WAR REGIONAL CONFLICT BREWING IN THE Mediterranean

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Posted for fair use.....

Turkey’s military pact with Niger securing foothold in neighbouring Libya - The New Khalij


  • Jul 26 2020 04:37 Gmt+3
  • Last Updated On: Jul 26 2020 04:58 Gmt+3

Turkey’s newly-signed military agreement with Niger signals Ankara’s interest in maintaining a foothold in the oil rich, war-torn country of Libya next door, The New Khalij reported on Friday.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu met with President of Niger Mahamadou in Niger on July 21st, when the pair signed a military agreement and discussed the effects of the ongoing war in Libya on their respective countries.

The move by Ankara is part of an attempt to secure a ground border with Libya against a possible military confrontation with Egypt, The New Khalij said.

Turkey throws its weight behind Libya’s internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), which in recent weeks has turned back a 14-month assault on capital Tripoli by the Egpytian-backed Libyan National Army, led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

Earlier this month, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi ordered his military to be ready to carry out any operation within or outside Egypt as the Turkish-backed GNA in Tripoli made preparations to capture the energy hub and city of Sirte in northern Libya.

While in Niger, Çavuşoğlu vowed to make contributions to the country in the areas of transportation, construction, energy, mining and agriculture, in what The New Khalij said was part of Ankara’s ongoing extensive contributions to infrastructure development on the continent.



اتفاقية عسكرية مع النيجر.. تركيا تضع قدما في جوار ليبيا - الخليج الجديد
الاتفاقية تحمل عدة رسائل بخصوص الموقف التركي من الصراع الليبي.
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Posted for fair use.....

Qatar dispatches hundreds of Somali mercenaries to Libya

BY Egypt Today staff
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 - 01:23 GMT




CAIRO – 26 July 2020: Hundreds of Somali youths were sent to Libya amid major escalation of tensions between Turkey and Egypt ahead of feared Sirte war, Somaliguardian reported on Sunday.

Some of the youths conscripted for Qatar’s army told Somaliguardian that many of their country-mates were already deployed in the front line areas in Libya and that they were waiting to be sent to the hostile zone.

More recently, there have been reports indicating that youths duped into the Somali army with promise that they will be conscripted for Qatar’s army –ended up in Libya after being trained in Eritrea.

Several of these youths were earlier confirmed dead in Eritrean training camp after being poisoned.

Moreover, Commander of Mobilization at the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khaled al-Mahgoub has unveiled that Syrian mercenaries transported by Turkey are being turned into police forces by the Ministry of Interior affiliated to Tripoli-based Government of Fayez Al-Sarraj.

Mahgoub stated that the first batch of those started patrolling the capital after receiving training at Takbali Camp southern the city and the police uniform.

Spokesperson of the LNA Ahmed al-Mesmary posted Friday a video showing dozens of mercenaries on board of an Afriqiyah Airways flight heading to Libya to join the Al-Sarraj’s militias' ranks.

The UN Security Council Committee concerning Libya indicated in a report issued Friday that Turkey has sent to the North African state 7,000 to 15,000 Syrian mercenaries. The committee highlighted that Libya is turning into a large market for arms as a consequence of the embargo violations.

Mesmary had stated earlier this month that Turkey has transported into Libya 25,000 mercenaries. Those include 17,000 Syrian militants, 2,500 Tunisians who fought in the ranks of the Islamic State (IS) in Idlib and Aleppo, and other nationalities including the Sudanese.

Turkey has also sent 1,500 officers and experts to co-command the operations rooms of the Al-Sarraj's government militias and to pilot drones from mainly Tripoli's Mitiga Airbase. The LNA downed around 70 Turkish drones as they were targeting its concentrations.

The LNA announced downing on July 23 a Turkish reconnaissance plane west of the Libyan city of Sirte, which is currently controlled by LNA forces.

On July 22, the LNA warned Turkey against approaching the Libyan coast, threatening to target any hostile naval vessels in the Libyan waters.

Aref Al Nayed, the envoy of the Libyan Parliament speaker said on July 22 that the Libyan parliament is supporting the Egyptian military intervention in his country to stop the Turkish aggression.

On June 20, President Sisi declared Sirte and Al Jufrah in central Libya a red line that if crossed, Egypt's "direct intervention" becomes internationally legitimate.

That is because it is aligned with the UN Security Council resolutions on Libya and Berlin Conference imposing an arm embargo on Libyan factions, banning foreign intervention in the North African State, and advocating for a political solutions. Furthermore, Egypt's intervention is requested by the elected Libyan House of Representatives and Libyan tribes.

In December 2019, Turkey signed with the Government of National Accord (Al-Sarraj's government) – which is an interim non-elected government that is recognized by the United Nations – two MoUs on defense and gas drilling in the Mediterranean.

Libyan tribes announced the closure of oil ports and fields in January as the revenues were used by the Al-Sarraj's government to pay militants. Early in July, the tribes declared that oil facilities would resume operations. However, the LNA announced on July 11 that such facilities would remain closed until the demands of the Libyan people on dismantling militias are fulfilled. The Libyan National Oil Corporation (NCO) announced that the value of revenues lost until present is $6.5 billion.

