Monday, February 15, 2016

Imminent Turkish/Saudi Escalation in Syria Coming?

Imminent Turkish/Saudi Escalation in Syria Coming?

by Stephen Lendman

Russia’s intervention in Syria last fall shifted momentum in Assad’s favor, letting government forces regain lost ground, putting Washington’s Middle East project in jeopardy.

US officials are desperate to turn things around. Their strategy may be to use Turkish and Saudi forces as proxies to do America’s dirty work.

To what extent beyond provocative actions and warnings of escalation is unknown. The fullness of time will tell. 

A US invasion is unlikely beyond small numbers of special forces and combat troops. Perhaps Ankara and Riyadh have only disruptive objectives in mind. Maybe regaining control of limited areas in northern Syria close to Turkey’s border alone.

An unconfirmed report warned of an imminent “massive escalation.” Syrian media said small numbers of Turkish troops and mercenaries already entered Syria. Whether it’s prelude for a larger invasion remains to be seen.

Russia will do whatever it takes to maintain its aerial campaign effectiveness, along with protecting its personnel involved.

Iranian General Farzad Esmaili said Tehran “will spare no effort to provide Syria with advisory assistance in the air defense field.” 

If needed, perhaps Iranian ground forces will get involved. The wild card is how far both sides may go, whether a regional conflict could expand globally, putting America and Russia into direct confrontation.

Let’s hope Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is right, dismissing the threat of significant Turkish/Saudi invasion, saying:

“It is obvious (this threat is) propaganda…The means and capabilities of countries are completely clear and with these propagandist bluffs, none of their problems will get resolved.”

Iranian Armed Forces Deputy Chief of Staff General Massoud Jazyeri agreed, calling Turkish/Saudi threats “a political bluff and psychological warfare.”

“It looks like the Syrian government and people and the resistance have taken their decision and do not back down in the face of these psychological attacks.”

He added his own warning, saying “(w)e will definitely not let the situation in Syria proceed in line with trouble-making states’ wish to enforce their policies. We will make necessary decisions in due time.”

Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem warned against Turkish/Saudi aggression, saying any “ground intervention on Syrian territory without government authorization would amount to an aggression that must be resisted.” 

Assad vowed to defeat terrorist invaders throughout the country, explaining the struggle to liberate Syria will be long and protracted.

Syrian forces continue making impressive gains in Aleppo province. Liberating Raqqa, Daesh’s self-declared capital, is the next key objective.

On Monday, government troops gained control over Raqqa province’s strategic heights, a key victory. They continue advancing. Intense fighting continues on multiple fronts.

America and its rogue allies pretend to support cessation of hostilities and conflict resolution talks - while continuing support for ISIS and other terrorist groups, prolonging conflict instead of working to end it.

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 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.