Yes, they did! They made a deal on Aleppo and they carried it through to it’s conclusion.It's undeniable that Turkey and Russia played a big role in the liberation of Aleppo
When I woke up yesterday morning (wednesday), thinking, as usual, about the day’s blog post, I said to hubby- We’re going to talk Turkey today. (But I was a day behind on this post- apologies)
So let's talk!
The Istanbul bombing. More of the same destabilization that's been going on for years now. But it also looked to me like a ‘shot across the bow”- A warning. The timing of the Istanbul bombing, immediately preceding the imminent liberation of Aleppo?
Syrians Celebrate Aleppo's Liberation
2 birds with one stone?
It's undeniable certain very involved parties were less then enthused about the liberation of Aleppo. So they lashed out. That lashing out at Turkey took the form of that massive suicide bombing in Istanbul on Saturday. Perpetrated by America/UK and Israel's besties- PKK affiliates TAK- Istanbul Bomb Blasts- TAK/PKK Takes Ownership
And please, let's just call them the PKK- Cause at the heart of it all- It's who they are. And while we're calling spades, spades. Let's just call them a NATO stay behind army. (Gladio B, if you are at all familiar with Sibel Edmonds theory? Myself, I don't bother differentiating. Stay behinds operations never ended) Cause that is what the PKK is.. and has always been.- A Stay Behind Army
Dealings between Turkey and Russia
Turkey’s deal with Russia had ensured, if handled well by all other players, that Aleppo would be liberated. And it was. One claim, from the linked below Bloomberg piece, that I find completely non credible? The US was caught unawares?? They had no idea at all Russia and Turkey were even talking?? That's just not credible.
The regular Turkey /Russia meetings were mentioned here. Information taken straight from main stream media reports. How could the US have been caught unawares? Of course, they were not caught unaware! For what ever reason officials are spinning.
Recent posts noting Russian/Turkish cooperation regarding Aleppo & more
*Russia and Turkey Plot Endgame In Aleppo- October 12/2016
Turkey mum on Aleppo- Turkey quiet on missile defense deployments.- Turkey working with Russia to get fighters out of Aleppo etc., Putin and Erdogan also discussed the modalities of providing humanitarian aid to the civilians in Aleppo.
Erdogan said, “We thoroughly discussed the Syrian issue. We talked about the Euphrates Shield operation and evaluated ways we can cooperate in this direction. We specifically talked about what strategy we may choose in order to help, from a humanitarian point of view, the inhabitants who are in a dire situation, especially in Aleppo.”
Putin noted, “We have a common stance regarding what must be done to deliver humanitarian aid to Aleppo. The issue is ensuring security for the deliveries of this cargo.”
*Richard Haass- CFR President : Gap Growing Between Allies and Turkey
"Increasingly Turkey is gathering behind the Assad Government"
"Is far more concerned about Kurds then getting rid of Assad Government"
I hadn't used this one here previously, but, had it saved for just the right time.
Firstly, Turkey’s military intervention [known as Operation Euphrates Shield], which was carried out with the approval of Moscow, with the official aim of fighting the Islamic State (IS) group. The operation saw Turkish military officials requesting the support of Syrian rebels. In reality, the purpose of Ankara's intervention was to prevent the Kurds from joining their two enclaves, Afrin and Kobane, into a contiguous zone. [Turkey has long maintained that it would not allow Kurdish YPG peshmergas from seizing territory west of the River Euphrates in northern Syria.]
But Turkey’s mobilising of Syrian rebels who originally fought in Aleppo (originally when?) helped weaken the rebellion in Aleppo and thus facilitated the advance of the Syrian army.All with the cooperation of Moscow. There are likely more, however I couldn't round them all up in a timely fashion- Let's move on to Bloomberg
Bloomberg: Russia and Turkey pushed the West out of Syria
Neither the U.S. nor European powers seem to have been aware that Russia and Turkey were negotiating a ceasefire and evacuation deal for Aleppo on Tuesday. After the capture of the ravaged but all-important city by President Bashar al-Assad's forces, this may be the new normal in Syria -- one in which the West is more of a spectator than an active participant.Odd, it was contained in my post from October 12/2016?
