Turkey Invades Northern Syria — Truth of Turkish "Coup" Revealed?

August 25, 2016 (The New Atlas) - Syria's conflict has escalated into dangerous new territory as Turkish military forces cross the Turkish-Syrian border in an attempt to annex the Syrian city of Jarabulus. The operation includes not only Turkish military forces, but also throngs of Western-backed militants who will likely be handed control of the city before expanding operations deeper into Syria against Syrian government forces.


With the beginning of the operation, aimed allegedly at seizing the city from militants of the so-called Islamic State as well as preventing the city from falling into the hands of advancing US-backed Kurdish forces, Ankara's move has made several things clear about the current geopolitical dimensions of the ongoing regional conflict.

The "US-Backed" July Coup Was Likely Staged 

First, with US warplanes providing close air support  for Turkish operations, claims by Ankara that the US was behind an attempted coup in July appear to have been fabrications and the coup itself likely staged.

US Vice President Joseph Biden made an official visit to Turkey just this week in what was the highest level visit by a US representative since the attempted coup in July. Vice President Biden discussed bilateral relations and joint US-Turkish military cooperation.


Reuters in its report, "With Biden visit, U.S. seeks balance with truculent Turkey," would claim:
Biden, who visited Latvia on Tuesday, will look to show support with Turkey, while raising concern about the extent of the crackdown, according to officials. Turkey will press its case for Gulen's extradition.

"The vice president will also reaffirm that the United States is doing everything we can to support Turkey's ongoing efforts to hold accountable those responsible for the coup attempt while ensuring the rule of law is respected during the process," a senior Obama administration official told reporters, briefing ahead of Biden's visit on condition of anonymity.
It is difficult to believe that Fethullah Gülen could have orchestrated a violent military coup while residing in the United States without the explicit approval and support of the United States government. Thus, for the US to "hold accountable those responsible for the coup attempt" would require the identification and detainment of those Americans who were involved.


Regarding US joint operations with Turkey specifically, the BBC in its article, "Syria Jarablus: Turkish tanks roll into northern Syria," would report:
An unnamed senior US official in Washington told BBC News before the start of the Turkish operation that it was "partly to create a buffer against the possibility of the Kurds moving forward".

"We are working with them on that potential operation: our advisers are communicating with them on the Jarablus plan.

"We'll give close air support if there's an operation."
It would be likewise difficult to believe that Turkey truly suspected the US of an attempted decapitation of the nation's senior leadership in a violent, abortive coup just last month, only to be conducting joint operations with the US inside Syria with US military forces still based within Turkish territory.

South China Sea: The Cambodia Connection

August 25, 2016 (New Eastern Outlook) - Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, recently condemned US policy for destabilising the Middle East. The Phnom Penh Post in an article titled, "US policy destabilised Middle East, says Hun Sen," would report that:
Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday lauded his own government’s efforts of bringing “peace” to Cambodia without “foreign interference” while calling out the US for destabilising the Middle East, where he said American policy had given rise to destructive “colour revolutions”. 


The Post also reported that:
“Please look at the Middle East after there was inteference by foreigners to create colour revolutions such as in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Egypt and Iraq, where Sadam Hussein was toppled by the US,” the premier said. 

“Have those countries received any achievement under the terms of democracy and human rights? From day to day, thousands of people have been killed. This is the result of doing wrong politics, and America is wrong.”
Cambodia has been under the rule of Prime Minister Hun Sen since 1998. To describe the nation as a "dictatorship" would be fairly accurate. However, unlike the simplistic narratives spun across Western and Eastern media alike, Hun Sen's rule has been marked by several turn-arounds, at least in regards to foreign policy.

From American Friend to American Foe

It was in 2006 that neighbouring Thailand underwent a military coup, ousting then US-backed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. From 2006 onward, Shinawatra, with significant Western support, attempted to manoeuvre himself back into power, both directly and through a series of proxy political leaders including his brother-in-law and his own sister, Yingluck Shinawatra. The latter would finally be removed from power by a second military coup in 2014. 

Throughout Shinawatra's attempt to return to power, Cambodia served as a base of operations for US-sponsored lobbyists, media operations, Shinawatra's own political party-in-exile as well as armed terrorists used on multiple occasions to attack Shinawatra's political opponents inside Thailand.

West Backs Dangerous Myanmar-style Attempt to Divide Thailand Along Religious Lines

(George Soros chairs & funds the Crisis Group)
August 23, 2016 (The New Atlas) - Matthew Wheeler of the International Crisis Group (sometimes referred to as ICG or simply, the Crisis Group), recently wrote an editorial in the New York Times titled, "Can Thailand Really Hide a Rebellion?" The editorial took a coercive tone, with its final paragraph appearing almost as a threat, stating:
It would be shortsighted and self-defeating of the generals running Thailand to insist on dismissing these latest attacks as a partisan vendetta unconnected to the conflict in the south. They should recognize the insurgency as a political problem requiring a political solution. That means restoring the rights of freedom of expression and assembly to Thai citizens, engaging in genuine dialogue with militants, and finding ways to devolve power to the region.
Wheeler's editorial intentionally misleads readers with various distortions and critical omissions, mischaracterising Thailand's ongoing political crisis almost as if to fan the flames of conflict, not douse them as is the alleged mission of the Crisis Group.

