Tag Archives: Turkey

Syria’s Water Cut Off By Turkey Following McCain, Erdogan Meeting

Just a matter of days after John McCain’s “unusual” trip to Syria and Turkey, the Turkish government has cut off water supplies from the Euphrates River into northern Syria, violating international conventions on water rights.

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Kurdish Fighters take positions at the top of Mount Annan overlooking the Tishrin dam, after they captured it from ISIS militants, south of Kobani, Syria December 27, 2015. (Photo: Rodi Said)

While some measure of stability has returned to pockets of northern Syria following the Syrian Army’s recent liberation of al-Qaeda from Aleppo and elsewhere, external forces seem determined to keep the region volatile, regardless of the cost. In the latest example of aggressive foreign intervention in Syria, Turkey, which has long played an antagonistic role in Syria’s nearly six-year-long conflict, has now cut off the flow of the Euphrates River into Syria, depriving the nation of one of its primary sources of water.

According to the Kurdish Hawar News Agency, Turkey cut water supplies to Syria around Feb. 23, which subsequently forced a hydroelectric plant at the Tishrin Dam to shut down while also significantly reducing water levels on its associated reservoir. The dam supplies both water and power to key parts of northern Syria, such as the city of Manbij and other parts of the predominantly Kurdish Kobani Canton.

The dam is one of several major dams along the Euphrates River. Just downstream from Tishrin lies the Tabqa Dam and its reservoir Lake Assad, which supplies Aleppo with most of its power and drinking water, as well as irrigation water for over 640,000 hectares (2,500 square miles) of farmland. A city official in Manbij told Hawar that the city would provide generator fuel to civilians to help cope with the blackout that has resulted from the river being cut off. The same official added that Turkey had “violated the international conventions of water and rivers energy by cutting off Euphrates water.”

This is not the first time Turkey has deprived Syrians of water as a means to advance their political goals in the region. Turkey previously cut the river off in May of 2014, causing water levels on Lake Assad to drop by over 20 feet and creating the potential for genocide by means of dehydration. By blocking the river, Turkey threatens Iraqi civilians as well. Major urban centers like Mosul, whose water supplies largely depend on reservoirs fed by the Euphrates, could be gravely impacted if the river continues to be blocked.

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Tishrin Dam

The act of cutting off the river is not unprecedented, but its timing is peculiar. Just days prior to Turkey’s act, U.S. Senator John McCain “secretly” visited the Kobani Canton, the very region that now finds itself without water, before heading to Turkey, where he met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  According to the senator’s office, “Senator McCain’s visit was a valuable opportunity to assess dynamic conditions on the ground in Syria and Iraq.” It adds that McCain looks forward to working with the Trump administration and military leaders “to optimize our approach” on fighting the Islamic State.

While the U.S. has backed the Kurds in their fight to keep their territories along the Syrian-Turkish border free of terrorist influence, it has come at the cost of greatly complicating diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Turkey.  For example, in early 2016, Erdogan dramatically demanded that the U.S. choose between an alliance with Turkey or with the Syrian Kurds. The diplomatic stand-off has since reached new heights of tension, with Turkey threatening to invade Kurdish-held Manbij less than two weeks ago. Manbij is suffering the most from Turkey’s blockage of the Euphrates, suggesting that the move could be intended to destabilize the Kurds before something more drastic takes place.

It also warrants mentioning that despite Erdogan’s and McCain’s claims that they are eager to “defeat” the Islamic State and other terrorist factions, both have close ties to those very same groups. This, of course, suggests that McCain’s visit, as well as recent moves by Turkey, have ulterior motives that have yet to be publicly expressed.

For example, McCain has been so intent on removing Assad from power that he has fostered relationships with Syria’s “moderate rebels” and its more notorious opposition factions such as the Islamic State. Photographic evidence has confirmed this, with one infamous photo showing McCain posing with Khalid al-Hamad – a “moderate” rebel who gained notoriety after a video of him eating the heart of a Syrian Army soldier went viral online. McCain has also admitted meeting with ISIS on national television, going so far as to acknowledge that he is still in contact with the infamous terrorist group.

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Erdogan, for his part, was revealed to be a major player in the smuggling of Islamic State oil out of Syria for sale on the global market. It was these oil sales that enabled the Islamic State to grow into what it is today and to become one of the world’s most well-funded terror groups.

With such connections now well-documented, it seems unlikely that McCain and Erdogan discussed how to defeat the Islamic State. Based on the evidence, it seems much more likely that both remain eager to destabilize the region due to their shared goal of deposing Assad. With Turkey already working to destabilize Northern Syria by cutting off key resources, we will soon see what other measures may have been discussed during this “secret” meeting.