On July 5, several "unknown aircraft" launched nine strikes against Oqba Bin Nafea Airbase located in Al Watiyah controlled by the Al-Sarraj's government and Turkey. The outcome was the destruction of Hawk air defense systems, and a Koral electronic warfare system as well as the killing of a Turkish commander, and six officers as the operations room they were in was hit.

However, the commander of mobilization stated on July 20 that Turkey still uses Oqba bin Nafea airbase in Al Watiyah western the country to bring in military reinforcements less than a month from losing air defense and electronic warfare systems in strikes by "unknown flights."

On July 20, the Egyptian House of Representatives approved sending troops beyond Egyptian borders on the western strategic direction.

On July 16, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met with Tribe leaders belonging to eastern, central, and western Libya in Cairo as they demanded Egypt's military support to repel Turkish aggression. "We will enter Libya upon the request of the Libyan people, and will leave it in compliance with the order of the Libyan people," the president stated.

On July 13, the Libyan House of Representatives issued a statement allowing the Egyptian Armed Forces to intervene whenever it perceives a threat to the security of Egypt and Libya describing Turkey as "the invading occupier."

The Libyan Armed Forces restored Sirte in January, and was advancing in the outskirts of Misrata and Tripoli. However, early in June, it lost Al Watiyah and Tarhouna, which was its last stronghold western the country, retreating into Sirte and Al Jufrah.
 

Zagdid

Veteran Member

Azerbaijan and Turkey to hold joint military exercises
Siranush Ghazanchyan July 27, 2020, 18:12

The Azerbaijani defense ministry on Monday announced that Ankara and Baku are going to launch large-scale military exercises as part of the Agreement on Military Cooperation between both countries.

“Azerbaijani-Turkish Live Fire Joint Large-Scale Tactical and Flight-Tactical Exercises will be held in our country with the participation of the Land Forces and the Air Force of both countries,” a statement from the ministry said.
It added that the joint exercises will involve military personnel, armored vehicles, artillery mounts and mortars, as well as military aviation and air defense equipment of the armies of the two countries.

The announcement comes two weeks after the Azerbaijani forces attacked Armenian border positions in the Tavush section of the shared border. Seventeen troops (12 from the Azerbaijani side and 5 from Armenian side) were confirmed dead.
 

Zagdid

Veteran Member

Libya’s National Army destroys 3 Turkish-tanks west of Sirte
By Egypt Today staff
Mon, 27 Jul 2020 - 08:20 GMT



CAIRO – 27 July 2020: The Libyan National Army destroyed 3 Turkish-tanks in the early hours of Monday morning, as it was trying to advance in west of Sirte, however Libya’s Air Forces destroyed them during raids.

Libya's National Army spokesperson Ahmed al-Mismary said in statements to Al Arabiya Sunday that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is gathering weapons and mercenaries and transferring them into Libya.
He added in his statements That Libya’s National Army is supporting the defense lines at west of Sirte to stop any possible attack.

On July 24, Mismary posted a video on his twitter official account, showing a group of new Syrian-national mercenaries on board of Libyan Afriqiyah Airways flight heading to Misurata.

“Turkey is transferring new batches of Syrian mercenaries to Libya’s Misurata in a sever challenge to the international de-escalation demands and cease fire” Mismary tweeted, adding that Ankara is breaching the international and Arab decrees which prevent transferring mercenaries and fighters into Libya.

“Turkey supports terrorism and crime in Libya. It works on achieving its dream of controlling Libya and its capabilities and wealth” Mismary said, concluding “the world is watching, Turkey expands”.

On July 9, Mismary said that total number of mercenaries Turkey transferred into Libya reached 17,000 terrorists, including 1,000 mercenaries transferred just during one week in July.

He added in statements to dmc privet channel, that Turkey does not announce its military losses in Libya; However, the army is always ready to stop all Turkish attacks.

Mismary noted that western Sirte is still under control of the Libyan National Army, However, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ‘is trying to escalate the situation in Libya by sending mercenaries, weapons and maritime vessels.

In another statement to Sada al-Balad channel, Mismary stressed that ‘Erdogan dreams by controlling over the Libyan oil will never happen.

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned earlier July that foreign interference in Libya’s war has reached “unprecedented levels”. He urged key players and their backers to unblock the political stalemate and agree to a cease-fire and peace talks.

Guterres described the situation in Libya as ‘gloomy’ according to AP, noting that between April 1 and June 30 there were at least 102 civilian deaths and 254 civilians wounded in Libya, “a 172% increase compared to the first quarter of 2020.”
 

jward

passin' thru
France-Turkey naval clash: Proxy war in Libya enters a new stage
27 Jul, 2020 17:00
Get short URL
France-Turkey naval clash: Proxy war in Libya enters a new stage

FILE PHOTO: Annual NATO's Submarine Warfare Exercise DYNAMIC MANTA held with the naval forces of Turkey, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom and USA in Palermo, Italy on February 25, 2019 © Getty Images / Dursun Aydemir / Anadolu Agency

By Dr. Karin Kneissl, who works as an energy analyst and book author. She served as the Austrian minister of foreign affairs between 2017-2019. She is currently writing her book ‘Die Mobilitätswende’ (Mobility in transition), to be published this summer.