Wheeler's recommendations to allow violent opposition groups back into the streets for another cycle of deadly clashes (which have nothing to do with the southern insurgency) while "devolving power" to armed insurgents in the deep south appear to be a recipe for encouraging a much larger crisis, not resolving Thailand's existing problems.

Wheeler never provides evidence linking the bombings to the insurgency or provides any explanation as to why the insurgency, after decades of confining its activities to Thailand's southern most provinces, would escalate its violence so dramatically. Wheeler also intentionally sidesteps any mention of evidence or facts that indeed indicate a "partisan vendetta."

Instead, his narrative matches almost verbatim that promoted by the primary suspects behind the bombings, ousted former-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his political supporters.

Wheeler's distortions include an intentional omission of the scale of violence Shinawatra and his followers have carried out in the past, as well as the political significance of the provinces targeted in the recent bombings in connection to Shinawatra's conflict with the current ruling government, not the insurgency's,

The provinces targeted represented political strongholds of anti-Shinawatra political leaders and activists, all of whom have no connection at all to the ongoing conflict in Thailand's deep south.

Crisis Group is Covering up an Engineered Buddhist-Muslim Conflict

More alarming are Wheeler's attempts to cite growing tensions in Thailand's northern city of Chiang Mai between Buddhists and Muslims as evidence, he claims, of the real dimensions of Thailand's conflict. Wheeler is attempting to claim Thailand is experiencing a potential nationwide religious divide, separate from Shinawatra's struggle to seize back power.


NATO Nukes in Romania: Rumor Mill Vs. Reality

August 22, 2016 (Ulson Gunnar - NEO) - Unconfirmed reports regarding the US moving nuclear weapons it reportedly maintains at Incirlik Airbase, Turkey to Romania (a NATO member since 2004) made the rounds last week. It is just one of many stories surrounding the apparent fallout between the United States and its stalwart ally and fellow NATO member, Turkey.


Following a failed coup in July, Turkey has accused the US openly of orchestrating the attempted overthrow of the government. Despite this, US forces continue operating from Turkish territory, and according to official reports, American nuclear weapons remain in Turkey.

But what if they were being moved? And if not to Romania as Romanian officials insist, to another NATO members state, what would this mean? And if they are not being moved, who started this rumor and why?

NATO Nuclear Sharing 

The US currently maintains nuclear weapons in a number of NATO countries (Turkey, Belgium, Italy, German and the Netherlands) under a "nuclear sharing" program that dates back to the Cold War. The impact of joining this program is politically and strategically significant. There are risks and responsibilities involved with hosting US nuclear weapons, and those nations that seek to opt out once in the program can struggle for years before these weapons are finally removed from their territory.

A 2009 Der Spiegel article titled, "Yankee Bombs Go Home: Foreign Minister Wants US Nukes out of Germany," highlights just how difficult this can be, especially considering that as of 2016, US nuclear weapons remain in Germany, and as Deutsche Welle points out, new weapons may even be on their way.

Syria: China and Iran Join Russia in Larger Role

August 19, 2016 (Ulson Gunnar - NEO) - Several developments this week mark an increase of activity from Syria's allies, Russia, Iran and now China.

These include a Russian-Iranian agreement to use Iranian territory to position Russian Tupolev Tu-22M strategic bombers as well as Iranian and Iraqi airspace for both the bombers and Russian cruise missiles to pass through on their way to militant targets in Syria.


It also includes China's recent pledge to provide humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people as well as military support for Syrian government troops in their fight to restore order nationwide.

The Details

The BBC would report in its article, "Syrian conflict: Russian bombers use Iran base for air strikes," that:
Russia's defence ministry says it has used a base in western Iran to carry out air strikes in Syria. 

Tupolev-22M3 long-range bombers and Sukhoi-34 strike fighters took off from Hamedan on Tuesday, a statement said. 

Targets were hit in Aleppo, Idlib and Deir al-Zour provinces, it added.
The BBC would also report:
Last week, Russia asked Iran and Iraq to allow Russian cruise missiles to fly through their airspace for attacks on terrorist targets in Syria.
It should be noted that Russian Tu-22Ms have already been used during Russia's operations in Syria, however they have been based in southern Russia. Moving them forward west of Tehran, allows for shorter and more frequent missions, saving fuel and time. This further strengthening of Russian-Iranian ties come amid the delivery of Russian S-300 anti-air defense systems to Iran as part of an $800 million contract signed in 2007.