These attacks by Turkey are waging war on the most effective armed fore fighting ISIS. ISIS, on the other hand, was left virtually untouched. ISIS enjoys massive support from Turkey at all levels all the way down to local police forces. Most ISIS oil smuggled out of the country goes directly through Turkey with the knowledge and help of the Turkish government.
Every day dozens to hundreds of trucks pout across the Turkish border directly into Syrian territory controlled by ISIS. They are carrying arms, men and supplies to ISIS from Turkey. These convoys were photographed by a German journalist at the Turkish border last November. It is not Turkey itself that is supplying those trucks. Instead the trucks are being driven by ISIS drivers currying supplies from ISIS supply depots and men from ISIS bases across the border. The Turkish military at the border simply looks the other way. However there is some excellent evidence that Turkish intelligence has been working with ISIS for some time now.
ISIS has training camps and safehouses all over Turkey. When Turkish police battled Kurdish demonstrators protesting Turkish efforts to impede Kurdish help for city under seige by ISIS, scores of Turkish police in full uniform chanted pro-ISIS slogans. You wonder where ISIS is getting all of that wonderful equipment?
The military supplies come from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. Saudi support for ISIS goes way back. In fact, ISIS was originally a Saudi operation, the pet project of none other than Prince Bandar. Now ISIS infests Saudi Arabia itself, engaging in regular terrorist attacks in the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia has created a Frankenstein. It’s gotten up from the table, is walking on its own, and it’s coming to kill the Saudi mad scientists who made it.
Most of this is US weaponry. That is why you so often see ISIS with with US weapons. ISIS is being continually supplied mostly with US weapons. It’s US weaponry that keeps them going. In other words, Turkey and some partners have been backing ISIS for quite some time now.
The terrorist bomb blast against an unarmed, mostly Kurdish leftist group in Suruc recently was claimed by ISIS. I am quite certain that the Turkish government was in on that attack – probably Turkish intelligence. The group is made up of Leftists and Kurds, and those are the two principal enemies of the Turkish state for a very long time now. Sunni Salafis like Al Qaeda and ISIS are not enemies of the Turkish state – in fact, they are its allies.
Soon after the bombing, the PKK (a group which has my full support) launched an excellent operation, shooting dead two policeman who it said were cooperating with ISIS. It is a fact that many Turkish policemen are ISIS supporters, and its probably true that a lot of them are working with ISIS. I don’t think the PKK killed those two cops for no reason. PKK intelligence is very good. They wouldn’t kill innocent cops. If the PKK says they were cooperating with ISIS, you can be sure that they war.
As you can see, Turkey is using this fake war against ISIS to launch its real war against the Turkish Left and the Kurds (the PKK). The war against the PKK is not only against the armed faction of the Kurds (the PKK) but is also against the peaceful aboveground component in the Kurdish political party HDP which recently won 13% of the votes in the last election, setting off alarm bells all over Turkey.
Turkey claims that this political party has links to the PKK and it says the party’s representatives in Parliament have ties to the PKK. That’s probably not true. The PKK is a military organization, and the HDP just does politics and has nothing to do with anything military if the two groups have any links at all, and there is no evidence that the HDP is the aboveground component of the PKK anyway.
But most of these groups separate their military and political arms. For instance, the PFLP and Hamas in Palestine have political wings and armed wings. The politicians really have nothing to do with the military group except perhaps telling them to start shooting or giving them the go ahead to start shooting. The Hamas political wing has nothing whatsoever to do with the armed wing’s military strategy.
That’s all done by the armed wing – 100% by the armed wing. Although in states the division between politics and the military is a lot less clear, extra-state armed groups are generally very clear that their armed and political wings have nothing to do with each other. The people in the political wing don’t carry weapons. They don’t supply or smuggle weapons. They don’t run training camps for the guerrillas. They probably don’t have much to do with safehouses for the armed groups either. They know nothing about military strategy and have no role in planning it. They probably rarely see or talk to people in the armed wing. The two groups don’t have much to do with each other.
This is why targeted the political wing of these groups is almost always a crime. Yes they are “supporters” of the armed group, but so what? Since when is “support” a crime. Their support is psychological or verbal. So what? Since when is it illegal to say, “I support Hamas”? What the Hell kind of a crime is that?
This whole charade is utterly repulsive. As you can see, NATO is backing Turkey to the hilt in its war against the Kurds, which is really a war in support of ISIS. So NATO is supporting a war against the most successful anti-ISIS fighters. That means NATO is supporting ISIS, but I say NATO has been supporting ISIS in one way or another for a long time now.
