Some months ago, Engdahl predicted that Russia might be trapped in an unfavorable war. A few days ago, I thought that the danger had passed. I may be forced to eat those words.
three days after Putin’s March 14 declaration, the Yauza, part of the “Syrian Express”, the nickname given to the ships that have kept Russian forces supplied, left the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk for Tartous, Russia’s naval facility in Syria.
Whatever it was carrying was heavy; it sat so low in the water that its load line was barely visible.
Its movements and those of other Russian ships in the two weeks since Putin’s announcement of a partial withdrawal suggest Moscow has in fact shipped more equipment and supplies to Syria than it has brought back in the same period, a Reuters analysis shows.
The dozens of U.S. special operations forces now in Syria are working closely with a collection of Syrian Arab groups within an alliance that is still dominated by Kurdish forces. The United States has been supplying Arabs in the thousands-strong alliance with ammunition since October.
While the strategy is showing results so far, U.S. officials and Kurdish leaders agree that a predominately Arab force is needed to take Raqqa, a majority Arab city whose residents would consider Kurds as occupiers.
The biggest “joker in the deck” is Turkey.
Erdogan doesn’t seem as if he’s likely to win any human rights awards any time soon.
Violence has escalated since a ceasefire between the government in Ankara and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK) broke down last July, leaving a tentative three-year peace process in tatters and reviving a conflict that has cost more than 40,000 lives since it began in 1984.
Erdogan’s regime is unquestionably involved in this proxy war between Russia and the USA. But does the USA have a coherent Turkey policy? Past behavior would lead me to the following educated guess:
The USA’s elites are probably divided into factions. There are probably at least half a dozen factions of USA spooks, and each of those factions has a coherent opinion of Turkey, but none of those factions can control the levers of power competently.
Previously I had declared there was nothing to worry about. Even now I am not going to lose any sleep over it; I don’t think this will escalate to nuclear conflict. But the humanitarian crisis may very well get worse.
Previous Headline, 29 Mar 2016:Palmyra has been re-taken, Mosul is under attack, Engdahl should be glad that his prediction was wrong
Back in February, Engdahl made a prediction that the USA would successfully trap Russia in a Syrian quagmire.
Recently, Russia has hit hard and retreated to fortified locations, Palmyra is under Assad’s control, and Engdahl should be very happy that his prediction was wrong.
“Palmyra is situated right in the middle of Syria. It connects the eastern and the middle parts of the country. The main routes to Raqqa, Damascus and Idlib run through the city. Having regained control over Palmyra, the Syrian Army would advance to eastern Syria,” he pointed out.
Daesh forces are also suffering huge losses on the approach to their biggest base, the city of Mosul, press secretary of the National Mobilization Forces Mahmoud al-Surji told Sputnik.
People are still worried about Mosul, of course – even if it were militarily secure, people are afraid that its dam will fail and cause flooding.
Below is Engdahl’s original prediction: A spreading world war
I’m going to make a prediction which you can verify as accurate or, hopefully, not. In about two months I estimate, around late March or April it will be clear. The US Machiavellians have lured not only Turkey’s Erdogan and Saudi Arabia’s Prince Salman, but now Moscow into their trap in the Middle East. The initial losers in this unfolding deadly game will be Saudi, Turkey, Syria, Iraq and likely Russia. The ultimate losers, eventually, will also be
the American Patriarchs or oligarchs behind these incessant wars of destruction, but not immediately, short of a miracle.
Look carefully at the little-reported statements in recent days of two key Washington war actors–Joe Biden and John Kerry. On January 24, Vice President Joe Biden, the one who orchestrated the US coup d’ etat in Kiev in February 2014, met with Turkish President and would-be Sultan of a neo-Ottoman imperium, Recep Erdogan. Biden told Erdogan and Prime Minister Davotoglu that Washington wanted Turkey and Iraq to “coordinate” on an emerging US military plan to take back the Iraqi city of Mosul from DAESH or the so-called Islamic State. An Obama Administration official described the Mosul attack as in “hard-core planning” stages, though not imminent.
The unnamed US “senior” official, most likely Biden, stated that the US is also selecting several hundred Sunni Arabs in Syria, as well as some Turks, who Turkey says its government has identified as “potential fighters,” to help the US close the roughly 60 miles of border with Syria that remains under Islamic State control. The source added that Washington is hoping to finalize a package in coming weeks of new technological assistance for Turkey to aid in securing that stretch of border.
