Writing about upcoming battles, making predictions is a dangerous thing. Saddam and his “mother of all battles” is a case in point. However, the complex situation in Northern Syria in the 2nd week of March, 2017 has all the earmarks of a wartime comedy farce.
The battle for Raqqah against whoever is there claiming to be “ISIS” is going to be a curious one. You see, nearly every “player” in the Israelo-Saudi sphere has forces inside Raqqah including Israel and Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain, the UAE and British and American contracting firms.
The Brits and Americans are former SAS, US Navy SEALS, no more than a few dozen, paid by the Gulf States through contract firms like L3 Communications and DynCorp, not I said “like” and not “them” specifically.
The majority of ISIS fighters are a mix of Saudi nationals, with maybe two dozen Saudi Special Forces, and about 500 Turkish Army reservists, many who now have families there, having “married” local girls who were kidnapped for them.
This is the same “Turkey” that is going to “free” Raqqah. Do you see where the comedy comes in?
Enter stage right, the 11th Marine Expeditionary Force, come to provide Syria’s Kurds with the needed 155mm firepower to take on the hardcore ISIS contingent in Raqqah, their makeshift capitol, or so we are told, and bring them in line.
Do note that ISIS is “on the ropes” primarily because of the military intervention of Iran on behalf of Iraq and Syria, the sacrifice of Hezbollah, of the Kurdish people and, most of all, the Syrian Arab Army.
Lest we fail to mention Russia, their military and diplomatic efforts, we do so now.
Heading in for “the kill” is the “late to war” after being on the wrong side all along United States.
Mind you, while the US is now sending in troops to take down Raqqah, they are also threatening Iran with military action and supplying Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States with the high technology weapons that deliver directly from the factories of American arms companies like Raytheon to the terrorists that have used them successfully for years.
We might add that this process has accelerated, aided every step of the way by Turkey as well. We are going to get into that one also.
Then we have the geography. This part of Syria is no more than a half hour drive from the city of Aleppo, mostly wheat farming country with a mixed population of ethnic Arabs and Kurds.
Then have another issue, a minor one. Turkey is now sworn to come in for the kill and aid Syria by knocking out ISIS, even if it means they must fight their own military, who make up the bulwark of ISIS forces in this region, and supply both sides in the fighting simultaneously. Comedy?
It gets better, Turkey sent its military into this region when the Syrian government was hopelessly besieged in 2013. How Turkey helped the situation is quite a story. They began by sending in engineer and transport companies that removed 600 factories including an entire automobile assembly plant from the heavily industrialized Aleppo region, the largest industrial center, at one time at least, in the entire Middle East.
For the past two years, in the areas controlled by ISIS, al Nusra, the Free Syrian Army, the “White Helmets” and a dozen other organizations, while NGO charities tasked with aiding war victims grew fat trafficking women and children into sex slavery and ran poison gas shells and chemicals to the “rebels,” Syria was looted into Turkey.
All the while, the US, Britain, France, they all knew about it. Endless millions in antiquities were taken, they were traded in Israel, at London and New York auctions and, you will enjoy this most of all, the organizations that send investigators to report on these crimes, even writes books supporting the Syrian government, were “spotters” for the thieves themselves.
Groups that cry about refugees or that are even featured in Academy Award winning films take part in mass executions and have aided in the kidnapping and trafficking of tens of thousands of Syrian women and children that are not in camps anywhere and will never be seen again.
Now we get back to our Turkish friends. We know that during the entire War on Terror, from 2003 onward, and there is no way of knowing this ever ended, the Iraqi oil that transited Turkey in the Turkish-Israeli pipeline system, oil that mostly went to British Petroleum and to Secretary of State Tillerson’s Exxon, was never paid for. Some Turkish leaders made vast fortunes on their cut.
Then, during the new ISIS war, Turkey claimed the pipeline was “out of action” and then cut a deal with certain Kurdish leaders who sought a way to defraud Baghdad. So, for years, the Kirkuk oil from Iraq has flowed through a “destroyed” pipeline into those Exxon and BP tankers, money spit in more hands this time with ISIS getting a fat cut, London and the CIA too.
Then there are the oil trucks, rumored to be owned by an Erbil, Kurdistan company controlled by Turkey’s Erdogan family, perhaps more than a rumor. These trucks, up to 12,000 of them, were prominently featured on YouTube as the Russian Aerospace forces made mincemeat of them. Before that, however, the US with all those CIA spy treasures WikiLeaks talks about, couldn’t see those trucks though we have reliable reports they might well have been visible to the naked eye from the surface of Mars.
Nobody ever knows where the trucks go, where the oil goes, who pays for it, where 600 factories went, where 40,000 missing women and children went, where hundreds of millions in antiquities went, nobody knows anything. The world is Forrest Gump.
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”