Though the evacuation, planned for 5:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, was delayed by an outbreak of fighting, with the sides blaming each other as usual, talks are continuing, and Western nations are not part of them. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday morning that it was "pointless" to talk to the U.S.; negotiations with Turkey would be "more effective than many months of a pointless hangout we have had with the United States."
While the Western press discussed dire English-language tweets from the last rebel-held enclave of Aleppo, the Russians and Turks were talking to the rebels and the Assad regime, trying to finalize Assad's victory. Their deal included a withdrawal plan for the rebels that would spare civilians further bloodshed -- something that would enable Moscow and Ankara to burnish their humanitarian credentials and claim the mantle of peacemaker rather than kingmaker.What and the US didn't know- I posted on this in October!!
The U.S. had no idea about it. "I’m not aware that we had any indications that there were bilateral discussions to reach this kind of an arrangement," State Department spokesman John Kirby said when asked whether State knew Turkey, a U.S. ally, was involved in the talks. "So I don't know that there was any prior knowledge." Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, seemed unaware that a deal had been struck when she delivered a prosecutorial speech to the U.N. security council, blaming Assad's regime, Syria and Iran for "contributing to a noose around civilians" and asking, "Are you truly incapable of shame?"I think the bag of hot air that is Samantha Power would have delivered her absurd speech had she known or not. Maybe John Kirby and Samantha Power should read penny for your thoughts? LOL
At a press conference in Berlin Tuesday afternoon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande spoke of a "disastrous" and "heartbreaking " situation in Aleppo, never indicating they knew a deal was in the works and slamming Russia for blocking talks. On Tuesday evening, Merkel and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoke to their Russian counterparts on the phone to discuss Syria, among other issues. By then, the deal had already been announced. The Kremlin readout of Merkel's call with President Vladimir Putin says, "It was agreed to step up bilateral contacts" -- a thinly veiled reference to Merkel's dismay at being insufficiently informed.I'm not buying the didn't know claims- They had to have known Turkey and Russia were talking and they had to have known what it was about- Because it was openly reported on! Rather then work towards real peace France, US, Germany just wanted to undermine the opportunity for peace that Russia, Turkey, and Syria had worked so hard for!
This is what happens when Western powers are neither willing to fight nor amenable to a deal. U.S. and European hand-wringing has done little to help the people of Aleppo -- something that will be remembered along with the bloodshed and the Assad regime's ruthlessness. Countries that have been willing both to fight and to talk have stepped up as the real players.
"Not that the interests of these players are perfectly aligned, however. Russia and Turkey have diverging interests in Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a sworn enemy of Assad, Putin his ally. Erdogan has a major problem with the Kurdish enclaves in Syria which he believes serve to destabilize the situation across the Turkish border. Putin has quietly backed the Kurds, and Russia has insisted they take part in any talks on Syria's future. A year ago, the Turkish air force shot down a Russian warplane after it briefly intruded into the Turkish airspace near the border, prompting a confrontation between Putin and Erdogan that lasted until Putin quickly and unequivocally supported the Turkish leader against a failed military coup."sworn enemy"- baloney: it's about interests.