Why would NATO be so insane as to support ISIS. NATO, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar all support ISIS? How much they support them ideologically is not known. But every one of these factions wants Assad gone. Turkey, the Saudis and Qatar all want him gone because he is a Shia and they are on radical Sunni anti-Shia campaign to wipe out Shia power all over the Middle East.
In the process, hundreds of thousands of Shia have been slaughtered. All three are supporting ISIS and Al Qaeda, groups that have launched near genocidal massacres against the Shia. So it can be argued that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar want to Holocaust the Shia Muslims of the Middle East. Of course the US, NATO and Israel are all backing this Shia Shoah to the hilt. Whenever there’s mass murder anywhere in the world, Israel’s probably not far away. The Israelis just can’t stop killing people. Mass murder is in their blood.
Turkey Supports ISIS…Now Declares “War Against ISIS”, But Instead Bombs Its Political Rival, Which Is the Most Effective Force Fighting ISIS
By Global Research
NATO member Turkey has been busted supporting ISIS.
The Guardian reported this week:
US special forces raided the compound of an Islamic State leader in eastern Syria in May, they made sure not to tell the neighbors.
The target of that raid, the first of its kind since US jets returned to the skies over Iraq last August, was an Isis official responsible for oil smuggling, named Abu Sayyaf. He was almost unheard of outside the upper echelons of the terror group, but he was well known to Turkey. From mid-2013, the Tunisian fighter had been responsible for smuggling oil from Syria’s eastern fields, which the group had by then commandeered. Black market oil quickly became the main driver of Isis revenues – and Turkish buyers were its main clients.
As a result, the oil trade between the jihadis and the Turks was held up as evidence of an alliance between the two.
In the wake of the raid that killed Abu Sayyaf, suspicions of an undeclared alliance have hardened. One senior western official familiar with the intelligence gathered at the slain leader’s compound said that direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking Isis members was now “undeniable”.
“There are hundreds of flash drives and documents that were seized there,” the official told the Observer. “They are being analyzed at the moment, but the links are already so clear that they could end up having profound policy implications for the relationship between us and Ankara.”
However, Turkey has openly supported other jihadi groups, such as Ahrar al-Sham, which espouses much of Al-Qaida’s ideology, and Jabhat al-Nusra, which is proscribed as a terror organization by much of the US and Europe. “The distinctions they draw [with other opposition groups] are thin indeed,” said the western official. “There is no doubt at all that they militarily cooperate with both.”
One Isis member says the organization remains a long way from establishing a self-sustaining economy across the area of Syria and Iraq it controls. “They need the Turks. I know of a lot of cooperation and it scares me,” he said. “I don’t see how Turkey can attack the organization too hard. There are shared interests.”
Has Turkey Changed Its Ways?
On Tuesday, Turkey proclaimed that it will now help to fight ISIS.
Don’t buy it …
Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson – former chief of staff to Colin Powell, and now distinguished adjunct professor of Government and Public Policy at William & Mary – asked yesterday:
What is [Turkish president] Erdogan’s ultimate purpose? He hates Assad. He’d love to bring him down. Is that why he’s doing this?
There’s also the Kurds …
As Time Magazine pointed out in June:
Ethnic Kurds—who on Tuesday scored their second and third significant victories over ISIS in the space of eight days—are by far the most effective force fighting ISIS in both Iraq and Syria.
And yet Turkey is trying to destroy the Kurds. Time writes:
Since [Turkey announced that it was joining the war against ISIS] it has arrested more than 1,000 people in Turkey and carried out waves of air raids in neighboring Syria and Iraq. But most of those arrests and air strikes, say Kurdish leaders, have hit Kurdish and left wing groups, not ISIS.
Kurds are an ethnic minority that live in parts of Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Iran. They have been persecuted for decades — from Turkey’s suppression of Kurdish identity and banning of Kurdish language to Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical weapons on Kurdish communities. Their leaders, from the numerous different parties and rebel groups that represent them, have long sought an independent Kurdish state encompassing that territory and have fought against their respective governments to try to achieve that.
Hoshang Waziri, a political analyst based in Erbil, says the Kurds’ recent territorial gains in Syria along Turkey’s border and their increasing political legitimacy in the eyes of the West, have made the Kurds a bigger threat to Turkey than ISIS. “The fear of the Turkish state started with the Kurdish defeat of ISIS in Tel Abyad,” says Waziri.
