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A "Nervous" NATO Fears Turkey, Russia May Soon Go To War

Tyler Durden's picture




 

If you want our take - and let’s face it, you must because that’s why you’re here - we wouldn’t put too much faith in today’s announced Syrian “ceasefire” agreement.

Although the deal calls for the cessation of hostilities as of Saturday at midnight, you shouldn’t expect the Russians and the Iranians to halt their advance on Aleppo and likewise, you shouldn’t expect Turkey to stop shelling the Azaz corridor in a largely transparent effort to keep the supply lines to the rebels open.

The stakes are simply too high now. As we’ve explained exhaustively, the fall of Aleppo to Hezbollah and the Russians would for all intents and purposes be the end of the rebellion. Assad would once again control the bulk of the country’s urban backbone in the west and that would mean his rule would be effectively restored.

Additionally, don’t expect Hezbollah to simply pack up and head back to Lebanon once the rebels are defeated. Iran will most likely keep Hassan Nasrallah’s army in place to provide security as well as members of the various Shiite militias the Quds called over from Iraq. Similarly, the Russians won’t be going anywhere either. Vladimir Putin now has an air base and a naval base in Syria and The Kremlin will want to protect those installations vociferously during what is likely to be a turbulent couple of years following the demise of the rebel cause.

Turkey and Saudi Arabia know all of this and they’re fuming mad. The last thing Saudi Arabia wants is for Tehran to preserve the Shiite crescent and the supply line to Lebanon and Turkey is now in a bitter feud with the Russians following Erdogan’s ill-fated move to down an Su-24 near the border on November 24.

Both Riyadh and Ankara have indicated that they would participate in ground operations in Syria and most recently, the Turks have been busy shelling the Syrian Kurds to keep what’s left of the supply lines to the rebels open and prevent the Russian-backed YPG from consolidating territorial gains and uniting a Kurdish proto-state on Turkey’s border.

All of the above has NATO rattled, but the thing that worries the alliance the most is the possibility that Turkey will end up in an armed, direct confrontation with Russia. Were Russia to attack Turkey, NATO would be obligated to defend Ankara but that defense would mean going to war with Moscow and, most likely, with Iran.

Below, find some insightful - if slightly biased - commentary from Der Spiegel on NATO’s “Article 5” problem.

*  *  *

From “Putin Vs. Erdogan: NATO Concerned Over Possible Russia-Turkey Hostiities” as published in Der Spiegel

It was a year deep in the Cold War, a time when the world was closer to nuclear war than ever. There were myriad provocations, red lines were violated, airspace was infringed upon and a plane was shot down.

The situation was such that an accidentally fired missile or a submarine captain losing his cool would have been enough to trigger World War III. It was 1962, the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis -- an incident the current Russian prime minister finds himself reminded of today. At the Munich Security Conference last weekend, Dimitri Medvedev invoked the danger of a new Cold War. "Sometimes I think, are we in 2016 or 1962?"

Officials in Berlin have likewise been struck recently by a strange sense of déjà vu.

Syria is the Cuba of 2016 and the risk of an international confrontation there is growing by the day.

Officials in Angela Merkel's Chancellery in Berlin are concerned about how close NATO has already come to a conflict with Russia. Indeed, Syria could become a vital test case for the military alliance. But the situation is complex: In order to thwart Putin, NATO must make it clear that it stands behind its member states in their moment of need. Yet NATO also wants to avoid a military conflict with Russia at all costs.

Officials at NATO headquarters in Brussels view the situation between Ankara and Moscow as being extremely volatile. "The armed forces of the two states are both active in fierce fighting on the Turkish-Syrian border, in some cases just a few kilometers from each other," one NATO official says.

Since Russia became a party to the war in Syria at the end of September, there has been a significant risk of open confrontation between Moscow and Ankara. Russia has thrown its support behind the troops loyal to Syria's unscrupulous dictator Bashar Assad while Turkey is supporting the rebels who would like to topple his autocracy.

The conflict intensified at the end of November when Turkey shot down a Russian warplane and now Putin has forged an alliance with the Syrian Kurds, Erdogan's archenemies. The Turkish president holds the Syrian Kurds responsible for the attack on Wednesday in the Turkish capital, which saw an explosion in central Ankara kill 28 and wound 61. Syrian Kurds have denied responsibility, but the bombing has ratcheted up tensions between Ankara and Moscow even further.

