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Great Idlib Rebranding And Turkish Victories Over Russian Air Defense

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Great Idlib Rebranding And Turkish Victories Over Russian Air Defense

Terrorist groups operating in Idlib are preparing for a new rebranding under Turkish patronage. According to Syrian sources, Hayat Tarir al-Sham (formerly the official Syrian branch of al-Qaeda), the Turkistan Islamic Party (an al-Qaeda-linked group), the National Front for Liberation (a coalition of Turkish proxies friendly to al-Qaeda) and several smaller groups are going to create a united command center and even declare a formal merger.

The idea is to shuffle well-known al-Qaeda terrorists with their supposedly moderate Turkish-backed counterparts, and give them a new name and logo. So, Ankara will have a formal reason to claim that there are no ‘terrorists’ in Idlib and the current situation in the region fully corresponds with the agreements reached with Iran and Russia. These agreements exclude terrorist organizations, which control up to 90% of the militant-held part of Greater Idlib, from the ceasefire and allow military actions against them. The issue is that the same agreements declare that Turkey must separate so-called ‘moderate rebels’ from ‘terrorists’. This is hardly possible because there is little difference between them. Therefore, the Turkish leadership opted to unite them painting them as the ‘moderate opposition’ once again violating the word and spirit of the de-escalation agreements.

Earlier in the conflict, various terrorist groups already employed this approach. For example, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham was previously known as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra. The group changed its name in an attempt to distance itself from al-Qaeda and present itself as part of the moderate opposition that is brutally oppressed by the Assad regime, Iran and Russia. This plan failed because terrorists, even if they change their flag and wear new hats, remain terrorists and continue acting like terrorists.

On March 15, Turkish and Russian forces are set to start conducting joint patrols along the agreed security corridor on the M4 highway in southern Idlib. On March 10, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the patrols will start from the settlement of Trumba – 2 km west of Saraqib – to the settlement of Ain al-Havr. Additionally, Cavusoglu repeated threats that his country will attack Syrian forces if they do not comply with the ceasefire. How this ceasefire will survive with no real anti-terrorist fight in Idlib remains another big secret. According to pro-Turkish sources, the Turkish Army and its proxies will control the part of the security corridor north of the M4, while the Russians will present south of the highway. However, so far, there have been no indications that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other terrorist groups are withdrawing means and forces from the area. This situation creates an apparent pretext for a military escalation.

The public behavior of the Turkish leadership and Turkish media outlets does not help to de-escalate the situation either. Since March 5, Ankara has been doing its best to paint the failed Operation Spring Shield as a major victory. After tiring the audience out with unrealistic numbers of supposed Syrian Army casualties, Turkey moved on to mocking the military capabilities of the Russian air defense systems. On March 10, Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan claimed that his forces had destroyed 8 Pantsir air defense systems in the Idlib zone. This number goes contrary to data provided by the Turkish Defense Ministry which claimed that 8 air defense systems of various types were destroyed during Operation Spring Shield. It seems that the amount of supposedly destroyed military equipment of the Syrian Armed Forces continues to grow.

The Russian Defense Ministry called Erdogan’s claims “more than overestimation” and noted that apparently the data, which the Turkish leader receives about the results of the operation,  is not very precise. The military said that a total of 4 Pantsir systems were deployed in Idlib and only 2 of them were damaged. It recalled that most of the Syrian air defense means and measures are deployed in the area of the country’s capital, Damascus.

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  • Karen Bartlett

    There will be infighting before you know it.

    • Vitex

      One can but hope

      • Karen Bartlett

        :0 (Big grin; don’t have emoji access or don’t know how to access them.)

