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Russia's Trap: Luring Sunnis Into War

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Burak Bekdil via The Gatestone Institute,

  • Washington should think more than twice about allowing Turkey and Saudi Arabia, its Sunni allies, militarily to engage their Shiite enemies in Syria. Allowing Sunni supremacists into a deeper sectarian war is not a rational way to block Russian expansion in the eastern Mediterranean. And it certainly will not serve America's interests.

  • Turkey and Saudi Arabia are too weak militarily to damage Russia's interests. It is a Russian trap -- and precisely what the Russians are hoping their enemies will fall into.

After Russia's increasingly bold military engagement in war-torn Syria in favor of President Bashar al-Assad and the Shiite bloc, the regional Sunni powers -- Turkey and its ally, Saudi Arabia -- have felt nervous and incapable of influencing the civil war in favor of the many Islamist groups fighting Assad's forces.

Most recently, the Turks and Saudis, after weeks of negotiations, decided to flex their muscles and join forces to engage a higher-intensity war in the Syrian theater. This is dangerous for the West. It risks provoking further Russian and Iranian involvement in Syria, and sparking a NATO-Russia confrontation.

After Turkey, citing violation of its airspace, shot down a Russian Su-24 military jet on Nov. 24, Russia has used the incident as a pretext to reinforce its military deployments in Syria and bomb the "moderate Islamists." Those are the Islamists who fight Assad's forces and are supported by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The Russian move included installing the advanced S-400 long-range air and anti-missile defense systems.

Fearing that the new player in the game could vitally damage their plans to install a Sunni regime in Damascus, Turkey and Saudi Arabia now say they are ready to challenge the bloc consisting of Assad's forces, Russia, and Shiite militants from Iran and Lebanon.

As always, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu spoke in a way that forcefully reminded Turkey-watchers of the well-known phrase: Turkey's bark is worse than its bite. "No one," he said on Feb. 9, "should forget how the Soviet forces, which were a mighty, super force during the Cold War and entered Afghanistan, then left Afghanistan in a servile situation. Those who entered Syria today will also leave Syria in a servile way." In other words, Davutoglu was telling the Russians: Get out of Syria; we are coming in. The Russians did not even reply. They just kept on bombing.


Will direct military involvement in Syria by Turkey and Saudi Arabia spark a NATO-Russia confrontation? Pictured: Russian President Vladimir Putin with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (then prime minister), meeting in Istanbul on December 3, 2012. (Image source:kremlin.ru)

Turkey keeps threatening to increase its military role in Syria. Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan pledged that Turkey will no longer be in a "defensive position" over maintaining its national security interests amid developments in Syria. "Can any team," he said, "play defensively at all times but still win a match? ... You can win nothing by playing defensively and you can lose whatever you have. There is a very dynamic situation in the region and one has to read this situation properly. One should end up withdrawn because of concerns and fears."

Is NATO member Turkey going to war in order to fulfill its Sunni sectarian objectives? And are its Saudi allies joining in? If the Sunni allies are not bluffing, they are already giving signals of what may eventually turn into a new bloody chapter in the sectarian proxy war in Syria.

First, Saudi Arabia announced that it was sending fighter jets to the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey, where U.S. and other allied aircraft have been hitting Islamic State strongholds inside Syria. Saudi military officials said that their warplanes would intensify aerial operations in Syria.

Second, and more worryingly, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Turkey and Saudi Arabia could engage in ground operations inside Syria. He also said that the two countries had long been weighing a cross-border operation into Syria -- with the pretext of fighting Islamic State, but in fact hoping to bolster the Sunni groups fighting against the Shiite bloc -- but they have not yet made a decision.

In contrast, Saudi officials look more certain about a military intervention. A Saudi brigadier-general said that a joint Turkish-Saudi ground operation in Syria was being planned. He even said that Turkish and Saudi military experts would meet in the coming days to finalize "the details, the task force and the role to be played by each country."

In Damascus, the Syrian regime said that any ground operation inside Syria's sovereign borders would "amount to aggression that must be resisted."

It should be alarming for the West if Turkey and Saudi Arabia, two important U.S. allies, have decided to fight a strange cocktail of enemies on Syrian territory, including Syrian forces, radical jihadists, various Shiite forces and, most critically, Russia -- all in order to support "moderate" Islamists. That may be the opening of a worse disaster in Syria, possibly spanning over the next 10 to 15 years.

