighting “terrorists”, which for Erdogan, means eradicating the Kurds. As we noted on Saturday, the challenge for Ankara and Riyadh is this: 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.

Incredibly, Turkey seems less concerned about the optics than we thought. In short, Erdogan looks as though he’s prepared to simply enter the war on the pretext that Turkey needs to roll back the YPG which, you’re reminded is explicitly backed by the US.

In a way that makes sense. You can’t very well shell Aleppo and use ISIS as an excuse. The group’s presence isn’t large enough in the area. But what you can do is say “the PKK are terrorists, they’re allied with the YPG who are in Aleppo, and therefore, we need to shell Aleppo.”

(Saif al Dawle neighborhood of Aleppo)

Put in the simplest possible terms, what Erdogan is really doing is trying to reopen supply lines closed by Russia and Iran by wiping out Kurdish forces who dominate the northern border with Turkey.

The shelling continued on Sunday. "The Turkish army shelled positions held by Kurdish-backed militia in northern Syria for a second day on Sunday, killing two fighters," Reuters reports, citing the admittedly dubious Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The YPG controls nearly all of Syria's northern frontier with Turkey, and has been a close ally of the United States in the campaign against Islamic State in Syria, but Ankara views the group as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade-old insurgency for autonomy in southeast Turkey."

Jaysh al-Thuwwar, an allied group warned Turkey against further attacks, saying if the country "has goals in our dear nation, we will defend our land and our people, and view it as a hostile party". Again, this comes from the very same groups the US is overtly supporting with arms and air power. So not the CIA-sponsored opposition. Turkey is shelling fighters who literally have the clearance to call in US airstrikes from warplanes that, in an irony of ironies, are flying from Incirlik, the Turkish air base. 

And speaking of Incirlik, the Saudis are moving into position. 

They're also conducting "exercises" dubbed "North Thunder" or, "Road North." Here's SPA (translated): 

Witnessing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the next few hours the arrival of troops participating in the military exercise largest and most important in the history of the region, "Raad north," In the King Khalid Military City Hafr al-Batin in the northern kingdom will be implemented exercise which is the largest military maneuver in terms of the number of countries, with the participation of 20 Arab, Islamic and friendly country, in addition to the Peninsula shield forces, and these countries are: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain, Senegal, Sudan, Kuwait, Maldives, Morocco , Pakistan, Chad, Tunisia, the moon, Djibouti, Oman, Qatar, Malaysia, Egypt, Mauritania, Mauritius, in addition to the Peninsula shield forces. Islands constitute Raad north, the largest military exercise of its kind in terms of the number of participating countries, and military equipment quality of weapons and military equipment diverse and sophisticated, including fighter jets from different models reflect the large quantitative and qualitative spectrum, which show him those forces, as well as the participation of a wide range of artillery and tanks, infantry and air defense systems, naval forces, in a simulation of the highest level of high alert for the armies of the countries 20 participation. 


Exercise Raad North represents a clear message to the Saudi brothers and brothers and friends of the participating countries stand united to face all challenges and to maintain peace and stability in the region, in addition to the emphasis on many of the goals, all in full readiness circle and maintain the peace and security of the region and the world . 


Analysts say that the exercise Raad North confirms that the leaders of the participating countries, are fully in line with the vision of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the need to protect the peace and stability in the region.

A lot of words to say this: "We're flexing our muscles on the way to invading Syria." 

"What is present now is aircraft that are part of the Saudi forces," Brigadier General Ahmed al-Asiri told Al Arabiya News Channel on Sunday, referencing the Saudi presence at Incirlik. "The kingdom is ready to participate in any ground operations that the coalition (against ISIS) may agree to carry out in Syria," he added.

Remember, Turkey also shelled the Syrian army on Saturday

“Turkish artillery shelled Syrian territory, targeting Syrian Kurdish positions and the positions of the Syrian Arab Army,” SANA news agency reported, citing a letter from Damascus to the UN. Expect those attacks to continue in the name of "self defense."

Meanwhile, the Russians aren't letting up. Aleppo will be recaptured and that, as they say, is that.

"Russia is determined to create facts on the ground, and when they have accomplished this, then they will invite the West to fight a common enemy, this is ISIS," Norbert Roettgen, head of the foreign affairs committee in the German parliament says, underscoring our contention that Russia is determined to negotiate from a position of absolute strength. "Let's be clear about what this agreement does. It allows Russia's assault on Aleppo to continue for another week," John McCain exclaimed. "Mr Putin is not interested in being our partner. He wants to shore up the Assad regime, he wants to establish Russia as a major power in the Middle East, he wants to use Syria as a live fire exercise for Russia’s modernizing military."

Right. And America is seemingly powerless to stop him.