The image in the West of the Kurds as a reliable ally on the ground is terrifying for Turkey,” says Waziri. “So before it’s too late, Turkey waged its war — not against ISIS, but against the PKK.
Some see the war against ISIS simply as a cover for an attack on Kurdish groups. Of the more than 1,000 people Turkey has arrested in security sweeps in recent days, 80% are Kurdish, associated either with the PKK or the non-violent Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), says İbrahim Ayhan, a member of parliament for the HDP.
Ayhan says the AKP needs a state of “chaos” to persuade voters that it is the only bulwark against chaos. As of yet no new government has been formed in Turkey and if that doesn’t happen in the next few weeks, new elections will be called. By that time Ayhan fears many of the leaders of his HDP party will be in jail and some even worry the HDP will be outlawed. At the same time, Erdoğan and his AKP hope they will have shown only they can defend Turkey from internal and external threats.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
Turkey’s military activity against Islamic State does not stem from sudden realizations about threats from ISIS but appears designed to elicit international support for its fight against the Kurds.
The Kurdish Workers’ Party, known as the PKK, was locked in a bloody war with the Turkish state from the mid-1980s until 2013. The cease-fire has, for all intents and purposes, been destroyed. Turkey is battling both ISIS and the PKK under the guise of fighting terrorism. Yet Turkish attempts to conflate ISIS and the PKK–even in the wake of the suicide bombing in a Kurdish border town that killed 32 young people–effectively ask people to overlook some salient facts:
The Kurds are Islamic State’s ideological opposites. The Kurds have been fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq for some time; in particular, the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) in northern Syria has been among the most effective forces at repelling ISIS efforts to take control of the Syrian-Turkish border. Kurdish military resistance in Syria and, to a lesser extent, the Kurdish autonomous government in Iraq have shouldered the lion’s share of the ground conflict against Islamic State, standing their ground at high cost and with limited support from the Western coalition.
A declaration of a state of emergency in Turkey would give the Justice and Development Party (or AKP), which lost its parliamentary majority in June elections, more flexibility to crack down on political opponents such as the Kurdish majority People’s Democratic Party. More than 1,300 people have been detained recently under the guise of cracking down on domestic PKK and ISIS elements in Turkey.
The AKP has declared the peace process with the Kurdish separatists dead and is trying to discredit the only recognized political representatives of the Turkish left and the Kurdish population; the Kurdish People’s Democratic Party won a 13% share of the Turkish parliament in the June elections–a sign of its rising popularity not only among Kurds but also with increasingly disgruntled Turkish liberals.
If a governing coalition isn’t formed, early elections will be held. The AKP appears to be hoping for that–under the thinking that a majority of voters would seek to maintain the status quo in a time of uncertainty and potential civil war, and that AKP’s standing in parliament would, in turn, be strengthened.
Zero Hedge adds:
Even the most mainstream of news outlets are unable to completely obscure the fact that Turkey’s ISIS “offensive” may amount to nothing more than a smokescreen, as Erdogan launches a renewed effort to crush the PKK and nullify opposition gains won at the ballot box early last month when, for the first time in more than a decade, AKP [Erdogan’s party] lost its parliamentary majority.
Coalition building efforts since the election have gone largely nowhere, and in what amounted to a sure sign that some manner of crackdown was likely just around the corner, Erdogan warned on June 21 that “if politicians are unable to sort [it] out, then the people are the only recourse” – a nod to his right under the constitution to call new elections.
Critically, AKP doesn’t need much to push them back over the top in terms of regaining their majority in parliament. Consider the following from WSJ:
Turkey’s government—which lost its parliamentary majority last month— bills its new two-front war against Kurdish militants and Islamic State as a much-overdue reaction to terrorism. But, on the third front of domestic politics, this violence could also help President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his party regain control.
In the June 7 parliamentary elections, Mr. Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, or AKP, lost its majority for the first time in 12 years, and has been in coalition talks since. If these negotiations fail in coming weeks, Mr. Erdogan has said he will send the country back to the polls.
A rise in nationalist feelings amid the bloodshed and an unfolding crackdown on the government’s Kurdish political foes could bolster AKP’s chances in such a new election, many analysts say.
A two-percentage point shift from the last election could restore AKP’s absolute majority, making concessions demanded by its potential coalition partners on press freedom, corruption prosecutions and foreign policy unnecessary. This could also allow Mr. Erdogan to proceed with controversial plans to turn Turkey into a presidential republic and solidify his personal power.
