Monday, December 7, 2015

Russia + Turkey + ISIS + Iran + the U..S. = Nasty

Following up on "Iraq Could Ask Russia for Help After 'Invasion' by Turkish Forces".
As I said in that post, If the other member states can't kick Turkey out of NATO the U.S. should probably leave.

By the way, Erdogan blinked, the tanks are moving back across the border.

From ZeroHedge:

Iran Has "Irrefutable Evidence" Of Turkey's Role In ISIS Oil Trade
When Turkey shot down an Su-24 near the Syrian border late last month, the world held its collective breath. Everyone was asking themselves the same question: “How will Putin respond?”

The fear was that Moscow would retaliate militarily. After all, Putin isn’t exactly known for backing down from a fight. Of course an attack on one NATO member is considered an attack on the entire alliance and so, it appeared that the world might have witnessed a Franz Ferdinand moment, if you will.

But Putin had an ace up his sleeve.

Rather than sending a couple of Tupolev Tu-95 Bears to Ankara, Moscow unleashed a propaganda campaign aimed at exposing Turkey’s role in facilitating Islamic State’s lucrative oil trade. It was almost as though Putin was just waiting for Turkey to give him an excuse. Just hours after the Russian warplane crashed, Putin accused Turkey of buying ISIS oil on the way to calling Erdogan a “backstabber”. Adding insult to injury, he said all of that while sitting right next to Jordan’s King Abdullah.

From there, Moscow proceeded to deliver near daily pronouncements accusing Erdogan and his family of funding international terrorism and the entire media campaign culminated in an epic presentation by the Russian MoD featuring photos of oil trucks, videos of airstrikes and maps detailing the trafficking of stolen oil.

As it turns out, this strategy has done far more damage to Ankara than one could ever hope to achieve with a couple of bombing runs. Turkey’s complicity in the smuggling of stolen crude from Syria and Iraq has been put on display for the entire world to see and it’s been nothing short of an epic embarrassment for Erdogan. It’s also helped to inform the public about the extent to which ISIS operates with the support of state actors. Last week, Russia even went so far as to suggest that the US is involved as well.

Washington and Ankara vehemently deny the accusations, but with each new video clip out of Moscow, it becomes more and more difficult for the US and Turkey to explain why it looks like ISIS is able to smuggle oil across the Turkish border with impunity.

Make no mistake, Russia knows damn well what’s going on here, but Moscow has taken the same approach with regard to the US as it did in early October when Putin cordially invited Washington to join forces in the fight against ISIS. That is, last week’s jabs (mentioned above) notwithstanding, Moscow has generally presented the evidence to the US as though The Kremlin seriously expects America to consider it and break off its alliance with Turkey. Russia did the same thing in early October when Moscow invited the US to join forces in the war on terror.

In both cases, Moscow knows that Washington is complicit in the effort to arm, fund, and train Sunni extremists and by making public overtures like proposing alliances and presenting evidence of state sponsored terror, The Kremlin puts The White House in a very awkward position: America is effectively forced to explain what’s going on to the public and when it comes to Syria, there’s no way to do that without exposing the entire charade.

Well, just in case the US needs any more “help” in determining whether its ally in Ankara is in fact supporting “the terrorists” (as Sergei Lavrov refers to ISIS), or if perhaps Erdogan’s right hand isn’t aware of what his left hand is doing, Iran is here to help. “Iranian military advisors in Syria have taken photos and filmed all the routes used by ISIL's oil tankers to Turkey. If the Turkish authorities are unaware of the Daesh oil sales in their country, then we can provide them with such intelligence,” Iran’s Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaie told reporters on Friday....MORE