From Latakia to Qamishli, anywhere in Syria is fair game! The time for military operations is now over; we're now at war. A heavy price will be paid! What is behind the attack on Turkish soldiers? Libya, the East Mediterranean? Turkey is aware of the plot in Idlib. It knows how to foil it; just wait! - İBRAHIM KARAGÜL

From Latakia to Qamishli, anywhere in Syria is fair game! The time for military operations is now over; we're now at war. A heavy price will be paid! What is behind the attack on Turkish soldiers? Libya, the East Mediterranean? Turkey is aware of the plot in Idlib. It knows how to foil it; just wait!

On Feb. 10, an attack was conducted on a Turkish military base in Taftanaz, Idlib. According to reports, this attack was conducted by the Damascus regime with artillery fire and, some rumors say it also included an air raid. Five of our soldiers were martyred. Also, as a result of the intense shelling by the regime on Feb. 3 in Idlib, seven of our soldiers and a civilian were martyred.

Both attacks were the first of their kind since the day the Syrian war started. So far, in the clashes ongoing between the Damascus regime and the Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army, the Assad regime and Turkish troops had never directly attacked one another.

Turkey wasn’t at ‘war’ until now, it was just conducting ‘operations’

Turkey conducted “operations” against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that is supported by the U.S., Israel, some European countries and certain Arab regimes, and against Daesh within the context of its own national security. None of Turkey’s operational areas contained forces of the Damascus regime; those areas were already under invasion.

Syria had been divided by the invasions of the PKK, Daesh and the U.S., and the majority of the country broken away. Turkey intervened in the terror corridor that was going to be built throughout the border, and banished the war and danger away from the border. In the meantime, it also intervened in the multinational map aimed at dividing Syria. Turkey never launched a war until now but only conducted “operations.”

Iran fought with Turkey everywhere. So, what changed for Moscow? Was it all a voting tactic?

The developments in Idlib were shaped with a deal between Turkey and Russia, as well as Iran. The Damascus regime had no ability to make decisions excluding these two countries anyway. A ceasefire, a de-escalation zone was declared. Turkey established observation points in the area within the context of the deal.

This is where Russia, Iran and the Damascus regime are attacking Turkey now. They are striking our troops stationed there within the context of the deal they signed. There is no possibility for the Damascus regime to conduct these attacks without Russia and Iran’s support or, at least their implied approval.

Then what is happening?

I am leaving Iran out of this. Iran acted completely against Turkey in Syria; it underhandedly fought Turkey. However, what changed for Russia? Did Moscow, exactly as the U.S. did, like the plan to buy time for the PKK, make a deal with Turkey to buy time for the Damascus regime? Does it think the time has come now for Turkey to withdraw? Is this not playing Turkey for a fool?

Syria is Turkey’s ‘internal issue.’ Is the country preparing for Israel, Iran?

The Syrian war is not Syria’s war, we know this. It is a multinational war with numerous fronts and the circumstances are changing very rapidly. There is, however, one thing that has not changed: the threat Turkey perceives and the fate of millions of refugees.

Turkey’s entire southern border is under threat and, what is more, it is under open attack. Millions of refugees were exiled from Syria, and Turkey is protecting them. Hence, Syria is an “internal issue” for Turkey.

Iran and the Damascus regime’s sectarian attitude exiled millions of Syrians from the country. Now, there is effort to exile the Sunnis who have taken shelter in Idlib or abandon them to a massacre. This is both preparing the country for invasion for Israel and suits Iran’s strict sectarian project.

Eternal exile like the Palestinians. Yet you want Turkey to remain silent?! Is that so?

So, what is going to happen to all these people? Are they going to be exiled for eternity like the Palestinians? What response do Russia and the U.S. give to these people’s need for a “homeland”?

Does Moscow have a solution to this? Turkey’s southern borders are going to be attacked, millions of Sunni Syrians are going to be exiled, there is going to be a demographic purge in the north of the country, while projects are implemented to vacate land, and the Damascus regime is going to directly attack our troops.

And we are going to keep quiet, accept it all, is that so?

What’s behind the attack? Libya, the East Mediterranean? It resembles Israeli tactics in the 1967 Arab-Israel war!

Nobody should dare talk to us about Syria’s territorial integrity. It is the U.S., the PKK, Russia and Iran that have spoiled this. They are the ones that are invading Syria. While there are so many raids, what other plans underlie the direct attack on Turkey? Furthermore, I do not think these plans are limited to Syria.

The aim is to distract Turkey with Idlib and render it immobile in Libya. The plan is to have Turkey deal with the Damascus regime in Idlib in efforts to plan games and make divisions in the Mediterranean.

In the 1967 Arab-Iran war, a Kurdish uprising was launched in northern Iraq to prevent the Iraqi armies from joining the United Arab army. This was conducted by Israel and a heavy deployment was sent through the Shah era Iran to northern Iraq.

The Iraqi army that was left to deal with these uprisings could not join the United Arab army. Israel distanced a country from the front with such a simple method. Is a similar game being played?

They’re playing an extremely dangerous game; we are going to respond

Israel, France, Russia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Greece are using the Idlib card to keep Turkey away from Libya. They are openly doing this by attacking Turkish troops. An extremely dangerous game is being set up.

The same countries want to drown Turkey in the Mediterranean by keeping it distracted with Idlib, with northern Syria.

In other words, the anti-Turkey front has expanded from the Iranian border to the Mediterranean and Libya. And all these are but a single front. Turkey has seen this game. In this case, Russia owes Turkey sincerity.

Turkey has the means and strength to conduct a widespread operation, including Idlib, including the terror map in northern Syria. And it will do this sooner or later. The Damascus regime cannot possibly stand against Turkey.

We are defending Syria, not the Duchy of Damascus, nor the Latakia minority government

There is no such thing as Syria left. There is a country that has been divided and shared. We are busy protecting our country’s south against storms within this chaos. In this case, Turkey is the country with the most legitimate right to defense.

Of course we defend Syria’s territorial integrity. Yet, we are also defending the people of Syria. We defend Syria and the people of Syria, not the Duchy of Damascus or the Latakia minority government that has waged war against two-thirds of its population.

Turkey’s national interests and Syria’s territorial integrity overlap. No force that is intervening in the country has such a care.

From Latakia, Aleppo to Qamishli. The “operation era” is now closed

Turkey will never step back. Even though it attaches importance to diplomacy, it will make intense, plan-spoiling interventions when the time and place comes. Everywhere, from Latakia and Aleppo to Qamishli, is a target.

The operation era is now over. The war era has started. Those testing Turkey with “operations” made a very grave calculation error.


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