A confrontation between the two NATO states France and Turkey continues to trouble the Mediterranean region; Egyptian forces are mobilizing. And many other military players are continuing operations there.
In March 2011, during a hectic weekend, the French delegation to the UN Security Council managed to convince all other member States of the Council to support Resolution 1973. It was all about a “humanitarian corridor” for Benghazi, which was considered the “good opposition” by the government of Nicolas Sarkozy. One of his whisperers was the controversial philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, who supported a French intervention. Levy, fond of the “humanitarian war,” found a congenial partner in Sarkozy.

France was at root of crisis
Muammar Gaddafi had been received generously with all his tents in the park of the Elysée, but suddenly he was coined the bad guy. The same had happened to Saddam Hussein in Iraq. It was not the Arab dictator who had changed; it was his usefulness to his allies. The Libyans had been distributing huge amounts of money in Europe, in particular in Rome and Paris at various levels. In certain cases they knew too much. Plus, the Libyans had been protecting the southern border of the Mediterranean for the European Union.
Read more
Turkish media claims Egyptian military used fake photo to report on joint naval drills with France Turkish media claims Egyptian military used fake photo to report on joint naval drills with France
So, the French started the war in 2011, took the British on board, which made the entire adventure look a bit like a replay of the Suez intervention of 1956, the official end of European colonial interventions. A humanitarian intervention changed into regime change on day two, which was March 20, 2011. Various UN Security Council members felt trapped by the French.
The US was asked to help, with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and many other advisers in favor of joining that war. President Obama, however, was reluctant but, in the end, he gave in. In one of his last interviews while still in the White House, Obama stated that the aftermath of the war in Libya was his “worst mistake.”

Libya ever since has mostly remained a dossier in the hands of administrative officials in Washington, but not on the top presidential agenda anymore. This practice has been slightly shifting in the past weeks. US President Donald Trump and France’s Emmanuel Macron had a phone conversation on how to deescalate the situation there. Trump also spoke on that very topic with Turkish President Recep T. Erdogan. Paris supports General Haftar in his war against the Turkish-backed Government of National Accord, which is also supported by the European Union, in theory…
The triggering momentum for the current rise in tensions was a naval clash between French- and Turkish-supported vessels. Both nations are NATO members, and an internal alliance investigation is underway. But France decided to pull out of the NATO naval operation that enforces the Libya arms embargo, set up during the high-level Berlin conference on Libya in mid-January 2020. Without the French vessels it will be even more toothless than its critics already deem it. This very initiative on Libya was the first test for the new European commission headed by Ursula von der Leyen and claiming to be a “geopolitical commission.” The EU strives to speak the language of power but keeps failing in Libya, where two members, namely Italy and France, are pursuing very different goals. Rome is anxious about migration while Paris cares more about the terrorist threat. But both have an interest in commodities.
Also on rt.com France, Germany & Italy threaten ‘sanctions’ against countries that interfere in Libya It’s about oil and gas
When Gaddafi was reintegrated in the “community of the good ones” in early 2004 after a curious British legal twisting on the Lockerbie attack of December 1988, a bonanza for oil and gas concessions started. The Italian energy company ENI and BP were among the first to have a big foot in the door. I studied some of those contracts and asked myself why companies were ready to accept such terms. The answer was maybe in the then rise in the oil price of oil and the proximity of Libya to the European market.

Interestingly, in September 2011, the very day of the opening ceremony of the Paris conference dubbed “Friends of Libya,” a secret oil deal for the French company Total was published by the French daily Libération. The “good opposition” had promised the French an interesting range of oil concessions. Oil production continuously fell with the rise of the war, attracting sponsors, militias and smugglers from all horizons. The situation in Libya has since been called ‘somalization,’ but it would become even worse, since many more regional powers got involved in Libya than ever was the case in hunger-ridden Somalia.
Read more
Turkey will be the death of NATO – its recent clash with fellow member France off the coast of Libya is an early symptom Turkey will be the death of NATO – its recent clash with fellow member France off the coast of Libya is an early symptom
In exchange for its military assistance, Turkey recently gained access to exploration fields off Libya’s shores. Ankara had identified an “exclusive economic zone” with the government in Tripoli, which disregards the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Actually, Israel made the same bilateral demarcation with Cyprus about ten years ago, when Noble Energy started its delineation of blocs in the Levant Basin. So Turkey is infringing on Greek and Cypriot territorial waters, while President Macron keeps reminding his EU colleagues of the “other actors” in the Mediterranean Sea. Alas, it is nobody’s “mare nostrum” as it was 2,000 years ago in the Roman era. In principle, all states which have ratified the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea should simply comply with their legal obligations.