Biden also strongly backed Turkey’s fight against the Turkish Kurdish PKK and said that the US would strengthen its military campaign against ISIS if there is no agreement on a political solution in Syria. Joe Biden well knows that Erdogan and Turkish MIT intelligence head, Hakan Fidan fully back DAESH and fully are out to create ethnic cleansing against the Kurds in Turkey, and in Syria. He knows because the CIA worked with Fidan, a US educated Turkish military veteran, at secret Turkish bases over the past two years to train DAESH terrorists in the Washington war against Assad.
If you are beginning to smell a big skunk here, you have a healthy sense of smell.
So now we have Washington and Erdogan bringing undesired US and Turkish troops into Iraq’s Mosul region to prepare a major military operation, with or without the agreement of Iraq’s Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, who has repeatedly and impotently demanded the Turkish army leave Mosul.
You may fairly ask, why Mosul? To paraphrase Bill Clinton in his 1992 famous retort to George H.W. Bush, “It’s the oil, stupid.” The US failed operation dubbed Arab Spring, the failed CIA and Obama Administration backing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and across Middle East oil states, and now their operations with Turkey in Mosul and Syria are all about the oil.
This time, however it isn’t about taking over the rich oilfields of Iraq and Syria. It’s about destroying them. The US-engineered, French-executed destruction of Qaddafi’s Libya is the model. Iraq, as Dick Cheney’s 2001 Energy Policy Task Force discovered, holds the world’s third largest proven conventional oil reserves, on a par with Iran, with Saudi reserves the largest. The area around Mosul and the Kurd-controlled Kirkuk fields nearby are the current focus of the US military strategy. In Syria, DAESH terrorists control most all Syrian oilfields, where they illegally export with aid of Erdogan’s family to world markets to finance their terror campaign against Assad’s regime.
An ominous wire report sent a shiver down my spine when I read it. On January 28, US Army Lieutenant General Sean MacFarland, head of the US-led coalition against Daesh (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria, said that the US military was on site at the Mosul Dam to assess “the potential” for the collapse. Were it to be blown up, it would send a flood of water down the heavily populated Tigris river valley. “The likelihood of the dam collapsing is something we are trying to determine right now… all we know is when it goes, it’s going to go fast and that’s bad,” MacFarland told reporters in Baghdad. The US State Department estimates up to 500,000 people could be killed and over one million rendered homeless should Iraq’s biggest dam collapse.
It would likely flood the large oilfields of Kirkuk on its path, rendering them inoperable. Whoever controls the Mosul Dam, the largest in Iraq, controls most of the country’s water and power resource. The dam holds back over 12 billion cubic meters of water that is crucial for irrigation in the farming areas of Iraq’s western Nineveh province. In a 2007 letter, US General David Petraeus, a key figure in the destruction of Iraq and in the creation of what became DAESH, warned Iraq’s government that “A catastrophic failure of Mosul Dam would result in flooding along the Tigris River all the way to Baghdad.”
Washington Proxy War Builds
Combine this statement by General MacFarland, head of the US-led coalition against Daesh (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria on that Mosul Dam, the Biden talks to get Turkey’s military invasion accepted by Iraq “in the war against DAESH” and the encouragement by State Secretary John Kerry of Prince Salman’s Saudi war against Yemen, as well as the recent Davos statements by Ash Carter. Add to that the fact that the Saudi and Turkish militaries just announced plans undertake joint military actions to “cooperate against common threats.”
On February 13, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu confirmed a joint Turkish-Saudi joint attack plan for invading Syria, telling press, “If we have such a strategy, then Turkey and Saudi Arabia may launch a ground operation.” xvi
Now add to that the fact that Turkish military began shelling a Syrian airbase and village recently retaken by Syrian Kurds, with the argument that the Kurds of Syria were “terrorists” like the Turkish PKK Kurds. Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu confirmed the cross-border mortar shelling into Syria territory on February 13: “We will retaliate against every step (by the YPG),” he told state broadcaster TRT Haber. “The YPG will immediately withdraw from Azaz and the surrounding area and will not go close to itagain.”
Now add the fact that this week Washington repeated that it does not regard the Syrian Kurds as terrorists and that the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) have just opened its first foreign representative office in Moscow and we begin to see the outlines of Washington’s strategy of steering heated-up and hated-up Turkey and Saudi Arabia to trigger Washington’s surrogate war, a war where Turkey, a NATO member, Saudi and the Gulf Arab oil states, find themselves in a direct military confrontation with Russia in Aleppo province of Syria. The Turkish shelling at present is clearly a testing of the waters of a war with Russia to see how, in the wake of their ceasefire agreement, they will react. Will Russia retaliate by hitting Turkish military targets, in a NATO country?