The new Sunni adventurism will likely force Iran to augment its military engagement in Syria. It will create new tensions between Turkey-Saudi Arabia and Iraq's Shiite-dominated government. It may also spread and destabilize other Middle Eastern theaters, where the Sunni bloc, consisting of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, may have to engage in new proxy wars with the Shiite bloc plus Russia.

Washington should think more than twice about allowing its Sunni allies militarily to engage their Shiite enemies. This may be a war with no winners but plenty of casualties and collateral damage. Allowing Sunni supremacists into a deeper sectarian war is not a rational way to block Russian expansion in the eastern Mediterranean. And it certainly will not serve America's interests.

Turkey with Saudi Arabia are too weak militarily to damage Russia's interests. It is a Russian trap -- and precisely what the Russians are hoping their enemies will fall into.

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Tue, 02/16/2016 - 23:35 | 7195291 markmotive
markmotive's picture

The west can't live without enemies.

Swedish general warns of 'upcoming war'

http://www.planbeconomics.com/2016/01/west-cant-live-without-enemies-swe...

Tue, 02/16/2016 - 23:41 | 7195317 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Dear Vlad,
Barry is still flexible. In fact, he is more flexible now than ever. If you would like, he will do the pretzel right now on skype.
Yours truly, Lucifers' Minions

Tue, 02/16/2016 - 23:47 | 7195331 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

"Allowing Sunni supremacists into a deeper sectarian war is not a rational way to block Russian expansion in the eastern Mediterranean. And it certainly will not serve America's interests."

Since when has any of this been in America's interest. This is a war to benefit the bankers and globalists.

Tue, 02/16/2016 - 23:55 | 7195369 __Usury__
__Usury__'s picture

 

 

'Russian expansion'.........thats a good one.......

How many Russian military bases located outside of Russia??

How many US Military bases located outside of the US?

 

Tue, 02/16/2016 - 23:58 | 7195386 iggenFlot
iggenFlot's picture

No one wants a Russian military base on their soil, but a hundred or so countries want an American presence.

See how that works, Bob?

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 00:03 | 7195399 Dead Canary
Dead Canary's picture

I think Obama should invade Turkey from the rear. Maybe Greece would help.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 00:09 | 7195406 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Obama's already invading penty of shit from the rear.  Syria, Libya, the Constitution, Reggie's ass... the list goes on and on.

Please don't bring Greece into this.  It's not even a challenge for me to find metaphors for "invading shit from the rear" if you do that.

 

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 00:30 | 7195470 macholatte
macholatte's picture

After Turkey, citing violation of its airspace, shot down a Russian Su-24 military jet on Nov. 24, Russia has used the incident as a pretext to reinforce its military deployments

 

Pretext? That would imply that Vlad had his bombers flying unescorted missions because he was asking for trouble. He spent a great deal of time and effort informing everyone that hs bombers were on the job and to leave them alone but did nothing to protect them until Turkey acted.

Was it a Ruskie false flag??

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 00:45 | 7195502 trulz4lulz
trulz4lulz's picture

No its just Russia letting his overly confindent opponents play loosing hands. Id love to play a game of 5 card with the guy.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 00:58 | 7195540 xavi1951
xavi1951's picture

LURE?  They are idiots that follow a caravan raider and call him a prophet.  How do you lure idiots into doing something they would do anyway.  Sunni/Shia all the same.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 01:05 | 7195564 xavi1951
xavi1951's picture

Thats Shiite.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 02:36 | 7195725 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture

 

 

Poor Josh Bolton and the neocon Gatestone Institute's plan will fall apart in the Middle East if Russia maintains the Syrian state:

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/about/

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 07:01 | 7195947 eforce
eforce's picture

Saudi's need to send their army to their southern border, the Houthis are beating the crap out of them.

Also Saudi's are a monarchy and therefore on the globalist chopping board, Turkey becoming a dictatorship may also.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 07:15 | 7195965 Bokkenrijder
Bokkenrijder's picture

A couple of questions spring to mind;

*) can Russia pay for a military engagement with oil at ± $30 and 1 Rubble at ± 77 for 1 Dollar?

*) will Russia use those S400's and shoot down a NATO (Turkey) or Gulf State (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE) aircraft?

*) what will Russia do if European ground and air forces start to meddle in the conflict, using "humanitarian reasons" as an excuse?

"Turkey with Saudi Arabia are too weak militarily to damage Russia's interests."

*) true, but is Russia strong enough to play the geopolitics game in a similar fashion that the US has played this game for the last ±100 years?