The crucial question remains: who has which leverage to de-escalate? Is it the US President, who seemingly has acted more wisely on certain issues in recent times? Or will Russian and Turkish diplomacy be able to negotiate and implement a truce? The tightrope-walk diplomacy between these last two countries is a most interesting example of classical diplomacy: interest-based and focused; able to conduct hard-core relations even in times of direct military confrontation and assassinations (remember the Russian Ambassador Karlov, shot by his Turkish bodyguard in Ankara in December 2016?).
Meanwhile, yet another actor could move in to complicate everything even more. On July 20, the Egyptian parliament voted unanimously for the deployment of the national army outside its borders, thereby taking the risk of direct confrontation with Turkey in Libya. Egyptian troops would be mobilized in support of the eastern forces of General Khalifa Haftar. Furthermore, Cairo would thereby compete even more obviously with Algeria, spending a fortune on military control of its border with Libya. Algeria in the past could rely on US support in the region, but with the gradual decline in US engagement in that part of the world, the country faces a fairly existential crisis.
There are currently two powers, among those involved in Libya, that can still contain the next stage of a decade of proxy wars started by a French philosopher and various EU oil interests: Russia and the USA.
posted for fair use
 

jward

passin' thru
IKE CSG in joint exercise with Hellenic Air Force and Navy

Posted on July 28, 2020


The Dwight D. Eisenhower (IKE) Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is currently participating in a joint exercise with the Air Force and Navy of Greece in the Mediterranean Sea.

200519-N-YD547-0173 ARABIAN SEA (May 19, 2020) An F/A-18E Super Hornet, attached to the “Gunslingers” of Strike Fighter Squadron 105, lands on the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) May 19, 2020. Ike is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and Pacific through the Western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Trent P. Hawkins/Released)
 

Plain Jane

Veteran Member
This article doesn't add much to the thread but it is nice to see a summary of Turkey's activities provided by Zero Hedge. At least a portion of US population will be aware of the background to all of this if Erdogan decides to go all Hitler in the region.


Turkey On The Warpath
Profile picture for user Tyler Durden
by Tyler Durden
Tue, 07/28/2020 - 02:00
TwitterFacebookRedditEmailPrint

Authored by Uzay Bulut via The Gatestone Institute,
Turkey is currently involved in quite a few international military conflicts -- both against its own neighbors such as Greece, Armenia, Iraq, Syria and Cyprus, and against other nations such as Libya and Yemen. These actions by Turkey suggest that Turkey's foreign policy is increasingly destabilizing not only several nations, but the region as well.

In addition, the Erdogan regime has been militarily targeting Syria and Iraq, sending its Syrian mercenaries to Libya to seize Libyan oil and continuing, as usual, to bully Greece. Turkey's regime is also now provoking ongoing violence between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Since July 12, Azerbaijan has launched a series of cross-border attacks against Armenia's northern Tavush region in skirmishes that have resulted in the deaths of at least four Armenian soldiers and 12 Azerbaijani ones. After Azerbaijan threatened to launch missile attacks on Armenia's Metsamor nuclear plant on July 16, Turkey offered military assistance to Azerbaijan.
"Our armed unmanned aerial vehicles, ammunition and missiles with our experience, technology and capabilities are at Azerbaijan's service," said İsmail Demir, the head of Presidency of Defense Industries, an affiliate of the Turkish Presidency.
One of Turkey's main targets also seems to be Greece. The Turkish military is targeting Greek territorial waters yet again. The Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported:
"There have been concerns over a possible Turkish intervention in the East Med in a bid to prevent an agreement on the delineation of an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between Greece and Egypt which is currently being discussed between officials of the two countries."
Turkey's choice of names for its gas exploration ships are also a giveaway. The name of the main ship that Turkey is using for seismic "surveys" of the Greek continental shelf is Oruç Reis, (1474-1518), an admiral of the Ottoman Empire who often raided the coasts of Italy and the islands of the Mediterranean that were still controlled by Christian powers. Other exploration and drilling vessels Turkey uses or is planning to use in Greece's territorial waters are named after Ottoman sultans who targeted Cyprus and Greece in bloody military invasions. These include the drilling ship Fatih "the conqueror" or Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, who invaded Constantinople in 1453; the drilling ship Yavuz, "the resolute", or Sultan Selim I, who headed the Ottoman Empire during the invasion of Cyprus in 1571; and Kanuni, "the lawgiver" or Sultan Suleiman, who invaded parts of eastern Europe as well as the Greek island of Rhodes.
Turkey's move in the Eastern Mediterranean came in early July, shortly after the country had turned Hagia Sophia, once the world's greatest Greek Cathedral, into a mosque. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan then linked Hagia Sophia's conversion to a pledge to "liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque" in Jerusalem.