  • Al Balog

    LOL, that picture is just too good 😂

  • cechas vodobenikov

    http://www.sott.net/article/430533
    amerikans r immoral little children…liars/hypocrits…well established by historians sociologists etc
    “amerikan parents lie to their children; their children lie to their parents; its expected”. ( British anthropologist, Geoffrey Gorer )
    “Obama’s job is to lie to a nation of liars”.Professor Kiese Laymon
    “the men amerikans most admire tell them the most extravagant lies; the men they despise r those that try to tell them the truth”. HL Menkhen
    “nowhere in an American public education r the concepts of truth and falsity ever addressed”. Neil Postman
    “amerikans have been liars and braggarts for 3 centuries”. Daniel Boorstin
    of course this is obvious—80% of idiot amerikans supported the Invasion of Iraq…and they can’t find the WMD’s to this very day
    a nation of idiots—“stupidity is a virtue in amerika” Charles Pierce
    “amerika requires a stupefied population” Christopher Lasch
    “stupidity is a precious natural resource in amerika” Philip Slater
    “Amerika is a culture of stupidity” Arthur Schlesinger Jr
    I suspect that the turks r emulating their amrikan supporters

    • Karen Bartlett

      Hate to like this, but I do.

  • gustavo

    Turkey is just doing what USA-Israel-NATO tell it to do, that is all.

  • Beron Garcia Daniel

    the lady has coronavirus :( i’m kidding, i hope you get better and we could hear more reports !

  • Empire’s Frontiers

    Uniting them all under one banner is a thoughtful move, and representing it as typical terk duplicity in the media is thoughtful too.

    In reality, no political solution exists among these jihadi criminals, but their previous division into moderate and radical opposition, absurd as it was, hindered a calculating Russia.

    This creates opportunities for air raids against a wider array of targets in response to any number of weak clashes along the much consolidated frontline.

    There’s a certain part to this where the turks themselves have a huge jihadi problem if they’re not all wiped out by the end of the fighting. So it’s sensible that they’re cooperating, perhaps begrudgingly, with the Russians at this time.

    • Karen Bartlett

      They won’t cooperate. It’s all hot air.

    • cechas vodobenikov

      amerikans cannot cooperate–they r far too insecure and antagonistic….examined by everyone from Tocqueville, Richard Sennet, Geoffrey Gorer, H Bruce Franklin, Lewis Coser, Morris Berman, etc….as Gorer observed, “amerikans bewilder Europeans”

  • Constellation 2023

    Emperor Putin is set to rule for another 16 years! Poor Russians.

    • Ulricht

      Poor you.

  • cechas vodobenikov

    no question needed—amerikans r so stupid they believe coke is different from Pepsi—these idiots purchase products advertised by celebrities that don’t use the products (fully examined by Boorstin)
    some amerikans r so shallow and stupid that they believe they live in a democratic republic…..”a procedural republic like North Korea (Sandel)…a police state where surveillance exists that the East German Stasi could have only dreamed of (Thomas Drake), an oligarchy (Gilens/Page/ Lessig/shapiro, where only a few African nations can claim worse income/wealth disparates, where election laws r only found in dictatorships like Azerbijian (Ackerman/Chomsky)
    “there is no functioning democracy in amerika. it is really an oligarchy where political bribery determines the nominations and selection of all presidents, governors, senators, congress members”. Jimmy Carter
    yet these functionally illiterate peasants continue to vote……the freedom hating obsequious amerikan will not notice the demise of their empire—infected w narcissism, obesity, stupefied by their television designed for the 8 yr old mind (Postman, Fussel, Franklin, etc) dependent upon illicit and legal psychotropics, they will believe anything their rulers tell them…something expected among such self doubting childish people……”in amerika politics is baby talk, a vaudeville act”. Neil Postman
    “in amerika the citizen has been transformed into a client, the worker into a consumer”. Christopher Lasch (the culture of narcissism)
    As the cultural historian Gary Cross wrote, “growing up in amerika is largely an education in shopping”…quite a poor education…only amerikans submissively pay list price

    • roland

      Yep but do you realise that all western democracies are in the same boat as the Americans the truth is we all live in corrupt dictatorships that’s why some people say democracy is the worst form of government because in a democracy anyone can get into a position of power and that means evil people can get into positions of power very easily