Is This The Road To World War III? Turkish Army Enters Syria As Saudi Warplanes Arrive

Is This The Road To World War III? Turkish Army Enters Syria As Saudi Warplanes Arrive

This seems ominous.

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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.

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.

…They’re also conducting “exercises” dubbed “North Thunder” or, “Road North.”

…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.

Just to give you a little recap, Russia and Iran are backing the Syrian government. The United States is backing the Kurds and the ineffective (moderate) resistance in Syria. So, BOTH SIDES are attacking different forces backed by the Americans while the Turks and Saudis are now putting themselves in a position where they may be about to directly take on Russia and Iran.

First of all, we should be grateful that the people who wanted us to put American troops on the ground there and institute a no fly zone didn’t get their way because we’d have American soldiers in the middle of this entire mess. Yet and still, because Obama is such a weakling, we have very little influence over anybody involved and it’s possible that it could lead to a regional war. Given that Obama has removed sanctions and put Iran on a glide path to a nuclear bomb, this may be the last chance of other regional powers to stop Iran before it goes nuclear.

It’s a dangerous situation and if it gets started, it’s entirely possible that the fighting will spread across the whole region.

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