In the short term, the only question now is this: how long will it be before Turkey or Saudi Arabia kills a Hezbollah fighter or an IRGC general? 

Or worse: what happens when a Russian ends up dead at the hands of the region's Sunni powers?

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__Usury__'s picture
__Usury__ (not verified) Feb 14, 2016 9:46 AM

rape pillage plunder.........please dont worry, its just capitalism.....

Looney's picture

... Awww... joint military exercises...

Yet again, no mentioning of the number of troops, so it it’s safe to assume that each Arab country is mightily represented by exactly ONE RAGHEAD.

BTW, their version of the “joint military exercises” is nothing more than a Zumba class with a whining mullah for music. ;-)


philipat's picture

OK, so do we really want to go into a world war by believing the Turks, Saudis and Americans? Um, not me thanks.....Interesting how Putin and Russia have taken the moral high ground?

NoDecaf's picture

"The moon"?

Anyone else catch that?

Looney's picture

Yep! Twas hilarious!  ;-)


CheapBastard's picture

Turkey's bombing a sovereigh nation [for no reason] is an act of war, isn't it?

Father Thyme's picture
Father Thyme (not verified) CheapBastard Feb 14, 2016 10:38 AM

We're closer than ever to destroying the "rabbits'" r-strategy cathedral and allowing K-strategy "wolf" population to once again flourish. 

R-breeders are city people. They're Blue-state. They're Democrats. They're effeminate and corrupt. City people are utterly disgusting to any red-blooded American patriot.

K-breeder, Red-state, bitter-clinger folks will survive. We can skin a buck and run a trot line. As long as your K-intelligent enough to know what PF1000 means.

Even so, come Lord Vishnu. The grace of our Fallout Shelter be with you. Amen. The End.

xavi1951's picture


Reminds of how U.S. and Russia got into the surrogate wars of Vietnam and Afghanistan.  Russia backed the VC and U.S. backed the Mujahidin.  I don't see WWIII though, just a lot of loosers and more migrants.

Soul Glow's picture

Finance will collapse before WWIII.  It won't start for a year or so.  Syria is small time, it's the last boarder war before the game goes live.  Russia will just EMP Riyadh and they'll be stuck in the sand.

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

The Middle East is typically most stable when there is a war of attrition going on between 2 roughly equally matched regional powers.  Also, those regional powers need to be equally backed by the nations possessing the world's largest export arms markets.  It's kind of a proving ground for the latest and greatest US/Soviet weapons systems, but in terms of casualties, it's 95% ragheads doing the dying.  The 'heavies' do it for business and sport, and to keep the ragheads busy killing each other rather than turning the jihadis loose on the civilized world.  During the 80s, this conflict of need was Iran-Iraq.  Now, it looks like the Wahabis and Shiites are gonna square off.  Will be good for the endless war military complex over here, maybe suck in a few more jihadis that would otherwise be bombing inside the US, and provide a nice supporting bid in the oil market.  This is how we do!

WTFRLY's picture


chumbawamba's picture

The Sauds and Turks will most likely STFU when the Chinese threaten to get involved for real.

I am Chumbawamba.

Stuart's picture

As revealed by a Pentagon official, the Turks started to intervene aggressively when Russians blew up ISISs' oil shipments heading through Turkey.  This says it all.  Turkey is complicit with ISIS.  Wonder how that makes France feel.  A fellow NATO member complicit in acitities directly financing and supporting ISIS terror worldwide.  How many French citizens were killed....   Erdogan is a ego maniac SOB.  Turkey needs to get kicked out of NATO.  If they or the Saudis send any troops in, I hope the Russians bomb them into the stoneage.   The half dozen true moderate rebels were carjacked.  There are no moderate rebels left, no moderate anything left.  Al Qaeda affiliates or ISIS.  Russia is bombing both, albeit to largely support Assad, yes, but still they're bombing those who attacked on 9/11 in the process.  Stupid Western media can't get its head out of its ass to see this.   Instead they want another failed state like Libya.   Ya, that worked out real well.  

Ignatius's picture

"...but still they're bombing those who attacked on 9/11..."

Try "those who ostensibly attacked on 9/11."

Manthong's picture

“all that would take to unleash a full-blown war is for some Russian to be unexpectedly blown up, events like this do not inspire much confidence in the Syrian "ceasefire":”

If memory serves, some Russian already got blown up.

Don’t think for a moment that the logistics for the Russian version of “shock and awe” are not in full swing at this very moment.

Methinks that Gollum and wild caught Salman are going to be wondering where their “friends” went in the not too distant future.

Here's a happy story that illustrates a Russian approach to a real problem…


strannick's picture

No wonder we love Putin and Russia.

It's what the west once was.