By Whitney Webb, Source: Brittius

 

 

 

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Was That A Fake Turkish Coupe De Ville?

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You’d got to wonder. We had this exact discussion with a colleague. The coup was very lame and poorly planned and gave a poor impression of the Turkish military. Why would anyone with extensive and top military experience stage a coup and let the target arrive  from foreign travels at a time and place they clearly knew – to let him walk free? How easy it would be to wait for him and just pop him. They also seemed to have a press-ready table and cameras available surprisingly fast at a hotel Erdogan is suppose to have escaped to, unprepared and in emergency. It all seemed very plastic.

This is not the first time Erdogan stages his own heroism opportunities. A few months back he “rescued” a man trying to “commit suicide”, quite miraculous right in front of cameras, even right in the perfect camera angel. Erdogan ‘spotted’ the victim with a vision that appears to see around corners and below bridges…

Herp derp, just herpin a derp.

Well, the coup appears to be mostly over.

The whole thing was a totally sloppy mess.

Like, outrageously so.

Like, there is very little possibility that the Turkish military, who throws coups regularly, could have screwed this up this badly.

The way you throw a coup is pretty straightforward: first you grab the leader, then grab the media outlets, then put the leader on the media, humiliated.

Instead, these people decided to throw the coup while Erdogan was on vacation. And apparently didn’t even attempt to secure him. By the time the coup began, he was already in a secret location. Then the whole thing went straight to hell, very quickly.

The coup told people to go home, while Erdogan told his people to go on the street. So the coup supporters were at home, while the Erdogan supporters were out on the streets. This is exactly the opposite situation a coup would want.

The coup also started firing on civilians (apparently), which is also something you definitely do not want to do. That makes even people who were inclined to support it turn against it.

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People complained so CNN gave it up.

In short, the whole thing could have been better arranged for Erdogan himself, who now looks like a hero of the people.

As such, it seems to me the most likely possibility is that Erdogan – presumably with the blessing of Western forces – worked with some of his own people in the military to arrange a hoax coup.

All regular readers know that I am generally very critical of conspiracy theories. And yet, looking at this objectively, I must say – it is the most likely option, period.

The head of the military never came out and supported the coup. None of the top military officials did. No one even announced that they were in charge.

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They took CNN then people complained so they gave it up.

In short, the whole thing could have been better arranged for Erdogan himself, who now looks like a hero of the people.

As such, it seems to me the most likely possibility is that Erdogan – presumably with the blessing of Western forces – worked with some of his own people in the military to arrange a hoax coup.

All regular readers know that I am generally very critical of conspiracy theories. And yet, looking at this objectively, I must say – it is the most likely option, period.

The head of the military never came out and supported the coup. None of the top military officials did. No one even announced that they were in charge.

There was no leader of this coup.

How is it possible that “a portion” of the military got control of all of these tanks, aircraft and soldiers? The heads of the military just weren’t paying attention while this was planned? How does that make any sense at all?

And here: how were people supposed to know if they supported the coup if they didn’t even know who was running it?

Erdogan and the Prime Minister came out and said it was all being masterminded by an Islamic cleric in Pennsylvania! Why would they say something so nonsensical?

None of it adds up, at all.

Other people are going to come out with this theory. I assume Alex Jones and other conspiracy theorists will. I wanted to come out with it first, because I believe they will attach various bits of nuttiness and confusion to the theory.

Basically, I think – again, I don’t know for sure, I am simply saying it is the most likely possibility – that certain elements of the military collaborated with the Erdogan regime to stage a coup that was destined to fail for the purpose of making Erdogan look like a hero both domestically and internationally.

Now he’s the hero.

Of course, some elements of the military – those who actually carried out the coup – would have been told by those that ordered it that it was a real coup. Because coups are such a tradition in Turkey, very few people would have had to have known that it was fake.

This surely won’t ever be proven. It can’t really be, short of a whistleblower coming out, which probably won’t happen, because again, very, very few people would have had to have known it was a fake coup.

One thing is for certain: even if Erdogan didn’t plan this, he couldn’t have hoped for a better situation. This has effectively made him the country’s king, while also being hailed as the paragon of democracy.

At time of writing, the situation is ongoing. And obviously if it turns out the coup is more successful than it looks right now, my theory will be proven wrong. But it does look like it’s failed, miserably.