On July 21, the tensions arose again following Turkey's announcement that it plans to conduct seismic research in parts of the Greek continental shelf in an area of sea between Cyprus and Crete in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean.
"Turkey's plan is seen in Athens as a dangerous escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean, prompting Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to warn that European Union sanctions could follow if Ankara continues to challenge Greek sovereignty," Kathimerini reported on July 21.
Here is a short list of other countries where Turkey is also militarily involved:
In Libya, Turkey has been increasingly involved in the country's civil war. Associated Press reported on July 18:


Turkey sent between 3,500 and 3,800 paid Syrian fighters to Libya over the first three months of the year, the U.S. Defense Department's inspector general concluded in a new report, its first to detail Turkish deployments that helped change the course of Libya's war.
"The report comes as the conflict in oil-rich Libya has escalated into a regional proxy war fueled by foreign powers pouring weapons and mercenaries into the country."
Libya has been in turmoil since 2011, when an armed revolt during the "Arab Spring" led to the ouster and murder of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Political power in the country, the current population of which is around 6.5 million, has been split between two rival governments. The UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), has been led by Prime Minister Fayez al Sarraj. Its rival, the Libyan National Army (LNA), has been led by Libyan military officer, Khalifa Haftar.

Backed by Turkey, the GNA said on July 18 that it would recapture Sirte, a gateway to Libya's main oil terminals, as well as an LNA airbase at Jufra.

Egypt, which backs the LNA, announced, however, that if the GNA and Turkish forces tried to seize Sirte, it would send troops into Libya. On July 20, the Egyptian parliament gave approval to a possible deployment of troops beyond its borders "to defend Egyptian national security against criminal armed militias and foreign terrorist elements."

Yemen is another country on which Turkey has apparently set its sights. In a recent video, Turkey-backed Syrian mercenaries fighting on behalf of the GNA in Libya, and aided by local Islamist groups, are seen saying, "We are just getting started. The target is going to be Gaza." They also state that they want to take on Egyptian President Sisi and to go to Yemen.


"Turkey's growing presence in Yemen," The Arab Weekly reported on May 9, "especially in the restive southern region, is fuelling concern across the region over security in the Gulf of Aden and the Bab al-Mandeb.

"These concerns are further heightened by reports indicating that Turkey's agenda in Yemen is being financed and supported by Qatar via some Yemeni political and tribal figures affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood."
Syria, Turkey-backed jihadists continue occupying the northern parts of the country. On July 21, Erdogan announced that Turkey's military presence in Syria would continue. "Nowadays they are holding an election, a so-called election," Erdogan said of a parliamentary election on July 19 in Syria's government-controlled regions, after nearly a decade of civil war. "Until the Syrian people are free, peaceful and safe, we will remain in this country."


Additionally, Turkey's incursion into the Syrian city of Afrin, created a particularly grim situation for the local Yazidi population:

"As a result of the Turkish incursion to Afrin," the Yazda organization reported on May 29, "thousands of Yazidis have fled from 22 villages they inhabited prior to the conflict into other parts of Syria, or have migrated to Lebanon, Europe, or the Kurdistan Region of Iraq... "

"Due to their religious identity, Yazidis in Afrin are suffering from targeted harassment and persecution by Turkish-backed militant groups. Crimes committed against Yazidis include forced conversion to Islam, rape of women and girls, humiliation and torture, arbitrary incarceration, and forced displacement. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in its 2020 annual report confirmed that Yazidis and Christians face persecution and marginalization in Afrin.
"Additionally, nearly 80 percent of Yazidi religious sites in Syria have been looted, desecrated, or destroyed, and Yazidi cemeteries have been defiled and bulldozed."
In Iraq, Turkey has been carrying out military operations for years. The last one was started in mid-June. Turkey's Defense Ministry announced on June 17 that the country had "launched a military operation against the PKK" (Kurdistan Workers' Party) in northern Iraq after carrying out a series of airstrikes. Turkey has named its assaults "Operation Claw-Eagle" and "Operation Claw-Tiger".

The Yazidi, Assyrian Christian and Kurdish civilians have been terrorized by the bombings. At least five civilians have been killed in the air raids, according to media reports. Human Rights Watch has also issued a report, noting that a Turkish airstrike in Iraq "disregards civilian loss."

Given Turkey's military aggression in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Armenia, among others, and its continued occupation of northern Cyprus, further aggression, especially against Greece, would not be unrealistic. Turkey's desire to invade Greece is not exactly a secret. Since at least 2018, both the Turkish government and opposition parties have openly been calling for capturing the Greek islands in the Aegean, which they falsely claim belong to Turkey.

If such an attack took place, would the West abandon Greece?
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
A note about Erdogan, Nightwolf mentioned a couple of days ago to me that he really is more like Hitler than most people realize.

Or rather, the public response to him is very similar, he said that Hitler put in print and talked about every single major thing he intended to do long before he did it, and pretty much Winston Churchill was the only world leader at the time that totally believed him.

Churchill got an early copy of Mein Koff and took Hitler at his word when no one else did and was widely criticized for it at the time, but it turned out Churchill was correct.

