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Turkish army's armored vehicles and tanks drive in Syrian town of Ayn al-Arab, also known as Kobani, as they return from the Ottoman tomb in Syria, Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015

Turkish, Saudi Ground Operation in Syria Spells Major Trouble for NATO

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Turkey and Saudi Arabia are said to be ready to put boots on the ground in Syria - possibly with tacit support from the US. But this military campaign (should it be launched) will not be targeted against Daesh, instead it will try to prevent Moscow and Damascus from uprooting foreign-sponsored terrorists in the country, Tony Cartalucci asserted.

Daesh "serves merely as a pretext for justifying any prospective operation by the US and its regional allies" that will aim at "challenging and rolling back Syrian and Russian gains on the battlefield" or at the very least "providing an unassailable sanctuary within Syrian territory for the West's defeated proxies to retreat to," the Bangkok-based geopolitical analyst wrote for New Eastern Outlook.

Rumors have long circulated that Ankara is planning to launch a limited military incursion into northern Syria. Earlier this week, Russia's Defense Ministry shared evidence showing that Turkey was indeed actively preparing for the operation. In addition, Saudi Arabia said that it was ready to take part in a ground campaign in Syria as part of the US-led anti-Daesh efforts. 

Everyday life of the Russian air group at the Hmeymim airfield in Syria
Everyday life of the Russian air group at the Hmeymim airfield in Syria
These activities reflect the changing facts on the ground as Damascus-led forces, assisted by Russian warplanes, have pushed Daesh and other militants out of key Syrian provinces. Keep in mind that Turkey and Saudi Arabia, according to Cartalucci, "have played a central role in both the intentional creation of [Daesh] and the logistical and financial perpetuation of its activities within Syria and Iraq."

From this perspective, Ankara and Riyadh's "sudden interest" in escalating the Syrian conflict has "more to do with rescuing the West's proxy terrorists before they are entirely eradicated and/or expelled from the country," the analyst noted.

A rebel fighter fires a heavy machine gun during clashes with government forces and pro-regime shabiha militiamen in the outskirts of Syria's northwestern Idlib province on September 18, 2015
© REUTERS/ OMAR HAJ KADOUR
A rebel fighter fires a heavy machine gun during clashes with government forces and pro-regime shabiha militiamen in the outskirts of Syria's northwestern Idlib province on September 18, 2015

Cartalucci also outlined the best- and worst-case scenarios for Syria at the moment. The former involves Damascus restoring peace and security on large swathes of land amid simmering tensions with Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The oil kingdom will also be burdened by the ongoing operation in Yemen, which many have condemned as a humanitarian disaster, while Ankara will have to deal with the Kurds at home and beyond.

"The worst case scenario includes a NATO incursion into northern Syria being met by overwhelming resistance, blunting both its air and ground forces. With the majority of Turkish and Saudi military equipment originating in the US and Europe, it would in turn further weaken the illusion of Western military superiority upon the global stage," the analyst added.

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Russia Versus ISIL in Syria (587)
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Russian aerial campaign, Islamic extremism, radical Islam, Syrian conflict, geopolitics, Daesh, Turkey, Syria, United States, Saudi Arabia
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  • ivanwa88
    Know we get the real McCoy! not the bull dust feed by the agriculturists in Whitehouse.
  • Mitach2002
    Saudi Arabia and Turkey are puppets of the terrorist American government and NATO is the criminal American governments international murderous military. If Saudi Arabia and Turkey invade Syria it is because the criminal American government ordered it or allowed it. Both nations have duties and obligations towards America that they signed when purchasing all their American weaponry.
  • nuclearstarr
    Turkey could send a lot of ground troops into Syria, but Russia could maintain air superiority, which would leave the Turks very vulnerable to air strikes themselves. Even if the Turks send every fighter they had against the Russians, few would survive. There is also the open question about the electronic warfare capabilities of the Russian military, which could disable enemy systems and make them vulnerable to attack. I suspect the US would like to be able to watch the Russian systems in action, as they must be quite worried about their capabilities, and also hoping to understand the systems so they can develop defenses to them.
  • margaridaoulman
    Its all talk but nobody will walk the talk. This is nothing to be taken seriously i hope. It is just the media spreading terror and mis information as usual.
  • ariavd
    But what about the chickenshit, Time to rattle the fence?
  • anne00marie
    If they try, Turkey and Saudi will not know or understand what has hit them and where would NATO stand? A full scale war with a nation that can easily beat anything NATO has?
  • surferket
  • professor.hornblow
    Turkey and Saudi Arabia have no experience of fighting a good professional army, which the Syrian Army has become. The US cannot intervene without massive boots on ground; with an election upcoming this is not the time for another regime change. I wonder if the poodle UK will put its ancient Tornados up against Russian Su24s and 25s, or worse face being blown out of the sky by the S400?
  • Blackie
    Days are numbered for Turkey, an they blew it.
  • Blackie
    The British used to be, Now they also are cowards and not good in battle.
  • michael
    nato hasn't got the control of the area or of its 'allies'. That is possibly of more concern to them as it shows how ineffectual the treaty is.
  • rmpblue
    There is one single factor in Syria's advance and it involves the west more than any other single factor. That is the refusal to arm the Syrian opposition with surface to air missiles or 'man-pads'. So Assad and Russia's air support is due ONLY to the fact that the west assures that the opposition fights with it's hands tied. Russia's relatively limited and small numbers in Syria would otherwise be vastly increased in order to not be made absolutely redundant or forced to go home, thus exposing just how limited Russia's abilities actually are beyond Russia's borders.

    It remains that Putin's (and Assad's) single biggest weapon or facilitator of success is and apathetic and incompetent Obama. That is FACT . . .and that is sad because while Daesh and others like them are the most horrific terrorists the single most destructive by numbers of civilians murdered and displaced is Assad and a close second is Putin . . .
  • tanksbb
    Now is the time for China to make a move.
  • rogertidy
    I suspect that a NATO operation in Libya is more likely than an operation, such as the one mentioned by the author, in Syria. It's difficult to predict what will happen, but I doubt that, in the year of the US presidential election, Washington would want to step up either its own or its allies' involvement in Syria. Moreover, as Saudi Arabia is already fighting in Yemen. would it really want to send troops to Syria?
  • I believe that world war 3 has started, if the Nato and its allies start ground operations in Syria it will confirm my fears. All of the west is nothing but the Bankers army, long ago they found a fertile ground in western countries, took over their financial institutions ( privatization of federal reserve and bank of England ) and from there was easy to find politicains who will sell themselves and mislead people for the bankers agenda. So now all of Nato and western military is nothing but a mercenary army of the bankers paid for by taxpayers, great scheme. "Give me a control of nations money and I do not care who makes the laws" Jacob Rotchild.
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