December 09, 2015 "Information
Clearing House" - "Moon
Of Alabama" - The Turkish move
to annex Mosul is further developing into a serious conflict.
Iraq has demanded that Turkey removes its soldiers and heavy weapons
from the "training base" near Mosul within 48 hours. It asserts that
these were put there without asking or informing the sovereign Iraqi
Turkey first denied that any new
troops arrived in Iraq. It then said that the troops were only
a replacement of the existing training force. Then it claimed
that the new troops were there
to protect the training force:
Turkish sources say the reinforcement plans were
discussed in detail with Brett McGurk, U.S. President Barack
Obama’s counter-ISIL fight coordinator, during his latest visit
to Ankara on Nov. 5-6. “The Americans are telling the truth,”
one high-rank source said. “This is not a U.S.-led
coalition operation, but we are informing them about
every single detail. This is not a secret operation.”
The U.S. was informed but Iraq was not? That makes
it look as if the U.S. is behind this. Brett McGurk has also said
that this is not a "U.S.-led coalition" operation but is otherwise
playing "neutral" on the issue.
But Reuters now
stenographed some other Turkish source which suddenly claims
that the tanks and artillery are part of the coalition:
Turkey said on Monday it would not withdraw
hundreds of soldiers who arrived last week at a base in northern
Iraq, despite being ordered by Baghdad to pull them out within
The sudden arrival of such a large and heavily
armed Turkish contingent in a camp near the frontline in
northern Iraq has added yet another controversial deployment to
a war against Islamic State fighters that has drawn in most of
the world's major powers.
Ankara says the troops are there as
part of an international mission to train and equip Iraqi forces
to fight against Islamic State. The Iraqi government says it
never invited such a force, and will take its case to the United
Nations if they are not pulled out.
The force to be trained is under control of a
former Iraqi state governor who is, like the Kurdish ex-president
Barzani, a Turkish tool:
The camp occupied by the Turkish troops is being
used by a force called Hashid Watani, or national mobilization,
made up of mainly Sunni Arab former Iraqi police and volunteers
It is seen as a counterweight to Shi'ite
militias that have grown in clout elsewhere in Iraq with Iranian
backing, and was formed by former Nineveh governor Atheel al-Nujaifi,
who has close relations with Turkey. A small number of Turkish
trainers were already there before the latest deployment.
The former policemen who ran away when the Islamic
State took over Mosul are not and will not be a serious fighting
force against their Islamic State brethren in Mosul. They are just a
fig leave for the Turkish occupation.
There are rumors, not confirmed yet, that Turkey
now uses the presence of its force to blackmail the Iraqi
government. Turkey, it is said, wants agreement from Baghdad for a
gas pipeline from Qatar through Iraq to Turkey.
The original plan was to have such a pipeline run
through Syrian desert flatland to Turkey and on to Europe. The gas
from Qatar would be sold there in competition with gas from Russia.
President Assad had rejected that pipeline and preferred one from
Iran through Iraq to the Syrian coast. Qatar and Iran collectively
own a huge gas field in the Persian Gulf. Whoever gets his pipeline
going first will have a big advantage in extracting from the field
and selling its gas. The rejection of the original pipeline project
was one reason why Qatar engaged heavily in the regime change
project in Syria. The Plan B would have the pipeline go through the
rather rough east Anatolia - more expensive than the Syria route but
feasible. The U.S. supports the Qatar project. Anything that would
make Europeans dependent on gas from a U.S. controlled regime is
preferable to Europeans who do independent business with Russia.
visited Qatar on December 1 for two days and the two countries
signed a number of "strategic agreements". The Turkish troops moved
to Mosul on December 4 and 5. This makes the pipeline extortion that
Turkey is said to try with Iraq at least plausible.
But Iraq and its Prime Minister Abadi can not
agree to the pipeline project. Its allies in Iran, Russia and Syria
are all against the Qatar-Turkey-(U.S.) project and would see that
as treason. Shia militia in Iraq, especially the Badr brigade, have
threatened to destroy the Turkish force near Mosul. They would
remove Abadi from his office if he would fold under the
Turkish-Qatari-(U.S.) extortion scheme.
Possibly related to the Turkish escalation is
attack on a Syrian government position near Deir Ezzour:
Syria's government said the U.S.-led military
coalition has carried out a deadly airstrike on a Syrian army
camp, but officials from the alliance said the report was false.
Syria said four coalition jets killed three
soldiers and wounded 13 in the eastern Deir al-Zor province on
Sunday evening, calling it an act of aggression, the first time
it has made such an accusation.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported earlier that
jets likely to be from the coalition hit part
of the Saeqa military camp near the town of Ayyash in Deir al-Zor
province, killing four Syrian army personnel.
But a U.S. military official, speaking on
condition of anonymity, said the United States is certain that
Russia was responsible for the deadly strike on the Syrian army
The official flatly dismissed claims
that U.S.-led coalition jets were responsible.
Brett McGurk, U.S. President Barack Obama's
envoy to the coalition, also denied claims of coalition
responsibility, saying on his Twitter account: "Reports of
coalition involvement are false."
Damascus insists that four jets entered Syria from
Al-Bukamal, Iraq and fired 9 missiles against al-Saeqa military base
in Ayyash near Deir Ezzour.
The U.S. accuses Russia to have committed the
strike. I very much doubt that. There have been accidental "friendly
fire" strikes by the Russian air force against Syrian troops and
against Hizbullah. But those accidents were always immediately
admitted and investigated within the 4+1 alliance. The Russians say
they did not do this strike and Damascus agrees.
But notice the weasel word in the U.S. statements:
"U.S.-led coalition". The Turks in Mosul are not part of the
"U.S.-led coalition" even if they first claimed to be. If the air
strike in Syria today were not done by the "U.S.-led coalition" it
could mean that some country committed these air strikes on its own
without the strike being officially within the "U.S.-led coalition"
framework. Could that country's name start with a Q?
The U.S. will know who really launched this
strike. In both, the Turkish aggression on Iraq and the airstrike in
Syria today and even with the earlier
ambush on the Russian jet, the U.S. is likely "leading from
behind" the curtain. All these events are, like the now forming
new alliance with Jihadis, part of Obama's bigger
plans and designs for Syria and the Middle East.