Turkey too has done its part in recent weeks to ratchet up the escalation. Turkish troops are now firing artillery across the border at Kurds in Syria and Ankara has also been thinking out loud about possibly sending ground troops into Syria to take on the Kurds.

That would be a nightmare for the West: Direct fighting between the Kurds and the Turks could mean that Russian troops would be soon to follow. What, though, would happen were a NATO member state to fire at Russian soldiers? Officials in the Chancellery hope that the alliance wouldn't be directly called on to get involved, as long as the fighting was limited to Syrian territory.

In an effort to prevent further escalation, NATO has made it exceedingly clear to the Turkish government that it cannot count on alliance support should the conflict with Russia head up as a result of a Turkish attack. "NATO cannot allow itself to be pulled into a military escalation with Russia as a result of the recent tensions between Russia and Turkey," says Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn.

Should Turkey be responsible for escalation, say officials in both Berlin and Brussels, Ankara would not be able to invoke the NATO treaty. Article 4 of the alliance's founding treaty grants member states the right to demand consultations "whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened." Turkey has already invoked this article once in the Syrian conflict. The result was the stationing of German Patriot missiles on the Syrian border in eastern Turkey.

The decisive article, however, is Article 5, which guarantees that an "armed attack against one or more of (the alliance members) in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all." But Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Asselborn notes that "the guarantee is only valid when a member state is clearly attacked."

"We are not going to pay the price for a war started by the Turks," says a German diplomat. Because decisions taken by the North Atlantic Council, NATO's primary decision-making body, must always be unanimous, it is enough for a single country to exercise its veto rights, the official says. But, the official adds, it won't get that far: there is widespread agreement with the US and most other allies that Turkey would get the cold shoulder in such a case.

Much more in the full article

*  *  * 

Yes, but as Erdogan advisor Seref Malkoc made clear over the weekend, Ankara is getting fed up with the "cold shoulder" and if there's anything the Turks aren't scared to do, it's act unilaterally. 

While NATO might indeed scold Ankara and seek to stay out of an open conflict in the initial stages, it's unlikely that the alliance would stand idly by should Russia and Turkey actually go to war.

As a reminder, Turkey has already gotten two strikes. Erodgan downed a Russian drone and then shot down a Russian warplane. Turkey is now shelling areas where Russian and Iranian forces are very likely to be operating, if not now, then within a couple of weeks. 

We can promise you that when it comes to shooting at Russian assets, be they planes, drones, or soldiers, Turkey will not get a strike three.

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Mon, 02/22/2016 - 18:16 | 7221234 NoWayJose
NoWayJose's picture

Buy stawks!

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 18:24 | 7221271 weburke
weburke's picture

E gone must be freaked by the turn of events. 

he lost isis oil money, saudis are to poor to fund him as needed, putin has caused MUCH financial pain that is only now just starting to avalance. The kurds are being trained by the russians on city fighting, and provided with weapons they will soon use in turkey ! The turk army 2 cannot be spared to leave where they are, military guys are going from a condition of assault on them by E gone and his goons, and now, a reaction is taking place and the turk army is waiting for its looming chance to jail egone ! 

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 18:33 | 7221297 johngaltfla
johngaltfla's picture

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!

And when Erdocunt loses 50% of his air force, 90% of his navy and Armenia re-occupies part of their former territory in the east as the Russians pound the shit out of Turkey on their own territory?

Yeah, this won't end well. The Turkish military will revolt, kill Erdocunt and seek peace.

NATO won't do shit but wet their pants. The first day will see a very nasty attrition rate of Turkish Air Force planes against the Russians as they have an entire generation that has never been in combat other than buzzing Greek fishing boats.

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 18:41 | 7221334 WordSmith2013
WordSmith2013's picture

A Mideast Conflagration is Being
Stealthily Set Up by the NWO Cabal

 

http://cosmicconvergence.org/?p=13523

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 18:54 | 7221390 Cheka_Mate
Cheka_Mate's picture

My boyfriend is in trouble once again:
Got in a fight, got drunk on something nasty
I've had enough and I chased him away
And now I want a man like Putin

One like Putin, full of strength
One like Putin, who won't be a drunk
One like Putin, who wouldn't hurt me
One like Putin, who won't run away!

