Monday, December 28, 2015

Turkey: Safe Haven for Terrorists

Turkey: Safe Haven for Terrorists

by Stephen Lendman

Turkey is a key US imperial partner, allied with Obama’s war on Syria - ongoing for nearly five years, another regional country transformed into a cauldron of endless violence and chaos, one of many testimonies to America’s barbarity.

Assad proved far more resilient than US policymakers imagined. His popularity remains overwhelming. He’s going nowhere as long as Syrians want him, committed to serve his people, not easy in confrontation with imperial forces. 

Syrians want no one else leading them. Russia forthrightly  supports their sovereign right, free from outside interference. Preserving it will strike a significant body blow against Washington’s regional objectives.

Moscow’s intervention if requested to confront other ISIS strongholds could be transformational, giving it the upper hand in a strategic part of the world.

Daily reality shows continued conflict with little hope for resolution any time soon. Peace talks don’t work because Washington and its rogue partners obstruct them.

Don’t expect the latest round scheduled for late January to fare better than previous failed efforts. Meanwhile, Turkey remains a major obstacle to restoring peace and stability to a war-torn region.

It shares a common border with Syria and Iraq, is part of Washington’s imperial enterprise, providing arms, training and safe havens for ISIS and other terrorists.

Captured ISIS fighter Abdurrahan Abdulhadi was trained in Turkey, he explained - at a location portrayed as a Free Syrian Army camp, the phantom organization US policymakers created, perpetuating the myth about anti-Assad moderates.

Russia identified scores of terrorist groups operating in Syria, their elements imported from many dozens of countries, including European ones.

Russian journalists interviewed Abdulhadi. Turkey is “a friend” of ISIS, he explained, likely unaware of Washington’s responsibility for creating the organization along with others like it.

Turkey actively trains ISIS fighters, said Abdulhadi. “In August 2014, I was training in the Turkish town of Adana with one of ISIL’s Emirs,” completing a month-long program with 60 other recruits.

The camp was officially called a Free Syrian Army facility. All recruits trained there are ISIS fighters, including Syrians and foreign nationals.

After completing training, Abdulhadi “went to one of the districts in the Turkish town of Adana,” he explained. “My task was to meet the newly arrived recruits from Syria.” 

“After the training, we sent them to the Turkish town of Urfa. From there the recruits were transferred via Turkey-Syria border crossing back to Syrian Raqqa. And from there further across Syria.”

ISIS gets weapons and munitions in conventional trucks, creating the appearance of non-military cargo deliveries.

“Weapons were brought to us in civilian cars, not in military ones because fighter jets might have bombed them,” Abdulhadi explained. “ISIL is now mostly using civilian vehicles. I’ve heard they put vegetables on top of boxes with ammunition, so that war planes do not spot them.”

He has no direct knowledge of sources supplying ISIS with weapons, munitions and other supplies. Washington’s dirty hands are involved complicit with Turkey, other key NATO partners and regional rogue states, notably Saudi Arabia.

Separately, prominent Syrian journalist/filmmaker Naji Jerf was extrajudicially executed in Gaziantep, Turkey - the third journalist murdered in the past three months.

Turkey is a hotbed of anti-free press viciousness. Journalists critical of regime policies risk arrest, prosecution and imprisonment, charged with espionage and/or treason.

At times, they end up dead. Did Erdogan order them eliminated?  Nothing of importance goes on internally without his knowledge, approval and involvement.

Jerf’s recent documentary revealed violence and other forms of criminality in ISIS-held areas of Aleppo. His film titled “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently” won a Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ) International Press Freedom award last month.

CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator Sherif Mansour said “Syrian journalists who have fled to Turkey for their safety are not safe at all.”

Truth-telling on issues Erdogan wants kept secret risks imprisonment or death. His regime is involved in numerous high crimes - internally and allied with Washington’s imperial enterprise.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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