I simply see this whole (western made!) conflict as a pretence to expand the post WW2 western system (i.e. NATO, debt based fiat currency economies) eastwards.

Wait and see if Merkel (and her EU vassals) can quickly absorb Turkey into the EU, just the way the EU already made an "association treaty" with the Ukraine as a first step for full EU membership.

IMHO it's a race against time: can the EU/US expand quickly enough before the whole financial house of cards and derivatives collapses, or will Russia be able to put down it's foot before it's oil-based economy collapses with oil hovering around $30? Putin probably knows: it's now or never.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 07:45 | 7195986 Debugas
Debugas's picture

Q: can Russia pay for a military engagement with oil at ± $30 and 1 Rubble at ± 77 for 1 Dollar?

A: yes because one needs not money but food, fuel and raw materials to run air compain

 

Q: will Russia use those S400's and shoot down a NATO (Turkey) or Gulf State (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE) aircraft?

A: if they fly into Syrian territory without russian permission then russia will definately shoot them down

 

Q: what will Russia do if European ground and air forces start to meddle in the conflict, using "humanitarian reasons" as an excuse?

A: Russia will not hesitate to fight them back and if necessary will use nukes (recall georgian conflict when asked Putin said that they had concidered most dreadful scenarious read using nukes before they made the decision to engage)

 

Q: is Russia strong enough to play the geopolitics game in a similar fashion that the US has played this game for the last ±100 years?

A: Putin answered many times that russia does not seek to become superpower but from now on will protect its interests in its own sphere of influence

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 08:55 | 7196111 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

All wars are economic events.

 

To vanquish an enemy one must destroy the economy of the enemy.

 

A Nation-State may have abundant Natural Resources. (In fact that is the ONLY INCENTIVE for another belligerent Nation to engage in war in the first place. That, and that alone,is the motive for bellicose action.)

 

If the Nation cannot finance the extraction, refinement, and application of those resources to the War effort then the war is lost.

 

When too many supply chains are disrupted and the economy seizes then the war is lost.

 

You are dreaming as the Russian economy has been damaged through aggressive economic sanctions imposed by the West.

 

In fact the West is behaving as the bellicose belligerent as they seek to control the Energy Resources of the Middle East which is rich in Natural Resources.

 

Case in point...

 

Afghanistan is extremely rich as a source of Mineral Resources. They cannot extract them and cannot finance a war. So they prevail by allowing invasion and then through attrition.

 

And nobody can build infrastructure in a War Zone to extract those resources. So they remain inaccessible throughout any war effort and Afghans resort to Guerrilla Warfare as a resort..

 

While nobody will currently prevail in a land war against Russia, the Bear cannot sustain Foreign Wars with a damaged economy.

 

The Russian Bear,it seems, has got ensnared with another Afghanistan in dealing with Syria.

 

The last time this happened it was Afghanistan alone which was the cause of the economic collapse of the Soviet Union.

 

Perhaps Russia can continue to engage in Syria with a weak economy. Adding Saudi Arabia and Turkey into the mix may just overwhelm the Bear. It fact the odds do not appear as favorable for the Bear as they may seem on the face of it.

 

And that is what the West is banking on and profiteering from.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 09:10 | 7196154 flapdoodle
flapdoodle's picture

Sorry, but you are off the mark on this one.

As long as Russia has ample oil, steel and food, they will easily be able to sustain their efforts.

Their only "weak spot", perhaps, is high tech microelectronic manufacture (e.g. Intel CPUs and ICs), and I'm sure they have been working on mitigating this for some time - and with the Chinese at their back its probably pretty easy...

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 09:26 | 7196191 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

They also had those resources in the 1980s conflict in Afghanistan.

 

They were a First World Power at the time.

 

They crumbled.

 

I realize that Syria has invited them.

 

But Saudi Arabia and Turkey has not.

 

And Russia will be harmed by this.

 

I am sorry.

 

I hate war. I absolutely hate it.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 09:55 | 7196304 Okienomics
Okienomics's picture

Y'all seem to forget that war in the middle east is REALLY GOOD for oil exporters (Russia, Iran and Iraq among them).  Saudi's would benefit too, but not militarily as the princes would shit their robes when confronted with a Russian fighter coming in hot on their 12.  Afghans won war of attrition because they were all-in, I don't see the same coming from the Turks and Saudis over the Damascus.  However, Iran is hardened from the long war with Iraq and decades of sanctions.  And the Euro nations sending troops to Syria?  The only way that gets political support is if they bring all the Syrian mobs back with them.  Not going to happen.