I've seen him on the news last night
He was telling us that the world has come to crossroads
With one like him, it's easy to be home and out
And now I want a man like Putin

One like Putin, full of strength
One like Putin, who won't be a drunk
One like Putin, who wouldn't hurt me
One like Putin, who won't run away!

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 19:34 | 7221561 Bumpo
Bumpo's picture

Im glad Turkey won't "idly standby', because Erdogan needs to get the fuck kicked out of him. Maybe someone should attack Turkey because of Turkey's "unscrupulous dictator". More than one can play the game of unadulterated bullshit.

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 20:08 | 7221718 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

All I wanna know is, when Putin plants Russian flags on the Hellespont and Dardanelles, what's he gonna name it?

Turkey is a state sponsor of terrorism, just like the USA.

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 20:21 | 7221776 RECISION
RECISION's picture

The more things change - the more they stay the same...

Everything... the same as it's ever been.

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 21:15 | 7221970 Max UK
Max UK's picture

to SWRichmond, that is the one thing that NATO will never allow. NATO doesn't give a damn about Erdogan, but the geostrategic importance of Turkey's territory, is an asset that will never be allowed to fall under Russian influence, ESPECIALLY the Bosphorus.

 

On the other hand, a sustained Russian bombardment of Turkey's military that fell short of an invasion, would probably suit NATO. It would fuck up relations between Turkey and Russia, remind the Turks to know their place and reliance on NATO protection, and result in the need to remilitarise (all good for western profit).

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 21:44 | 7222097 Max UK
Max UK's picture

The one land-grab wild card that has been on my mind, is the temptation for Israel to try again to seize southern Lebanon, while its defenders (hezbollah) are largely away in Syria busy with Alleppo.

I reckon Israel is sorely tempted, but with Russian and Iranian militaries nearby, it might involve too much risk.

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 22:32 | 7222252 eforce
eforce's picture

I suspect Putin to play the long game, the odd plane/tank getting blown up is 'acceptable', as once Syria wrapped up, the Kurdish question can then be answered in such a way that it becomes a permanent headache and thorn in Turkey's south-east ass.

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 23:35 | 7222446 froze25
froze25's picture

Yes, that's likely as the US, Russia Iraq and Iran are supporting the Kurds.  They appear to be in the position of to stabilize Syria the Kurds need a sovereign territory that I bet Syria and Iraq are willing to provide land for but only if Turkey also contributes.

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 03:48 | 7222838 Motasaurus
Motasaurus's picture

The exact opposite of this headline is true. NATO isn't worried about a Turkey-Russia war. NATO is egging Turkey into going to war with Russia.

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 06:53 | 7222948 ali_baba
ali_baba's picture

Thats because NATO is led by Israel. And Israel wants the U.S and Russia to destroy eachother. The Muslims are conquered but the Christians are too big a threat to be left intact.

 

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 07:05 | 7222960 WordSmith2013
WordSmith2013's picture

http://themillenniumreport.com/2016/02/ww-iii-18-days-away-russia-prime-minister-warns-us-and-arab-countries-invading-syria-will-start-a-new-world-war/

 

"WW III: 18 Days Away-Russia Prime Minister Warns US and Arab Countries: Invading Syria “Will Start a NEW WORLD WAR"

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 09:46 | 7223234 Relentless
Relentless's picture

Turkey and Russia have about 200 years and 18 wars worth of history between them. The chances of Turkey siding with Russia are about as remote as seeing Saudi side with Iran.

The Turkish military views itself as the keepers of Attaturks legacy and the guardians of the state, much the same way that the Egyptian military view themselves. They've actively created about 3 coups since Attaturk died. Erdogan knew this when he first achieved power and set about neutering them by replacing a lot of the senior leadership with AKP compliant officers. The Turkish military can't move against Erdogan until he loses popular support. That would take one of three things. Economic collapse, the formation of a Kurdish state on Syrian/Iraqi territory or getting into a shooting war with Russia and having NATO abandon them.

NATO know this too, they want Erdogan removed because he's too unstable for the alliance and backing groups like ISIS that are directly threatening NATO member countries. But they need the Turkish military to do it for them as western powers can't be seen to be too actively involved in changing an ally's domestic political setup.

Hence the drive to push Erdogan into to doing something sufficiently stupid to get him replaced.