Erdogan has said he wants to "restore" the Ottoman Empire including being in "charge of" Mecca and Medina aka conquering Saudi Arabia along with Greece, Egypt, Lybia, Syria, Iraq and possibly Iran if he can get away with it.

We can only hope he made a potentially fatal mistake when he made Hagia Sophia into a Mosque instead of the secular museum it has been since the 1930s.

This has enraged Putin (who is in fact, not personally a Commie but a rather devout Eastern Orthodox Christian at least according his own statements and those who are close to him).

Putin has already canceled military contracts with Turkey within the last week and I suspect that Erdogan is now on Putin's enemies and even potential "hit" list - and the Russian do still have ways of getting rid of people, probably even Sultans of the self-proclaimed "New Ottoman Empire."

We shall see..
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Lebanon becomes 1st country in Middle East and North Africa to enter hyperinflation
Food prices in the country are rising.

BY Ibtissem Guenfoud
ABC News
28 July 2020

PARIS -- Lebanon could face its biggest crisis since its Civil War, economists are warning as the country's currency hits new lows.

Lebanon is now the first country in the Middle East and North Africa to see its inflation rate exceed 50% for 30 consecutive days, according to Steve H. Hanke, a professor of applied economics at the Johns Hopkins University.

The sharp rise in prices for goods and services pushes the country further into crisis. High inflation means many goods have become unaffordable.


"We started receiving messages from educated people ... emailing us just for help," said Soha Zaiter, executive manager of the Lebanese Food Bank.

She added, "There is no middle class anymore."

The Lebanese rely heavily on imports, which constitute 60% of consumed goods, according to Lebanese economist Roy Badaro. Because of the very high correlation between importation and consumption, the spike in the exchange rate to the dollar then translates into a massive increase in retail prices. Clothing and footwear items alone have seen a 345% annual rise in prices, according to Credit Libanais’ latest report. In addition, the lockdown measures taken to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in the shutdowns of small businesses and massive layoffs, has pushed the country to the brink.

COVID-19 has "a multiplier effect," said Badaro.



Demonstrators gather at the Martyrs' Square to protest unemployment and the economic crisis in Beirut, Lebanon on July 17, 2020. Mahmut Geldi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

According to Zaiter, more than half of the Lebanese population is living under the poverty line as a result. The World Bank estimates that 155,000 households are living under the extreme poverty line.

"If you compare the situation before and after, not only COVID-19, but even before the revolution started in October 2019 … now people are depending on NGOs because the government doesn’t have any plan for these people," she said.

While the Lebanese authorities have pledged financial aid to the poorest 43,000 families, there are worries that it didn't reach the right people.

"The list of data for the families was so old, some of them were already dead or not living in Lebanon anymore," said Zaiter.

The nonprofit organization Embrace, which has a national suicide prevention helpline, said suicide reports have doubled in the country this year, jumping from an average of 200 calls per month last year to between 400 and 500 per month in 2020.

On a visit to Lebanon on July 23, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was blunt in his critique of the country’s leadership, saying, "Help us to help you."

As talks with the International Monetary Fund have hit a stalemate, the Lebanese are left to rely on their diaspora for an influx of money.

"Venezuela has oil. Our oil is the diaspora," said Badaro.

Rabah's cousin, who lives overseas, used to send money home to his family.

But "a lot of business shut down due to COVID and my cousin has not been paid for the last five months ... now we have to send him money," Rabah said.

The only way out of the crisis for many in Lebanon is through reform.

According to Makram Rabah, a history lecturer at the American University of Beirut, the core problem is that "no one has any trust in the political system."

The Central Bank "has dug itself so deep" bailing out the country that "it’s incapable of doing anything," Rabah said.

"This was the Central Bank’s original sin," added Badaro, referring to the decision in 1997 to fix the rate of the Lebanese pound.

The country’s weakened position means it is at a crossroads.

"We are in the middle of a reality check about funding growth and our economy and the food even," said Badaro.

 

jward

passin' thru
The Cavell Group
@TCG_CrisisRisks

3h

Replying to
@TCG_CrisisRisks
Libya: Reports of Russian Wagner forces convoy from Al-Jufra airbase to Sirte today moving equipment. We never received any confirmation the aircraft that took off returned, so likely moving air assets too. More contractor forces inc Chadian and more Janjaweed arrived Sirte too.

_________________





The Cavell Group
@TCG_CrisisRisks


Libya: Another A400 out of Turkey into the Mediterranean likely heading to Libya again.
The Cavell Group

@TCG_CrisisRisks

6m

Replying to
@TCG_CrisisRisks
Libya: The Turkish A400 has an escort or is at least following an unidentified aircraft on the same route. Libya inbound.
 

jward

passin' thru
EndGameWW3

@EndGameWW3

·
1h

Gamal Hilal: Any Egyptian Military Move in Libya is a Defense of Egypt's Security

Gamal Hilal: Any Egyptian Military Move in Libya is a Defense of Egypt’s Security
July 28, 2020

Libya

Veteran Egyptian Interpreter, diplomat and former adviser to the US White House, Gamal Hilal, said that any Egyptian military move in Libya will not be an external war but rather a defense of Egypt’s national security and that the Egyptian military is wise enough to manage the crisis and not be spurred by any provocations. He said that the US sees Libya as a primarily European problem.


