Of course I saw all the media coverage regarding this most recent incident in Idlib province and have a bunch of news items bookmarked. They'll be included throughout this report. Still, I prefer to tread carefully when addressing this news for the simple fact that there is a perception managing media agenda that tends to promote specific ideas as follows:
- 1. Create the perception that Russian/Turkish cooperation is always on the precipice.
- 2. Every incident that takes place signals the end of their years long cooperative efforts.
- 3. Make both parties look untrustworthy in general and specifically in Syria
" James Jeffrey has called on Russia to exert efforts to convene the Syrian constitutional committee on December 14, proposing to end the Sochi/Astana peace talks if the committee is not put together."And as "coincidence" would have it- those parties consist of the same ones that want to see Syria remade into broken up, very Israel friendly entity. While being a thorn in the side of Turkey and Iran. With an eye, long term, to weakening Russia.
It is the cooperation between three strong nations that impedes, to some extent, this agenda.
Personally speaking, this is not an agenda or idea that will be promoted at this blog unless it has some basis in reality. As reported today in the Russian media. Not RT. Russian officials, with actual names, do not see this latest episode as a problem. That news will be linked to and quoted from a bit further down in this report.
First we'll check out the click baiting headlines:
- Al Monitor (American) Deadly airstrike on Turkish convoy tests Ankara-Moscow ties
- Washington Examiner: Russia's Bloody Message to Turkey in Syria
I'm sure Durden got lots of reads... but it didn't get mine.
Charlies Lister (washington examiner/ neo con) said: “The Russians are far weaker in Syria than they pretend, but the same S-400 air defense platform that Erdogan has bought from Putin, is operated by Russian forces in Syria. It would impose heavy costs on the Turkish air force in any fight”
Charles Lister doesn't mention Turkey as a NATO ally? Curious.
Turkey must understand the reality of the S-400 system since they’ve purchased it for themselves from Russia? And are prepping for another shipment to be delivered in 2020
-Turkey is moving ahead with the next phase of the S-400 purchase. Delivery to take place next year from all reports. First deliveries completed.
Last month, Turkey received the first shipment of the S-400s and said a second shipment would arrive in Ankara next year.Doubtful Turkey would launch air strikes in retaliation for the alleged attack on the convoy. Nothing in their statement to indicate that could occur (statement below) Not sure why Charles Lister would suggest that? In fact Turkey and Russia have cooperated quite well in regard to Syria for some time. Was there a message from Russia to Turkey in the alleged convoy strike? Given all the communication between the two countries over these many years?
It couldn’t be said with certainty that there was.
Addressing the attack on the convoy:
Conflicting narratives abound. The claim originated with the opposition. The opposition posted images on social media. An unnamed Syrian official was quoted making statements. Long term readers should understand my problem with unnamed officials, always, but especially, in situation such as this. As well as social media imagery.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry called the convoy’s incursion a “flagrant Turkish intervention,” saying it had reached Saraqeb, a town north of Khan Sheikoun early on Monday.Look at the map below- Look at the location of Saraqueb. The distance from Khan Sheikoun and the position of existing outposts belonging to Turkey, Iran and Russia
Surely the unnamed Syrian official would be aware that Turkey has been supplying and manning it’s outposts for years now. And that they’ve crossed the border an unknown, to you and me, number of times in the process of doing so? Though Syrian officials would have been aware of these crossing as they occur? The crossings/outposts don’t get much if any acknowledgment in the 5/6 eyes media. Except for the Turkish outposts. All of the outposts have been covered here several times, including maps. At least two to three other maps??
"Mazen al-Shami, an opposition activist based in Idlib, also said that warplanes struck areas near where the Turkish convoy was moving. The Sham Network, an activist collective, posted photos of the Turkish convoy — a mushroom of smoke, apparently from the airstrike, could be seen in the distance."Link to Turkey's Statement
Despite repeated warnings we made to the authorities of the Russian Federation, the military operations by the regime forces continue in Idlib region in violation of the existing memorandums and agreements with the Russian Federation, causing great harm to the civilian / innocent people and gradually turning into a humanitarian drama.If you haven't read enough of the outbound links yet.....Defense Post
In the face of these ongoing operations in violation of all memorandums and agreements threatening the supply route to the Turkish Observation Point No. 9, a deployment of our forces was started on August 19, 2019 at 5.30 am with advance information supplied to the Russian Federation, in order to keep the supply routes open, to ensure the safety of our observation post and to prevent further loss of civilian / innocent lives in the region.
During the transit an air strike launched on our convoy at 08.55 am caused 3 civilians to lose their lives and left 12 civilians wounded.
We strongly condemn this attack which contradicts the existing agreements, cooperation and dialogue with the Russian Federation. Without prejudice to our rights to self-defence, we expect the necessary measures to be taken to prevent recurrence of such incidents.
Idlib Airstrike Won’t Rattle Turkish Russian Cooperation in Syria
On August 19, the Syrian Air Force attacked a convoy of Turkish soldiers heading, as Ankara claims, to border checkpoint No. 9 in the Idlib province. Turkey blamed Syria for the deaths of three servicemen and stated that the incident contradicted "agreements and the spirit of cooperation with Russia." Some media outlets are already anticipating an end to Turkish cooperation with Moscow along the lines of the Astana process. The flare-up in Idlib, however, will not affect the joint efforts of Russia and Turkey in Syria and will not lead to the disruption of the Sochi deal, the State Duma told Izvestia.So, the Russians and this blogger noticed the exact phenomena?! It was pretty hard to miss!
Vladimir Shamanov told Izvestia We have disagreements on a number of positions with Turkey, and they need to be resolved. But in general, this incident should not affect the tone of our relations,"Geez, the Russians don't seem too concerned about a fall out between themselves and Turkey. Yet, the 5/6 eyes media was all afire with this idea? Why? Perception management.
Andrey Krasov, the joint struggle against extremists in Syria is far more important than the current contradictions, so military cooperation between the two countries will not suffer. "This is not the case when you need to break off relations," he said.
"Cooperation between Moscow and Ankara in the field of military equipment, the purchases of the S-400 and differences over Syria should not be mixed. The escalation in Idlib is unlikely to lead to an acute crisis or a disruption of supplies of the second batch of the Russian missile systems, scheduled for September," Director of the Center for the Study of Modern Turkey Yuri Mavashev told the newspaper.
In closing. Whatever actually happened, we can't really be sure of. What seems true is that neither the Russians or the Turks seem to excited about the whole situation. Which must be disappointing to many?
Weird, this headline?
“Chimerical”attack? That’s a Freudian slip if ever I’ve seen one!
Chimerical is one of my favourite words- It means made up. Imaginary. Fanciful.
Existing only as the product of unchecked imagination: given to fantastic schemes