Putin knows this too, just as he knows that NATO would never let him conquery any Turkish territory - big red line for NATO. But if he can get Erdogan and the Turks to directly attack his forces, he can declare a Syrian no-fly zone, shoot down a bunch of Turkish jets and secure Syria. NATO would let him as that would get Erdogan replaced by his own military, who would then push for peace on the proviso that there is no Kurdish state formed in Syria. Iran also has a Kurdish population and Bashar doesn't really want to see his country segregated, so while they would both support a semi-autonomous region, an actual Kurdish state is out of the question for both of them too.

The wild cards in all of this are Israel and Saudi. How far are they willing to go?

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 21:11 | 7221978 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Vlad has been scrupulous about making everything look above-board ... Much as many would like it receive its comeuppance, Erdogan could practically piss acid across the border with Russia with impunity. 

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 21:17 | 7222000 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

It will be renamed Ottomania, and Istanbul will be called New Rome once more.

Seriously, I don't see why Turkey and Russia + Iran don't make an alliance.  They will win the 'Great Game' for Central Asia just by co-operating! 

And yes, yes, I know, Erdogan is a Zionist puppet, and Ataturk was a cryptoJew...  But really, Turkey changing sides from the Israel/Saudi/US/UK alliance to Russia/Iran would be quite a game changer.

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 23:25 | 7222416 Laowei Gweilo
Laowei Gweilo's picture

you seriousy don't see why?

 

nothing about their proxies fighting in syria... or the fact turkey shot down their fucking jet? =p

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 04:04 | 7222851 ebear
ebear's picture

Hey, Germany bombed Pearl Harbor and we're still friends.

I don't see the problem.

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 12:48 | 7224230 LiteBeeer
LiteBeeer's picture

Ataturk freed turks twice from bondage:

a) of Islam/Caliphate

b) of a new enslavement by the coccupying forces in WW1

He's not a crypto Jew. If you look for one, look no further than the current moslim brother in power.

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 22:45 | 7222296 secretargentman
secretargentman's picture

It will be good to have Constantinople back.

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 04:07 | 7222855 ebear
ebear's picture

Here I come, Constantinople...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcI5rNR5TGM

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 12:55 | 7224272 LiteBeeer
LiteBeeer's picture

You wouldn't want that urban menopaused whore.

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 08:02 | 7223010 Site
Site's picture

It pains me to admit you are correct about the US goverment, I despise what our goverment has become and how addled most of our citizens are to the truth about it all

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 20:27 | 7221805 rbg81
rbg81's picture

From what I've read, the Turkish miltary isn't fond of Erdogan (aka, the wannabe Sultan).  They could use this opportunity to give him a "accidental" noodle while he's inspecting the troops (or some such activity).  The Euro-pussies who staff NATO would be forever grateful.

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 19:46 | 7221612 Volkodav
Volkodav's picture

Performed live...'Takoga kak Putin'  Natali

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fN5mlTmaCws

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 06:06 | 7222915 tenpanhandle
Mon, 02/22/2016 - 18:55 | 7221395 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

When Erdogan replaced all his top [secular] generals with muslim fundamentalists, I had a hunch his long term plan was nefarious. I am not sure there are enough seculars left in the armed forces to restore Turkey to its once great secular nation.

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 20:04 | 7221706 Gambit
Gambit's picture

I agree with you on the first part, the second part not so much. Any nation that commits genocide and vehemently denies such atrocities does not deserve the tittle of a “great nation.”  Great nations do stoop to such lows.  Hence the down vote. 

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 21:19 | 7222012 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Turkey was being run by Donmeh cryptoJews at the time of the Armenian (Christian) genocide.

The Soviet Union was being run by Bolshevik Jews at the time of the Holodomir! 

Figure it out.  White genocide continues to this day, we just call it things like 'diversity' and 'migrant crisis' and 'white privilege' instead.

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 00:53 | 7222617 Ms No
Ms No's picture

It's not just whites though.   These guys are going to kill a whole lot of everybody at this rate.  The cental banking system was the biggest mistake this planet ever made.  It's gone so far that they have about everything now: complete control over money, markets, militaries, media and intelligence apparatus.  They a pushing for another big war now and we have no way to know how far they are going to take it. 

We have no idea how far they will take the economic collapse either.  It should be way worse than the Depression.  But who knows, maybe they will take the whole system down because they have a better idea.  It's pretty much whatever they want to do at this point.  Russia is about the only thing standing in their way.  If it wasn't for Russia Kissinger, Soros and Z-big wouldn't have much in the way of fun games to play.  They would just be sitting around talking about us "well what should we do with them".  If you control money, you run the show.  They can do whatever they want.