Advantage: Russia.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 10:08 | 7196364 TuPhat
TuPhat's picture

The 1980s conflict in Afghanistan was not as simple as you imply and Russia was not the powerhouse at that time that you are implying either.  The russian economy was in a shambles for many reasons.  The Saudis and Turks are also suffering economically at the current time so your assumptions about them are also wrong.  Hating war does not make your incorrect assumptions right.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 15:31 | 7198039 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

During the late 1970s and early Eighties the former Soviet Union was extremely strong. They were a Space Faring Nation with an operational and staffed Space Stationinorbit...Salyut 6..

 

Even our Military published documents that reported,because of the weakened state of the US Economy, that had the Soviets preemptively struck our Nation with a Limited Nuclear Strike we'd have had no option but to capitulate.

 

The US Economy was on the ropes and staring into the abyss of Economic Collapse due to the Federal Reserve Bank Policies.

 

What saved the USA at that timewas we were the World's largest CREDITOR Nation. (Today we haven't that luxury...but...)

 

The Soviets saw anopportunity toexpandtheirEmpire andinvaded Afghanistan in order to seize the vast Mineral Resources which that region has to offer.

 

THe USA,in response, armed and aided the Northern Alliance Rebels, led by one by the name of Osama Bin Laden. It became known as Charlie Rose's war.

 

The Turks and the Saudis currently have agreements with the government of the United States for Military assistence.

 

Turkey's agreement is through NATO. If they are attacked then we have no choice but to defend them. If a nation attacks a NATO Nation then it is as if they attacked them all.

 

The USA also made agreements with Saudi Arabia backin the middle 1970s if they'd sell Oil in strictly US Dollars. By treaty and agreement the USA must backup Saudi Military action. This was negotiated by Henry Kissinger back in 1973. This was also the reason why the USA stationed troops in Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War.

 

If Turkey goes into Syria and Saudi goes into Syria, then the USA must follow suit and also engage in Syria.

 

If Turkey ground forces and Saudi ground forces are stymed or defeated in Syria then American boots onthe ground will manifest in Syria.

 

Can Russia handle that?

 

And you can root on Putin or Obama if you are so inclined, for your damned annhilation.

 

Enjoy it little boy.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 10:13 | 7196379 Dental Floss Tycoon
Dental Floss Tycoon's picture

This time Russia has Iran to supply the ground troops.  Not like Afghanistan at all.

 

 

 

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 10:19 | 7196405 detached.amusement
detached.amusement's picture

Tom, the geography/landscape alone is so different... but yes, all wars are economic events

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 07:20 | 7195963 Bokkenrijder
Bokkenrijder's picture

Here's warmonger Guy Verhofstadt: https://twitter.com/GuyVerhofstadt/status/699720356379152384

"When will EU act to reign in Putin in ? I argue further eco. sanctions should be prepared"

p.s. he was the same guy who was standing at Maidan Square in Kiev, encouraging the people of the Ukraine to start a revolution. This guy is SICK!

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 01:00 | 7195544 OpenThePodBayDoorHAL
OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

Nobody mentioning the tactical nukes sitting in a hangar in Incirlik. This shit could get even uglier like quick

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 01:17 | 7195597 Tracerfan
Tracerfan's picture

Those tactical nukes at Incirlik are tagerted by tactial nukes.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 02:59 | 7195758 Captain Chlamydia
Captain Chlamydia's picture

Yoda? 

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 12:55 | 7197205 golden kafir
golden kafir's picture

It's really common on zh that people have confusion between loose and lose, i once heard a tale about a guy who got a tattoo in jail that said 'born to loose'.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 01:58 | 7195674 adeptish
adeptish's picture

Not exactly.

VVP laid a trap. For the price of a SU-24 and 2 dead he got EVERYTHING he wanted.

Probably one of the greatest single feints of all time.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 02:56 | 7195752 researchfix
researchfix's picture

"VVP laid a trap. For the price of a SU-24 and 2 dead he got EVERYTHING he wanted.

Probably one of the greatest single feints of all time."

And maybe he gets two quick regime changes as a bonus.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 03:04 | 7195765 adeptish
adeptish's picture

Also, I expect Israel cozy up to Russia by backing Assad, in exchange for say?

The Golan or at least some of it.