They stood up to and kicked out the NWO

ilion's picture

This further escalation should take Gold easily to 1300.

macholatte's picture

As I understand it, China has cornered the popcorn market.

Never let a crisis go to waste.
– Orville Redenbaker

turtle's picture

Again zero mention of little Israel in all of this. Thank you ziohedge.

TheObsoleteMan's picture

Going out night clubbing on Saturday night anywhere isn't cheap. Where are all of these poor, down trodden refugees getting all of this money to go out clubbing all over Europe? Something very fishy going on here.

Ignatius's picture

I think the whole "muslim rape" meme in Europe is a psyop and propaganda.

Middle Pillar's picture

Look up "Rotherham", Ig-noramus.

Implied Violins's picture

All it takes are a few bad apples moved in with the masses to point blame at ALL of them. I think there's a concerted effort around the world to make ALL religions look bad, but especially Islam at this time. Part of the 'destroy sovereignty/destroy individuality/destroy all belief systems' program so people buy into the globalist 'solution' once it is forced on us. BTW: I do think Islam is a mind virus, but that doesn't make all followers bad people - just badly deluded by the 'program' they were raised to follow.

Baby Bladeface's picture
Baby Bladeface (not verified) WordSmith2013 Feb 14, 2016 11:15 PM

Davai, davai, 350 thousands of troops out there? Where are they hiding?

Adahy's picture

Gotta' get the pawns lined up on their respective sides before you have them kill each other at the behest of the king, otherwise they let their humanity get in the way.

ThroxxOfVron's picture

China woud be smart to sit it out for a few years.  There is a mad fortune to be made in providing loans for supplies and munitions produced in Chinese factories.

This is how the financiers and war profiteers/corporatists in the U.S. made coin before building the political consensus necessary to being the public around to supporting direct U.S. engagement in hostilities in WW2.

Something to consider here is that Pakistan is on that list of Islamic countries engaging in these exorcises.

Pakistan has the bomb.   

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Except last time House of Saud listed Pakistan as an ally, Pakistan said "This is the first we've heard about it".

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

If I were China, I'd sit back for a bit, too.  Timing the entry into a World War, the ones who come in later tend to do better beyond the war's conclusion.

KesselRunin12Parsecs's picture
KesselRunin12Parsecs (not verified) Government needs you to pay taxes Feb 14, 2016 7:17 PM

LOL ~ China's 'entry' into a WW means that they just grab Taiwan while nobody's looking.

StychoKiller's picture

Why stop with Taiwan?  Japan has few military forces right now...Meh, keep going and grab the Phillipines as well!

HopefulCynic's picture

Not likely, besides there is no way the Chinese will threaten to get involved now. And the mighty bear is hiding in it's cave. Syria has artillery as well right? Why hasn't the Syrian army responded with some sheling of it's own? 

weburke's picture

saudis, in their planning, they were assuming by this time to have crushed yemen and by now they would look scary. 

strannick's picture

Saudi and Erodgan Turkey -with American support for that matter-represent the worst in modern nationhood. Putins Russia represents the best. Asses will be kicked.

FYI, Saudi pilots, according to military who trained/trained with them, are THE lamest in the world. They don't even know who Maverick and Iceman are. 

fleur de lis's picture

If the Saudis or Turks get overconfident in their destruction of civilians or cities, and hit a Russian base or convoy, they will be vaporized faster than they can call back to base for cover. It won't be much better if they hit the Iranians, they will double down and lash back hard.

Let's see how NATO reacts, and which political unconnected pawns they fool into flying a plane. If they get killed it would only be to use their deaths to escalate hostilities.

That weird story with the US sailors inexplicably finding themselves in hostile territory smells like a potential false flag, like they were set up to be sacrificed.

Thanks a lot, DC.

847328_3527's picture

Putin may have to take Erdogan's war back home to Turkey. I wonder how many Turks support a war of this kind; namely, an unprovoked attack on a neighboring nation.


How many realize there's gonna be some fierce blowback in their direction? If I were a secular Turk, I'd grab my wife and kids and move as far away as possible. Oh yeah, carry those gold bars to my new destination. It's amazing what those yellow bars will buy these days --- freedom and safety especially.

DrewJackson's picture

Think you are giving The Heavies too much credit.....


eforce's picture

WW3 means we have successfully resisted the globalists, as that is what they resort to when we do.

Ignatius's picture

"On Saturday, the geopolitical world was shocked when Turkey began shelling Aleppo..."

It ain't rocket science for a field commander to understand that those guns shelling Aleppo need to be silenced.  This is a crazy and dangerous development. 

Ponder for a moment the ego required to justify juggling humanity's existence as we know it.  Kubrick's character from Dr. Strangelove, General Jack Ripper, was understated.