What's going to happen to any of them?  Last time one of them was challenged and they broke his oil company up for punishment... he ended up the richest man in the world.  He learned a serious lesson there. Then he designed our current pharma medical model at his leisure through NGOs and captured all of his old businesses back and ran them through agents.  We still haven't gotten rid of Rockefeller yet really, if you think about it.  We are so screwed.

 

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 08:35 | 7223072 Volkodav
Volkodav's picture

Holodmr was not exclusive to Ukraine 

Famine was Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Caucus, other 

anyone can search 'Red Terror' and read Solzhenitsyn to identify the real culprits

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 13:18 | 7224415 LiteBeeer
LiteBeeer's picture

The "donmeh" propaganda is a lie of the islamists to ridicule secular turks. Christians were persecuted by islam/caliphate by allah's word instructed in the quran. Turks were freed from the bondage of islam by Ataturk, the caliphate was abolished. Beduine clothing trashed, lodges closed, arab alphabet replaced. Moslim brotherhood tried to revert this. But NWO has failed and the end of islam has arrived.

Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 179

Allah's Apostle (Mohammad) said, "The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Turks; people with small eyes, red faces, and flat noses. Their faces will look like shields coated with leather. The Hour will not be established till you fight with people whose shoes are made of hair."

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 20:31 | 7221817 HyeM
HyeM's picture

the russians are already busy arming the Armenians, little by little 

 

http://www.dw.com/en/russia-sends-fighter-jets-to-armenian-base/a-19063187

 

http://www.azatutyun.am/content/article/27567624.html

 

 

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 01:33 | 7222683 mephistophocles
mephistophocles's picture

The whole thing will be over in 48 hours or less.

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 06:09 | 7222918 WOAR
Tue, 02/23/2016 - 04:47 | 7222874 Al Tinfoil
Al Tinfoil's picture

Another view on what Erdogan and the Saudis are up to:

Millenium Report: Erdogan's Plan: Islamic Empire or Armageddon

http://themillenniumreport.com/2016/02/erdogans-plan-islamic-empire-or-a...

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 19:38 | 7221573 The Greek horse
The Greek horse's picture

IF Trump is the next President of USSA Erdogan will surly hang himself in shame.. Kind of like Hitler.. Russia is battle tested, Turkey fires upon weak opposition like the Kurds on there Toyotas  and Greek ships that have more leaks then an Iraqi submarine..

As an American GO PUTIN!!!! 

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 19:39 | 7221589 Volkodav
Volkodav's picture

ok except the Hitler part..

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 19:45 | 7221614 The Greek horse
The Greek horse's picture

Sorry Volkodav at least Hitler had a Powerful Army.Which was defeated by the Russians or USSR you get my point

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 08:26 | 7223052 Volkodav
Volkodav's picture

Germony not powerful as common thinking, tried avoid war

Soviet had far more hardware at start, even more later

 

 

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 19:54 | 7221661 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture

And the misspelling of their …..

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 20:40 | 7221857 BarkingCat
BarkingCat's picture

The problem is that Russian military is not battle tested and neither is the equipment. With the exception of short intervention in Georgia and now here in Syria, Russian military is a peacetime military.

When time comes to face Turkey I wish them luck. I hope that by the time they are done they are the new owners of European part of Turkey and Greeks get back rest of Cyprus.

I think there is a rather important mountain that Armenia would like to get back also.

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 18:17 | 7221238 E.F. Mutton
E.F. Mutton's picture

$10 on the guy with the funny accent.

Seriously, the economy needs MOAR WAR DAMMIT! - said no one sane, ever.

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 18:46 | 7221351 BandGap
BandGap's picture

Gotta beta test those new weapon systems before the really big show.

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 18:17 | 7221239 FreeShitter
FreeShitter's picture

Well thats what you want, right soros?

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 18:34 | 7221303 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

https://m.facebook.com/334513649947965/photos/a.348656975200299.75295.33...

 

On days like this, I get crap like that in my mailbox.

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 20:09 | 7221726 Gambit
Gambit's picture

My God, I just read the comments.  We are so fucked as a nation if the general public, based on the comments, is really that dumb.  Although I did see couple of comments which were critical of his presidency.  FUCK ME, it is worse than I thought. 

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