Source: The Muslim Issue

“Something is Going On” – And It’s Far Worse Than You Thought

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We have finally unlocked the Great Mystery why the Obama administration, UniParty house and senate leaders, and the Clinton campaign are so reluctant to utter the words radical islamic terrorism.”

I used to wonder why in the heck right-wing commentators on Fox News kept repeating the same mantra over and over again: sitting through the Republican debates, my eyes glazed over when I heard each and every candidate denounce the Obama administration for refusing to say the Sacred Words: “radical Islamic terrorism.” What are these people talking about, I thought to myself: they’re obsessed!

In short, I wrote it off as Fox News boilerplate, until the other day when, in the wake of the Orlando massacre, Donald Trump said the following on Fox: “Something is going on. He doesn’t get it, or he gets it better than anybody understands. It’s one or the other.” Reiterating this trope later on in the same show, he averred that the President “is not tough, not smart – or he’s got something else in mind.”

The Beltway crowd went ballistic. Lindsey Graham had a hissy fit, and other Republican lawmakers started edging away from the presumptive GOP nominee. The Washington Post ran a story with the headline: “Donald Trump Suggests President Obama Was Involved With Orlando Shooting.” Realizing that this level of bias was a bit too brazen, the editors changed it an hour or so later to: “Donald Trump Seems to Connect President Obama to Orlando Shooting.” Not much better, but then again we’re talking about a newspaper that has a team of thirty or so reporters bent on digging up dirt on Trump.

In any case, Trump responded as he usually does: by doubling down. And he did it, as he usually does, on Twitter, tweeting the following:

“Media fell all over themselves criticizing what Donald Trump ‘may have insinuated about @POTUS.’ But he’s right:”

The tweet included a link to this story that appeared on Breitbart: an account of a 2012 intelligence report from the Defense Intelligence Agency predicting the rise of the Islamic State in Syria – and showing how US policy deliberately ignored and even succored it. Secured by Judicial Watch thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, the document says it’s very likely we’ll see the creation of “an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.” And this won’t just be a grassroots effort, but the result of a centrally coordinated plan: it will happen because “Western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey are supporting these efforts” by Syrian “opposition forces” then engaged in a campaign to “control the eastern areas (Hasaka and Der Zor) adjacent to Western Iraqi provinces (Mosul and Anbar).”

This is precisely what happened, and, as we see, the Iraqi Army is now in the field – with US support – trying to retake Mosul and Anbar, with limited success. Yet it’s not like we didn’t know this was coming – and didn’t have a hand in creating the problem we are now spending billions of dollars and even some American lives trying to “solve.” Things are turning out exactly as the DIA report said they would:

“[T]here is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”

And who, exactly, are these “supporting powers”? The anonymous author of the report points to “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey.” Last I heard, the US is part of the West – although the way things are going, that may not be true for very much longer. And of course the US has had a policy of supporting the “moderate” Syrian Islamist “opposition,” which ended in massive defections from the so-called Free Syrian Army to openly jihadist outfits like al-Nusra and ISIS.

There was a split in the administration over this policy, with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then CIA director David Petraeus arguing for a full-scale effort to overthrow beleaguered Ba’athist strongman Bashar al-Assad with massive aid to a loosely-defined “opposition.” Petraeus even openly argued for arming al-Nusra – the Syrian affiliate of al-Qaeda – and there were indications that, before Hillary left Foggy Bottom, an arms pipeline was opened up between the Libyan jihadists we aided in overthrowing Ghaddafi and their Syrian brothers.

Obama was reluctant to get more involved, but Hillary and Petraeus were gung-ho, along with the usual “humanitarian” interventionists in the administration and the media, who were accusing the President of standing by while “genocide” was being carried out by Assad. In reality, the jihadists were chopping off heads and wreaking just as much devastation as the Syrian army, but these facts didn’t make it into the media narrative.

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In any case, the administration split was finally resolved when the President announced he was going to intervene in Syria with air strikes. This provoked a huge backlash from flyover country, with congressional switchboards tied up and protests coming in fast and furious. Clearly, the American people didn’t want another war in the Middle East, and, one by one, members of Congress who had planned on voting yes began to back down. The President backtracked – happily, I imagine. Hillary, who had already left the administration, was handed her final rebuke. Yet the seeds planted by her Syria policy would soon sprout into flowers of evil.

War was avoided, at least for the moment – but the prediction of that anonymous DIA agent was coming true. As thousands of US-trained –and-equipped rebels joined ISIS, along with the arms and other goodies provided courtesy of the US taxpayers, their leader declared the “Caliphate” and expanded its operations into North Africa, Europe – and the US.