Oy! Itz business.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 11:26 | 7196687 Blankone
Blankone's picture

Backwards.  Putin is getting cozy with Israel.

Putin allowed Israel to bomb Hezbollah in Damascus.  Never even complained.  Never launched a S400.

Putin allowed the US to bomb a Hezbollah column.  No nothing.

Putin allowed the US to bomb, repeatedly, a Syrian military base.  No nothing.

Putin is allowing the Turks to shell Hezbollah directly.  No nothing.

Putin has drawn Hezbollah out into the open.  THAT may be Putins gift to Israel, a trap.

Putin has announced that Russia is close to signing a Free Trade Agreement with Israel.  Is it not the zionist behind the destruction in the ME?  Was it not the zionists who directed the US to take down Iraq,Libya, and Syria?

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 03:18 | 7200930 adeptish
adeptish's picture

If you can't say it in two sentences.

You can't say it.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 01:23 | 7195611 lasvegaspersona
lasvegaspersona's picture

Are u sayin  O is the pitcher..he seems the catcher type..but what do I know...I'm not an expert...I just saw that on the Sopranos..

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 02:17 | 7195710 popeye
popeye's picture

The Taiwanese refer to a "1" or a "0". That might help.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 01:59 | 7195676 caconhma
caconhma's picture

Greece is a failed nation.Greece people are losers.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 02:11 | 7195700 acommenter
acommenter's picture

Greece is a failed state, not a failed nation....

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 03:43 | 7195801 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

I see what you did there.

I'm still gagging.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 01:01 | 7195552 Which way to th...
Which way to the beach's picture

I'd be more worried about American embassies. By the time you have American military bases it's too late. Resistance is futile.

 

Bubbles

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 11:52 | 7196870 JohninMK
JohninMK's picture

Reputed 3500 in the US Bagdad embassy.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 02:14 | 7195707 popeye
popeye's picture

You deserve a +1 for the most naive post of the day, but not from me.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 03:30 | 7195785 HopefulCynic
HopefulCynic's picture

You are so fucking clueless. No one wants Americans "." Not even Americans want Americans, which are probably more despised than Israeli's accross the world, but they do giive a lot of kickbacks to politicians accross the globe, they also hold a lot of juicy information which they uuse to extort compliance accross this planet of ours, which creates an illusion that Americans are loved (only in Sweden).

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 03:58 | 7195810 roddy6667
roddy6667's picture

It doesn't matter if a country wants the American base out of their country. America won't leave. They keep their occupying army and its missiles and fighter planes and aircraft carriers there, against the will of the people.

Iggy Pop needs to travel around the world and see what the opinion of America is. Hint: He's wrong.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 12:03 | 7196938 JohninMK
JohninMK's picture

Classic example, Germany.

Bet you didn't know there is a pack of US MBT tucked away in the middle of Norway. Given the geography the only possible target, Oslo.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 04:08 | 7195820 Sirius Wonderblast
Sirius Wonderblast's picture

In deciding they wanted you, did you ask  ?

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 04:51 | 7195858 theallseeinggod
theallseeinggod's picture

"No one wants a Russian military base on their soil, but a hundred or so countries want an American presence."

Have you never heard of, I don't know, Okinawa?

The people of France were overjoyed when de Gaulle got the balls to remove all American bases. The problem with American bases is they're like herpes, they never go away. And the people never get to vote on whether they want one in their backyard. 

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 12:06 | 7196968 JohninMK
JohninMK's picture

The UK got rid, OK the US wanted them out, of 4 airbases over the past 15 years with another, Mildenhall, about to close. Just Lakenheath and a part share in Fairford left for the USAF now.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 07:10 | 7195882 HammeroftheGod
HammeroftheGod's picture

We in the Balkans wanted Russian military presence for decades, including stationing of nucelar weapons... especially nuclear weapons I'd say: as many a nuclear weapon as possible -- the more the merrier as the saying goes. But we still haven't got Russian military bases even though we asked for Russian military presence decades ago. But perhaps the situation will change in the near future.

Wed, 02/17/2016 - 07:47 | 7195995 BruntFCA
BruntFCA's picture

No they don't want the military base, but the do want the Zionist USD bribes. This very same USD that countries are *forced* to hold if they want to buy oil, steel, copper etc.

A Japanese govt was voted in on the basis of closing the US base in Okinawa. After being elected the party reneged on what the people wanted due to US pressure, going *against* the will of the people; the US is pretty much hated internationally. People are currently forced to hold USD, that will soon end.

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