Sunday, August 21, 2016

Turkey's Duplicity on Syria

Turkey’s Duplicity on Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Turkey is a NATO member, a longtime US ally despite strained relations over the events of July 15, Erdogan an international outlaw, long coveting annexation of northern Syrian territory, along with removal of Assad.

In recent remarks, repeated on Saturday, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim was less than honest. He promised to work with Russia and Iran for conflict resolution in Syria while continuing active support for terrorists representing US interests and Turkey’s.

He demands democratically elected/overwhelmingly popular President Assad must go - instead of straightaway as earlier insisted, later during a transitional process.

Fact: No nation may interfere in the internal affairs of another for any reason except self-defense if attacked - clearly not the case in Syrian relations with Turkey or any other country.

Regime change is both illegal and contrary to the will of the vast majority of Syrians. Turkish insisting Assad goes, along with continuing support for terrorists ravaging the country, shows Yildirim’s pledge to work cooperatively with Russia and Iran for conflict resolution rings hollow.

Erdogan’s meeting with Putin in St. Petersburg on August 9 left both leaders world’s apart on resolving Syria’s conflict.

Moscow-based independent investigative journalist John Helmer featured a cartoon on his web site, showing Erdogan about to light a fuse on a rocket labeled “I love Putin” - saying “Pay me not to now!”

He’s a notorious despot, a wannabe sultan, notably untrustworthy, playing the US, Russia, and EU cards simultaneously for all he can gain advantageously - Putin well aware of the hazards of dealing with him.

He’s concerned about preventing northern-based Syrian Kurds from establishing an independent state, potentially including Turkish territory, Yildirim saying:

“Turkey we will be more active in the Syria issue in the coming six months as a regional player. This means to not allow Syria to be divided on any ethnic base. For Turkey this is crucial.

Days earlier, he released a conflict resolution plan to include preserving the integrity of Syria’s borders, slow-motion regime change, and return home of millions of Syrian refugees now in Turkey.

At the same time, he called direct talks with Assad “out of the question,” showing lack of seriousness in resolving ongoing conflict.

Resolving it requires direct talks involving representatives close to the leadership of all key countries involved - mainly America, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria.

Nothing in prospect gives hope for peace. Washington appears planning greater war, not resolution. Turkey wants its own interests served, not Syria’s.

Russia is the only major power genuinely going all out for restoration of peace and stability after five-and-a-half years of US-launched aggression.

Its objectives remain unattainable because of US obstructionism and rage for endless war.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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