“The Trump administration has looked at it [Libya] from a distance until April 2019. The US, like other countries, recognized the Government of National Accord (GNA) and supported the Skhirat agreement, until it became clear that the GNA is not working in the best interests of Libya but rather truckling to Turkey” — Gamal Hilal
(Libya, 28 June 2020) – Gamal Hilal, who worked for five American Presidents and various Secretaries of State., said in an interview with al-Masry al-Yawm newspaper on Sunday, that the US in general, whether the Trump administration or other previous administrations, did not see Libya as a US strategic interest to engage there.


He added that the US views Libya and the Mediterranean basin in general, save Egypt and Israel, as European problems which Europe should deal with because the real threat is against Europe in the form of illegal immigration or the travel of terrorists. “Obama and his predecessors have always viewed Libya in this perspective. The Libyan-American relations have been limited to the Lockerbie case, the Libyan nuclear program, and what happened in the Arab Spring,” added Hilal.


“Now, the Trump administration has looked at it from a distance until April 2019. The US, like other countries, recognized the Government of National Accord (GNA) and supported the Skhirat agreement, until it became clear that the GNA is not working in the best interests of Libya but rather truckling to Turkey,” indicated Hilal.


“In April 2019, Trump called Field Marshal Haftar for nearly two hours and was understood to be a green light for him that if he could free all Libyan soil, including Tripoli, he would become the reality on the ground. However, he did not make this progress. Usually, any green light or tacit approval by the US is conditional on a specific time period and not infinite. I think the Libyan side did not understand this issue.”


He continued, “We must realize that it is among the principles that Trump and his administration have focused on is that he totally rejects that the US should play any role as the world’s policeman and use its armed forces only in the event of a direct threat.”


As for the media reports on the possibility of sanctions on the conflicting parties in Libya by the US, Hilal said: “The US can do that and impose sanctions. Washington used this method when it does not want to intervene more militarily or politically in a country.”


As for the reason behind the entry of elements in the Libyan equation, he referred to the aging European role and Trump’s tacit support of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar in the phone call. “However, he [Trump] will not provide any kind of military support. The US has left the matter to Haftar’s friends and this created a void. Therefore, we saw Russia play a role as well as Turkey. The US was hoping that the Europeans would fill this void and settle the battle because they are at risk if Libya falls in the hands of Erdogan,” asserted Hilal.


He added: “However, it is possible that the US plays a greater political role because it does not want to see two of its allies in a state of war, namely Egypt and Turkey. Perhaps there is an area for AFRICOM to play a role if there is a political desire, but so far I do not think there is a clear US or European threat to Erdogan not to interfere or penetrate into Libya.”


He pointed out that war is the last step to which states resort, and there is no country that wants to start with a military solution. He asserted that Egypt has long experience in wars over the past five decades, and the Egyptian military knows exactly what it means to enter a war and to transform its economy into a long war economy.
He continued: “Historically and traditionally, the Egyptian army does not fight outside its borders. We saw this only in the Yemen war in the early 1960s, and this was counterproductive to the Egyptian army as the Vietnam War for the US army. Therefore, there is extreme concern from the Egyptian military not to let its forces drown in another catastrophic war.”


Gamal Hilal concluded by saying: “The situation in Libya is not another war, but a defense of Egyptian national security. It is a situation of ‘have to’ not ‘may’. The Egyptian military establishment has extraordinary wisdom and no provocations can mislead. It enjoys provocative wisdom even for the Egyptian people themselves.”
posted for fair use

© Al Marsad English (2020)


Share this:
 

jward

passin' thru
Faytuks News

@Faytuks


@yonibmen
reports, quoting 'Lebanese sources' that Iran is exerting 'heavy pressure' on Hezbollah to carry out a 'major' revenge attack against Israel in response to the #Israel|i bombing of Iranian targets in Syria & in response to the explosion at the Netanz nuclear facility.
 

jward

passin' thru
This article doesn't add much to the thread but it is nice to see a summary of Turkey's activities provided by Zero Hedge. At least a portion of US population will be aware of the background to all of this if Erdogan decides to go all Hitler in the region.


Turkey On The Warpath
Profile picture for user Tyler Durden
by Tyler Durden
Tue, 07/28/2020 - 02:00
TwitterFacebookRedditEmailPrint

Authored by Uzay Bulut via The Gatestone Institute,
Turkey is currently involved in quite a few international military conflicts -- both against its own neighbors such as Greece, Armenia, Iraq, Syria and Cyprus, and against other nations such as Libya and Yemen. These actions by Turkey suggest that Turkey's foreign policy is increasingly destabilizing not only several nations, but the region as well.

