19:21 GMT20 February 2020
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    President Erdogan is blatantly blackmailing his European NATO allies, US journalist Mike Whitney believes, referring to a humiliating deal the EU powers have recently concluded with the Turkish leadership.

    What has happened to the major European powers? Why have France, Germany and the UK suddenly expressed their willingness to enter the Syrian quagmire?

    "It's hard to say, but clearly something has changed,  after all, neither France, nor Germany nor the UK were nearly as gung-ho just a few weeks ago. Now they're all hyped-up and ready for WW3. Why is that?" US journalist Mike Whitney asks in his recent piece for Counterpunch.org.

    To shed some light on the mystery, Whitney cites Turkish journalist Murat Yetkin:

    "The increase in military cooperation within NATO countries against ISIL [Daesh] and the piling up of NATO forces near Turkey's border with Syria take place in parallel with the recent deal between Ankara and the Brussels over Syrian refugees and the re-activation of Turkey's EU accession bid," Yetkin notes in his op-ed for Turkish Hurriyet media outlet.

    However, Erdogan's advisor Burhan Kuzu stated it more plainly on his Twitter account: "The EU finally got Turkey's message and opened its purse strings. What did we say? 'We'll open our borders and unleash all the Syrian refugees on you'."

    Isn't it blatant blackmail, Whitney wonders.

    Indeed, while evidence is mounting of Ankara's direct involvement in Daesh's oil smuggling, the EU have signed a $3.4 billion aid deal with Turkey in order to stem the flow of Syrian refugees to Europe. Furthermore, Turkey is insisting on a visa-free regime with Europe for its 75-million population, in addition to renewed talks on joining the EU.

    Does it mean Ankara has won the day? And what about Erdogan's pledge to resign if anyone presents evidence of his involvement in Daesh's illicit machinations with oil?

    Will Europe turn a blind eye to the mounting evidence of Ankara's criminal activities exposed by Russia's Ministry of Defense?

    "Let's summarize: Erdogan intentionally releases tens of thousands of Syrian refugees into Europe to put pressure on EU politicians who quickly lose the support of their people and face the meteoric rise of right wing parties. And then, the next thing you know, Merkel, Hollande and every other EU leader is looking to cut a deal with Erdogan to keep the refugees in Turkey," Whitney elaborates.

    Simultaneously, Germany, France and the UK have announced plans to send their military forces to Syria in order to close the Turkish-Syrian border and deal a final blow to Daesh.

    According to Whitney, things are not what they seem: Paris, Berlin and London are dancing to Ankara's tune.

    The Russian-led coalition has made significant gains on the ground in Syria, pushing US-backed terrorists fleeing eastward towards Raqqa. The only way to save the Western-armed and trained extremists is to support them at the border, the US journalist explains.

    Whitney suggests that the US-Turkish military buildup at the Turkish-Syrian border is intended to create the much-talked-about "safe zone" on the Syrian territory. In fact, it would be an annexation of Syrian land by Turkey and its backers.

    Ankara is openly blackmailing its European NATO allies, who want to save their own miserable political careers, Whitney concludes.


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    United Kingdom, refugee crisis, refugee, airstrikes, air campaign, Syrian crisis, European Union, Daesh, Syria, France, Germany, Turkey, Europe
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