— The Erimtan Angle —

For quite some time I have been repeating that Turkey and the U.S. have been organising and arming the rebels in Syria from the U.S. Air Base in İncirlik. The only source I could cite, however, was Sibel Edmonds, reticent to divulge her own sources.[1]  Then, some time ago, the CIA admitted to recruiting Syrian opposition fighters in Turkey.[2]  And now, the well-respected news agency Reuters has revealed that Turkey’s role in the anti-Assad movement is not to be underestimated.

From Dubai, Reuters’ Regan Doherty and Amena Bakr indicate that “Turkey has set up a secret base with allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar to direct vital military and communications aid to Syria’s rebels from a city near the border, Gulf sources have told Reuters. News of the clandestine Middle East-run “nerve centre” working to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad underlines the extent to which Western powers – who played a key role in unseating Muammar Gaddafi in Libya – have avoided military involvement so far in Syria”.[3]  It seems that Reuters forgets that Turkey is part and parcel of the Western alliance as a NATO member and close friend of the U.S. Or is that only Israel, as an imported nation state in the Middle East, can be publicly termed a member of the Western powers???  Nevertheless, Doherty and Bakr’s sources clearly show that Turkey is now stepping out of the shadows and has publicly assumed a leading role in the mission to topple the Syrian Baath regime.

The news agency Reuters furthermore reveals that a Doha-based source stated that “It’s the Turks who are militarily controlling it. Turkey is the main co-ordinator/facilitator. Think of a triangle, with Turkey at the top and Saudi Arabia and Qatar at the bottom. The Americans are very hands-off on this. U.S. intel are working through middlemen. Middlemen are controlling access to weapons and routes”.[4]  This anonymous source now confirms what Sibel Edmonds has said months ago. In addition, it seems now that the CIA is openly operating from the İncirlik Air Base and that Turkey has now established another centre to operate from, apparently in the vicinity of the Turkish city of Adana, according to the Reuters report. Doherty and Bakr elaborate that the Adana base “was set up after Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah al-Saud visited Turkey and requested it, a source in the Gulf said. The Turks liked the idea of having the base in Adana so that they could supervise its operations, he added. A Saudi foreign ministry official was not immediately available to comment on the operation”.[5]   As for the finer geographic points of American and Turkish action regarding the war in Syria, the Reuters reporters add that “Adana is home to Incirlik, a large Turkish/U.S. air force base which Washington has used in the past for reconnaissance and military logistics operations. It was not clear from the sources whether the anti-Syrian “nerve centre” was located inside Incirlik base or in the city of Adana”.[6]  Their Doha-based source additionally revealed that “Three governments are supplying weapons: Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia”.[7]  From Washington, Reuters’ Tabassum Zakaria, Matt Spetalnick, and Andrew Quinn report that “the White House has crafted a presidential directive, called a “finding,” that would authorize greater covert assistance for the rebels, while still stopping short of arming them. It is not clear whether Obama has signed the document, and U.S. officials declined to comment on the finding, which is a highly classified authorization for covert activity”.[8]  Remembering President Bush’s Presidential Findings regarding support for Iran’s opposition, which were only mentioned by Seymour Hersh, and President Obama’s recent Kill List, that seems to have been strategically leaked, it is probably safe to assume that Barrack Obama did sign the paper but put a strategic ban on divulging said information. In the same way, Ankara has also denied any kind of role in organising the armed opposition in Syria. Keeping Erdoğan’s strong words in mind, however, one cannot but assume that Turkey is spearheading the international; operation to oust Assad.

