Turkey Vows “Harshest Reaction” To Kurdish Advance In Syria As Missiles Hit Hospitals, School

Monday, February 15, 2016
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
ZeroHedge.com
02/15/2016

Over the weekend, the biggest story in the geopolitical world was Turkey’s escalation in Syria.

With the Sunni-backed opposition on its last legs in Aleppo and under near constant bombardment by Russia from the air and Hezbollah on the ground, Ankara and Riyadh have a decision to make: intervene or allow the rebellion to be crushed.

We’ve spilled quite a bit of digital ink explaining why allowing the rebels to be routed really isn’t an option. It would represent a key victory for Iran at a time when the country is already on a roll. International sanctions have been lifted, oil revenue is set to quintuple by year end, and Tehran’s grip on Iraqis military and politicians is stronger than ever. A victory in Syria would be an embarrassment for the Saudis who have funded and armed the opposition and a win at Aleppo would give the Iranians sectarian bragging rights at a time when tensions between Riyadh and Tehran are already running high thanks to the execution of prominent Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

And so, with the stakes high, the Saudis sent warplanes to Turkey’s Incirlik air base and Turkey promised an imminent “escalation.” The problem, we said, is this: somehow, Turkey and Saudi Arabia need to figure out how to spin an attack on the YPG and an effort to rescue the opposition at Aleppo as an anti-ISIS operation even though ISIS doesn’t have a large presence in the area.

Well that problem hasn’t been solved, but Turkey doesn’t seem to care. Ankara began shelling YPG positions over the weekend at Menagh air base, which the Kurds seized from Turkey-backed rebels just days ago.

Turkey claims this is about self defense. Erdogan equates the YPG (which is supported overtly by the US) with the PKK, Ankara’s arch enemy that’s recognized by Washington as a “terrorist” group.

The YPG have consolidated gains in northern Syria and are essentially trying to bridge the territory they hold east of the Euphrates with their territory in the west. That, Turkey says, isn’t going to happen. “YPG elements were forced away from around Azaz. If they approach again they will see the harshest reaction,” Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday. “We will not allow Azaz to fall.”

The Rest…HERE

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