Military coup underway in Turkey

Updates:

  • According to most media outlets, the coup has failed
  • The Turkish parliament has been bombed
  • The Presidential palace has been bombed
  • Scenes of war on streets of Ankara – warplanes, helicopters & tanks.
  • The Bosphorus bridge has been closed
  • Ankara is still under control of an opposition faction of the military

LIVE – Aljazeera

LIVE – ABC Australia

Other Posts:

‘All eyes on Moscow’ – Russian-Turkish suspense is palpable

DebkaFile Reports:

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan clearly took a calculated risk when he ordered a two hour cross-border artillery bombardment Saturday, Feb. 13 of Syrian army forces positioned around the northern Syrian town of Azaz and the Kurdish YPG militia units which two days earlier took control of the former Syrian military air base of Minagh some six kilometers from the Turkish border.

Kurdish troops backed by the Russian air force seized that base last week from rebel militias as part of the operation for cutting the rebel groups under siege in Aleppo from their supply routes. The Turkish bombardment was therefore an indirect attack on the Russian forces backing pro-Assad forces against the rebels in the Syria war.

Erdogan knows that Moscow hasn’t finished settling accounts with Turkey for the shooting down of a Russian Su-24 on Nov. 24 and is spoiling for more punishment. After that incident, the Russians deployed top-of-line S-400 ground-to-air missile batteries and advanced Sukhoi Su-35 warplanes to their base in Latakia near the Turkish border. Ankara therefore limited its strike to a two-hour artillery bombardment from Turkish soil, reasoning that a Turkish warplane anywhere near the Syrian border would be shot down instantly.

Emboldened by the delay in the Russian response, the Turks took another step: Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu threatened the Kurdish YPG militia with more attacks if they failed to withdraw from the Menagh air base.

Although the Turkish prime minister had called on “allies and supporters” to back the operation against the Russian-backed  Syrian Kurds, Washington took the opposite line by urging Turkey, a fellow member of NATO, to desist from any further attacks.

Washington’s concern is obvious. An outright clash between Turkey and Russia would entitle Ankara to invoke the NATO charter and demand allied protection for a member state under attack.

The Obama administration would have had to spurn this appeal for three reasons:

  1. To avoid getting mixed up in a military clash between two countries, just as the US kept its powder dry in the Russian-Ukraine confrontation after Moscow’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in February 2014.
  2. To avoid upsetting the secret Obama-Putin deal on the allocation of spheres of influence in Syria: the Americans have taken the regions east of the Euphrates River, and the Russians, the west.
    The Kurdish YPG militia forces near Aleppo and the city itself come under the Russian area of influence.
  3. Regional tensions were tightened another notch Saturday by Russian comments: Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that his country and the West have “slid into a new Cold War period,” and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said a third World War is actually underway -“I call this struggle a third World War by other means.,” he said.

Washington will avoid any action that risks further stoking this high state of international tension, but will act instead to de-escalate the cross-border Turkish-Russian confrontation over Syria.

All eyes are now on Moscow, much depends on Russia’s response to the artillery bombardment of its Syrian and Kurdish allies. It is up to Putin to decide when and how to strike back – if at all.

US urges Turkey to stop bombing Syria

Russian state media is reporting that Turkey is shelling Syrian and Kurdish positions inside Syria.

Last week, the Russian Prime Minister warned that if Turkey did that, they would set off a ‘World War’.

Video: Turkey attacks Syrian Kurds while Erdogan Slams America

Tweets from the State Department

 

Russia just violated Turkish airspace again

This time, Turkey didn’t take the bait and wisely so, because this time Russia has the most advanced aerial defence system in the world on standby, itching to prove itself to the world.

As Russia and Turkey face off, we are reminded that we are sitting on the verge of the return of Christ.

Putin has said that he cant guarantee that it wont happen again.

Is this second airspace violation our last reminder?

 

 

Terrorists draw Turkey into conflict with Russia

This article is part of a series authored by STRATFOR – a geopolitical intelligence firm that provides strategic analysis and forecasting. For other articles by STRATFOR click here.


A powerful explosion went off in Istanbul near the city’s most prominent tourist attractions on Jan. 12, killing at least 10 people and injuring six foreign tourists. The blast, which took place in front of the ancient Egyptian Obelisk of Theodosius and near the Blue Mosque in the Sultanahmet district, reportedly involved a suicide bomber. Though the Turkish government is currently in conflict with numerous terrorist and non-state militant groups, the location, target and method of attack point to the Islamic State as the primary suspect behind the operation. In comments made after an hour long meeting of the country’s National Security Council, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the suicide bomber was of Syrian origin.

By cracking down on the Islamic State and actively supporting rebel operations against the extremist group in Syria, Turkey has knowingly made itself a target of the many groups loyal to the Islamic State. Furious at the disruption of their vital supply lines through Turkey because of the crackdown, which has steadily intensified since July 2015, Islamic State leaders have repeatedly vowed to launch severe retaliatory attacks. The first serious attack occurred last year on July 20, when the group staged a suicide bombing attack in the Turkish town of Suruc, near the Syrian border. Turkish raids and arrests stopped several other planned attacks, but not all of them; on Oct. 10, the group struck again in Ankara.

The latest attack, which hit in the heart of Istanbul’s oldest quarter, could galvanize an even stronger Turkish response against the Islamic State. Indeed, Ankara has already been pushing its allies to support it in an operation in Syria’s northern Aleppo province that aims to create a buffer zone in the Azaz-Jarablus zone. A successful operation would serve Turkish interests by hurting the Islamic State, strengthening the rebel position in northern Syria, preventing the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from expanding farther westward and — because Turkey does not want to go it alone — drawing the United States deeper into the conflict.

However, Russia’s intervention in Syria has greatly complicated Turkey’s plans for the operation, and in the wake of Turkey shooting down a Russian Su-24 warplane, Moscow continues to frustrate Turkish ambitions in the country. The Russians, for instance, have reinforced their air defense assets in Syria, and in a Dec. 17 interview, Russian President Vladimir Putin dared Turkey to fly over Syrian airspace with the implication that the aircraft would be shot down if it did. Faced with the prospect of a potential war with Russia if it proceeded with an armed incursion into Syria, Ankara has been forced to revise its plans for northern Aleppo.

In spite of the risk that Russia poses, Turkey could increase its involvement in Syria. This latest Islamic State attack on a Turkish city comes at a time when the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces have crossed the Euphrates River in their push westward and Russian- and Iranian-backed loyalist offensives have ratcheted up the pressure on Turkey’s Syrian rebel proxies. The Turks may choose to carry out intensified strikes with long-range missiles from the safety of their own borders, but a greater Turkish incursion into Syria cannot be ruled out.

Terrorists Target Turkey, Again is republished with permission of Stratfor.