The Russian naval base in Tartus and Iran’s opposition to the U.S. administration also mean that Damascus is not without allies. Recently, Iran’s vice president in charge of international affairs, Ali Saeedlou has said that “Tehran is ready to give its experience and capabilities to its friend and brother nation of Syria”, according to the IRNA news agency.[9]  And on Sunday, 29 July, ‘Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moallem heading a high-ranking political delegation arrived [in Tehran] for talks with Iranian officials’.[10]  In this volatile mix, China also needs to be considered as an active actor of course. The Xinhua news agency, for instance, dutifully reports that ‘Walid al-Muallem said . . . that his government is committed to implementing the peace plan put forward by UN-Arab League joint envoy to Syria Kofi Annan’.[11]

All the while, the battle for Aleppo is raging on: ‘Regime helicopters have shelled the key city of Aleppo and clashes have continued on the ground between regime forces and rebel fighters, according to opposition activists. The Guardian’s Luke Harding said the two sides are about 1.5km apart. Aleppo-based activist Mohammed Saeed told AP the shelling was most intense in the south-western neighborhoods of Salaheddin and Saif al-Dawla. The government said security agents were hunting down armed groups in Salaheddin. Video purported to show that a government shell had set a plastics factory ablaze in Aleppo’, as reported by the Guardian.[12]


[1] “Op-Ed: The Road to Intervention in Syria” A Pseudo-Ottoman Blog (06 June 2012). https://sitanbul.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/op-ed-the-road-to-intervention-in-syria/.

[2] “The New Cold War: The CIA Prepares Battleground Syria???” A Pseudo-Ottoman Blog (22 June 2012). https://sitanbul.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/the-new-cold-war-the-cia-prepares-battleground-syria/.

[3] Regan Doherty and Amena Bakr, “Exclusive: Secret Turkish nerve center leads aid to Syria rebels” Reuters (27 July 2012). http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/27/us-syria-crisis-centre-idUSBRE86Q0JM20120727.

[4] Regan Doherty and Amena Bakr, “Exclusive: Secret Turkish nerve center leads aid to Syria rebels”.

[5] Regan Doherty and Amena Bakr, “Exclusive: Secret Turkish nerve center leads aid to Syria rebels”.

[6] Regan Doherty and Amena Bakr, “Exclusive: Secret Turkish nerve center leads aid to Syria rebels”.

[7] Regan Doherty and Amena Bakr, “Exclusive: Secret Turkish nerve center leads aid to Syria rebels”.

[8] Tabassum Zakaria, Matt Spetalnick, and Andrew Quinn, “Insight: Cautious on Syria, Obama moves to help rebels” Reuters (27 July 2012). http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/07/27/us-syria-usa-obama-idINBRE86Q04U20120727.

[9] “Iran says it’s ready to support Syria with ‘experience and” AP (26 July 2012). http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/iran-ready-support-syria-experience-capabilities-article-1.1122168?localLinksEnabled=false.

[10] “Syrian FM arrives in Tehran” IRNA (29 July 2012). http://www.irna.ir/News/Politic/Syrian-FM-arrives-in-Tehran/80251558.

[11] “Syria committed to implementing Annan’s peace plan: FM” Xinhua (30 July 2012). http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/30/c_123489893.htm.

[12] “Syria: Battle for Aleppo – live updates” The Guardian (29 July 2012). http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/29/syria-bashar-al-assad?newsfeed=true.

Comments on: "Exclusive: Turkey’s Central Role in Syria’s Civil War" (6)

  1. […] president Bashar Al Assad after the early months of the uprising in Syria. On July 30, the blog – A Pseudo-Ottoman Blog: Occasional Musings – wrote: Turkey is part and parcel of the Western alliance as a NATO member and close friend of the […]

  2. […] towards Syrian boss Bashar Al Assad after a early months of a overthrow in Syria. On Jul 30, a blog – A Pseudo-Ottoman Blog: Occasional Musings – wrote: Turkey is partial and parcel of a Western fondness as a NATO member and tighten crony of a […]

  3. carininha_lemes said:

    this was a really quality post. in theory i’d like to write like this too. taking time and real effort to make a good article.

  4. casadacarente said:

    thanks for your nice sharing to us.

  5. Carolina Rocha said:

    i agree.

  6. Dear Blog Owner, You can also Publish my article on the Same topic and is based on Sectarian divide and the false war on Syria.

    Sectarian divide, the modern warfare:
    http://www.thefaultlines.com/opinion/924-view-sectarian-divide-the-modern-warfare.html

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