Turkish Aggression in Syria
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Aggressors usually say they're acting in self-defense, combatting terrorism (they support), pursuing a humanitarian mission, aiding an ally, and/or other pretexts for furthering their objectives.
Erdogan took the self-defense and combatting terrorism pretexts, claiming justification under international law - despite no Syrian Kurdish threat to Turkey's territory, none of its forces mobilized to invade cross-border, nothing imminent threatening its security.
No nation may attack another legally without Security Council approval, allowed only in self-defense or if an attack against its territory is imminent - very much not the situation along the Turkish/Syrian border.
Ankara's Orwellian named Operation Olive Branch is flagrant naked aggression - more proof that wannabe sultan Erdogan can never be trusted.
He's allied with Russia and Iran in Syria for his own self-interest alone, ready to abandon them if other priorities take precedence, a sometime ally, not a reliable one.
He's a ruthless despot. Russia and Iran know the risks of dealing with him, knowing they can be betrayed anytime.
On Sunday, Ankara's ground offensive began, preceded by days of shelling, along with continuing air attacks on Kurdish YPG positions.
Russia's Foreign Ministry issued a weak-kneed statement, expressing "concern," adding "(w)e are closely monitoring the development of the situation (while) pursuing a long-term political settlement in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and the agreements on de-escalation zones reached within the Astana process."
Russian lower house State Duma Defense Committee chairman Vladimir Shamanov said Turkey's offensive "introduce(s) certain complications for the start of the inter-Syrian dialog in Sochi" - scheduled for January 29 and 30.
Damascus denounced Turkish aggression, its Foreign Ministry saying "(t)he Syrian Arab Republic decisively condemns Turkish aggression against the town of Afrin, which is an inseparable part of Syria," adding:
Its government "completely denies claims by the Turkish regime that it was informed of this military operation."
It's unclear how many casualties occurred so far. Turkey's offensive is days-old, ground operations just begun.
So far, Syria hasn't followed through on its threat to down Turkish warplanes. Nor has Russia intervened against its aggression.
Conflict resolution is nowhere in sight. Turkish aggression and Washington's intent to establish permanent occupation of northern and southern Syrian territory present issues not easily resolved.
War could continue years longer - despite Russian and Iranian best efforts to end it.
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