The long reach of the Islamic State has been felt in this country twice in recent months: first in San Bernardino, and now in Orlando. Both terrorists traveled to Saudi Arabia, ostensibly for religious purposes, where they may have received training – and instructions.

When Omar Mateen opened fire in that Orlando nightclub, killing fifty people and wounding nearly one-hundred, the monster we created came back to haunt us. It didn’t matter that he may not have had direct links to ISIS: inspired by them, he carried out his grisly mission as he swore allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the “Caliph” of the Islamic State.

The Washington Post, in its mission to debunk every word that comes out of Trump’s mouth, ran an article by Glenn  Kessler minimizing the DIA document, claiming that it was really nothing important and that we should all just move along because there’s nothing to see there. He cited all the usual Washington insiders to back up his thesis, but there was one glaring omission: Gen. Michael Flynn, who headed up the DIA when the document was produced and who was forced out by the interventionists in the administration. Here is what Flynn told Al-Jazeera in an extensive interview:

Al-Jazeera: “You are basically saying that even in government at the time you knew these groups were around, you saw this analysis, and you were arguing against it, but who wasn’t listening?

Flynn: I think the administration.

Al-Jazeera: So the administration turned a blind eye to your analysis?

Flynn: I don’t know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision.

Al-Jazeera: A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?

Flynn: It was a willful decision to do what they’re doing.”

Of course, Glenn Kessler and the Washington Post don’t want to talk about that. Neither do the Republicans in Congress, who supported aid to the Syrian rebels and wanted to give them much more than they got. They’re all complicit in this monstrous policy – and they all bear moral responsibility for its murderous consequences.

Gen. Flynn, by the way, is an official advisor to Trump, and is often mentioned as a possible pick for Vice President.

The idea that we could use Islamist to fight jihadists was always crazy, and yet that is what the foreign policy Establishment and the congressional war hawks in both parties have been pushing. The “Sunni turn,” initiated by the Bush administration, supported (and funded) by the Saudis, the Turks, and the Gulf states, and escalated by the Obama administration, has empowered our worst enemies and endangered the American people. And here is the ultimate irony: it was done in the name of “fighting terrorism.” This gives new meaning to the concept of “blow back,” CIA parlance for an action (often covert) that has the unintended consequence of blowing back in our faces.

It certainly blew back in the faces of those party goers in Orlando – in a hail of bullets.

That Trump gets this is little short of amazing, and yet truth often comes to us in unexpected ways. He may be an imperfect vessel – and that is surely an understatement – but he is absolutely correct in this instance: this administration and this President either “doesn’t get it, or he gets it better than anybody understands. It’s one or the other.”

The media and the Never Trumpers leaped on this statement and translated it into the old Obama-is-a-secret-Muslim trope, but that’s not what he was talking about. He was talking about the largely unknown history of our intervention in Syria, where Hillary Clinton was the jihadists’ best friend and benefactor. It was she who led the charge to “liberate” Syria, to arm the “moderate” head-choppers and do to that war-torn wreck of a country what she had done to Libya. Obama knows it: and so does the media. But their lips are sealed.

Fortunately, mine aren’t:

So we finally unlock the Great Mystery: why oh why does is this administration and the Clinton campaign so reluctant to utter the words “radical Islamic terrorism”? Is it because of political correctness and a fear of inciting “Islamophobia”? Don’t flatter them: they’re not above that, when it serves their purposes. But it doesn’t serve their purposes this time.

What they’re afraid of is alienating their allies in the Middle East – not just the jihadists they’ve funded and succored in an effort to overthrow Assad, but primarily the Saudis, the Turks, and the Gulf sheikhs who are all in on the game and are playing it for all it’s worth. And of course there’s the Clinton Foundation, which has received millions in “donations” from the Saudi royals and their satellites.

The US policy goal in the region is to block the Iranians and their Shi’ite allies, including Syria’s Assad, from expanding their influence in the wake of the failed Iraq war. That war installed a Shi’ite regime in Baghdad, and in order to protect our vaunted ally Israel – which is set on regime change in Syria – we are backing and have been backing Sunni radicals, precisely those “radical Islamic terrorists” whose name will never pass Hillary Clinton’s lips.

We’ve been pointing this out on this site for years: I’ve written about it extensively. And now the Republican candidate for President is talking about it. To all those well intentioned hand-wringers out there who think I’ve gone overboard in my coverage of Trump, contemplate that amazing fact for a while – and then get back to me.

by Justin Raimondo | ZeroHedge