There is no obvious solution to the Russian-Turkish differences on Syria short of the country's partition into a "Russian zone" and a "Turkish zone" along the lines of the pre-World War I division of Iran between Russia and Britain, a possibility Turkey expert David Barchard raised in a recent article for the Middle East Eye. Perhaps things are moving toward this kind of a solution right out of the Great Game era: Putin and Erdogan have been talking on the phone before making each major move in Syria. Neither has felt the need to involve Western nations"A partition of Syria into russian zone and a turkish zone? Wildly speculative. I wouldn't even engage in this type of speculation without way, way, way more information
It is now clear that Russia only negotiated the previous Aleppo ceasefires with the U.S. as a smokescreen for operations that just had one goal -- a military victory for the Assad regime. Turkey's reticence is more troubling for the U.S. -- but perhaps it shouldn't be surprising. Turkey is the only North Atlantic Treaty Organization member that has dared to put boots on the ground in Syria in an operation it has called Euphrates Shield. It has the military capability to make gains without U.S. help. Russian acquiescence is more important for that than the approval of NATO allies.Really, Turkey is the only NATO member that has boots on the ground in Syria? This guy is a laugh riot- he really is. He must be unaware of the special forces the US/UK and France have on the ground in Syria (I believe Canadians too)
If the two countries now agree on how to handle a common threat -- the Islamic State -- they will be in a position to negotiate a post-war settlement with the various Syrian sides.Would that be a bad thing?
Turkey and Russia need a fair division of responsibilities in the fight against Islamic State, hard as that may be to achieve. Turkish forces are actively fighting IS in the immediate vicinity of Aleppo, at the town of al-Bab, now held by the militants but, according to the Turkish government, encircled and about to fall. This is a sensitive area to the Assad regime, but Turkey's activity there appears to be OK with Russia as long as the Turkish army stays clear of Aleppo. Russia hasn't been actively engaged against IS lately, concentrating its firepower on Aleppo: It was even forced to withdraw a small garrison from Palmyra, the site of a major Russian victory celebration earlier this year, as the militants retook the historic site.
By refusing to take the risk of a ground force while backing the weakest side in the conflict -- the rebels who have now been pounded out of Aleppo and who have needed a lot of Turkish help to keep fighting elsewhere -- the U.S. has largely written itself out of Syria. Everyone, including the allies, has now seen the futility of relying on Washington for help or solutions.
Aleppo's humanitarian plight, the Assad regime's military victory and the gradually developing Russian-Turkish relationship in Syria mark a major defeat for U.S. foreign policy. It will reverberate throughout the Middle East and leave the incoming administration of Donald Trump with a hard choice: to play second fiddle in the region or to try to muscle in, preventing Russia and Turkey from dividing spheres of influence there.Putin, Erdogan discuss Syria, situation in Aleppo ― Kremlin
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan had a telephone conversation on Wednesday, in the course of which they discussed the Syrian problem and the ongoing situation in Aleppo, the Kremlin press service said.Moscow says easier to deal on Aleppo with Ankara than Washington
"The two heads of state continued the exchange of opinions on the Syrian problem," the report said. "Specifically, they discussed the situation in Aleppo. They made emphasis on the importance of a buildup of joint efforts to improve the humanitarian situation and to give a start to a political process in Syria in practical terms."
"Around Aleppo there was a complex tangle of negotiations. ...As far as I understand, for us it was much more straightforward to reach agreements with Turkey than with the Americans,"It's been a while I've been informing readers that a great many things have changed. It appeared to me some time ago that Russia and Turkey had been cooperating- When Aleppo was finally liberated I noticed more then a few main stream sites openly blaming Turkey for it's failure to act in NATO/US interests in Syria-
Including article such as this: Turkey continues to press al Bab, ignoring eastern Aleppo
Signs that Turkey will avoid fighting with the Assad regime increased last month, (early november?) when Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told MEMO last month that the operation to take Al-Bab will not extend to relieving east Aleppo, which is currently on the verge of falling.East Aleppo was not a Turkish concern. Turkey securing it's border was the concern. Blocking the US backed Kurds was their concern. Eastern Aleppo?- their concern extended to assisting President Assad in his liberation operation
Richard Haass "Increasingly Turkey is gathering behind the Assad Government"If you didn't want to take my word about the change perhaps CFR President Richard Haass's statements will make the change more understandable?
"Is far more concerned about Kurds then getting rid of Assad Government"