The last passage there is critical.
AKP needs but a two percentage point swing in order to pave the way for Erdogan’s power grab and there’s no better way to stoke a renewed sense of nationalism and turn voters away from HDP than to invent a conflict and then trot out a few causalities as proof of what can happen when Kurdish “terrorists” are emboldened by a victory at the ballot box.
Given this, one could be forgiven for casting a wary eye at the rather convenient series of events that has now culminated in Ankara going back to war with the PKK. Here’s a recap:
NATO representatives met in Brussels on Tuesday after Turkey made a rare Article 4 request which compels treaty parties to convene in the event a member state is of the opinion that its “territorial integrity, political independence or security” is being threatened.
That’s the case in Turkey, where the security situation has rapidly deteriorated over the past two weeks following a suicide bombing in Suruc (claimed by Islamic State) and the murder of two Turkish policemen in the town of Ceylanpinar (at the hands of the PKK, which claims the officers were cooperating with ISIS). Ankara responded by launching airstrikes against both Islamic State and PKK.
So, ISIS launches a suicide attack and the PKK (whose Syrian affiliate YPG is battling ISIS just across the border) retaliates by killing two Turkish policemen, an event which gives the government an excuse to tighten the screws on the Kurds with virtual impunity under the guise of stepping up its efforts against ISIS.
Better still, the ISIS red herring has allowed Ankara to effectively obtain NATO’s blessing for a brutal crackdown on its Kurdish political rivals. To wit, from Salon:
The choreography attaching to the accord authorizing Turkey’s entry into war as a combatant is, as often, so careful and predictable as to be self-evident. On Sunday Ankara announced that it had requested a meeting of NATO ambassadors to consider its new circumstance. The outcome was obvious from the first.
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s Norwegian secretary-general, suggested Monday that Turkey was unlikely to get “any substantial NATO military support.”
This was a straw man: Material support is not what the Erdogan government wants. In its fight against ISIS and the Kurds—against both, note—it wants “solidarity and support from our NATO allies,” as the foreign ministry in Ankara later made clear.
Legitimacy, in other words. And it got it Tuesday in Brussels, where Stoltenberg announced, “We all stand united in condemning terrorism, in solidarity with Turkey.” See the problem? Not “united against ISIS,” but “united in condemning terrorism.”
Erdogan understood. Within hours he declared that no peace process with the Kurds is possible—and then urged parliament to strip legislators with ties to the PKK of immunity from prosecution. An Istanbul source wrote Tuesday afternoon to say that some sitting parliamentarians have already been arrested.
So there you have it – mission accomplished. Erdogan has now secured Western support for his effort to nullify an election result he did not like.
Consider the following from Al Jazeera:
“When AK party lost [its] absolute majority [in parliament] on June 7, while HDP won, getting over the 10 percent barrier, the results showed how people started seeing that not every Kurd is a terrorist,” Ilya U Topper, an Istanbul-based analyst on foreign affairs and democracy for the M’Sur, a Spanish media outlet added.
He noted that HDP was able to perform so well in June’s elections because there was peace.
“Two years of peace make people forget bloodshed and give them hope. Now we are back to square one. Kurds are ‘terrorists’ again,” he said. “If elections are repeated, HDP might fall under the barrier and AK party will achieve [an] absolute majority in the elections. The big question is why the PKK accepted that game.”
And that is a very good question.
Why would the PKK, whose political affiliate had just won a major victory at the ballot box, suddenly decide that now is the time to break a fragile cease fire, likely knowing that doing so would imperil further political gains and legitimacy for HDP?
In the final analysis, Turkey wants Assad out of Syria and that means backing anyone and everyone who is willing to help make that happen (including ISIS) with the exception of the PKK, who Ankara is keen on crushing especially after June’s election results. So now, Turkey will use ISIS as an excuse to procure NATO support for a politically motivated rout of Kurdish “terrorists”.
The West will hope that ISIS will suffer more damage than YPG, Turkey will hope that PKK and, by extension, YPG will suffer more damage than ISIS, and everyone – Ankara, Washington, ISIS, and PKK – will hope the when the dust (and blood) finally settles, Bashar al-Assad will have met a Gaddafiesque end.
So Turkey isn’t really going after ISIS … instead, the ruling party is going after its main political threat – the Kurds – and continuing its long-term effort to overthrow Syria’s Assad.