In addition, the Erdogan regime has been militarily targeting Syria and Iraq, sending its Syrian mercenaries to Libya to seize Libyan oil and continuing, as usual, to bully Greece. Turkey's regime is also now provoking ongoing violence between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Since July 12, Azerbaijan has launched a series of cross-border attacks against Armenia's northern Tavush region in skirmishes that have resulted in the deaths of at least four Armenian soldiers and 12 Azerbaijani ones. After Azerbaijan threatened to launch missile attacks on Armenia's Metsamor nuclear plant on July 16, Turkey offered military assistance to Azerbaijan.
"Our armed unmanned aerial vehicles, ammunition and missiles with our experience, technology and capabilities are at Azerbaijan's service," said İsmail Demir, the head of Presidency of Defense Industries, an affiliate of the Turkish Presidency.
One of Turkey's main targets also seems to be Greece. The Turkish military is targeting Greek territorial waters yet again. The Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported:

Turkey's choice of names for its gas exploration ships are also a giveaway. The name of the main ship that Turkey is using for seismic "surveys" of the Greek continental shelf is Oruç Reis, (1474-1518), an admiral of the Ottoman Empire who often raided the coasts of Italy and the islands of the Mediterranean that were still controlled by Christian powers. Other exploration and drilling vessels Turkey uses or is planning to use in Greece's territorial waters are named after Ottoman sultans who targeted Cyprus and Greece in bloody military invasions. These include the drilling ship Fatih "the conqueror" or Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, who invaded Constantinople in 1453; the drilling ship Yavuz, "the resolute", or Sultan Selim I, who headed the Ottoman Empire during the invasion of Cyprus in 1571; and Kanuni, "the lawgiver" or Sultan Suleiman, who invaded parts of eastern Europe as well as the Greek island of Rhodes.
Turkey's move in the Eastern Mediterranean came in early July, shortly after the country had turned Hagia Sophia, once the world's greatest Greek Cathedral, into a mosque. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan then linked Hagia Sophia's conversion to a pledge to "liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque" in Jerusalem.

On July 21, the tensions arose again following Turkey's announcement that it plans to conduct seismic research in parts of the Greek continental shelf in an area of sea between Cyprus and Crete in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean.
"Turkey's plan is seen in Athens as a dangerous escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean, prompting Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to warn that European Union sanctions could follow if Ankara continues to challenge Greek sovereignty," Kathimerini reported on July 21.
Here is a short list of other countries where Turkey is also militarily involved:
In Libya, Turkey has been increasingly involved in the country's civil war. Associated Press reported on July 18:



Libya has been in turmoil since 2011, when an armed revolt during the "Arab Spring" led to the ouster and murder of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Political power in the country, the current population of which is around 6.5 million, has been split between two rival governments. The UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), has been led by Prime Minister Fayez al Sarraj. Its rival, the Libyan National Army (LNA), has been led by Libyan military officer, Khalifa Haftar.

Backed by Turkey, the GNA said on July 18 that it would recapture Sirte, a gateway to Libya's main oil terminals, as well as an LNA airbase at Jufra.

Egypt, which backs the LNA, announced, however, that if the GNA and Turkish forces tried to seize Sirte, it would send troops into Libya. On July 20, the Egyptian parliament gave approval to a possible deployment of troops beyond its borders "to defend Egyptian national security against criminal armed militias and foreign terrorist elements."

Yemen is another country on which Turkey has apparently set its sights. In a recent video, Turkey-backed Syrian mercenaries fighting on behalf of the GNA in Libya, and aided by local Islamist groups, are seen saying, "We are just getting started. The target is going to be Gaza." They also state that they want to take on Egyptian President Sisi and to go to Yemen.


"Turkey's growing presence in Yemen," The Arab Weekly reported on May 9, "especially in the restive southern region, is fuelling concern across the region over security in the Gulf of Aden and the Bab al-Mandeb.







Syria, Turkey-backed jihadists continue occupying the northern parts of the country. On July 21, Erdogan announced that Turkey's military presence in Syria would continue. "Nowadays they are holding an election, a so-called election," Erdogan said of a parliamentary election on July 19 in Syria's government-controlled regions, after nearly a decade of civil war. "Until the Syrian people are free, peaceful and safe, we will remain in this country."


Additionally, Turkey's incursion into the Syrian city of Afrin, created a particularly grim situation for the local Yazidi population:

"As a result of the Turkish incursion to Afrin," the Yazda organization reported on May 29, "thousands of Yazidis have fled from 22 villages they inhabited prior to the conflict into other parts of Syria, or have migrated to Lebanon, Europe, or the Kurdistan Region of Iraq... "


In Iraq, Turkey has been carrying out military operations for years. The last one was started in mid-June. Turkey's Defense Ministry announced on June 17 that the country had "launched a military operation against the PKK" (Kurdistan Workers' Party) in northern Iraq after carrying out a series of airstrikes. Turkey has named its assaults "Operation Claw-Eagle" and "Operation Claw-Tiger".

The Yazidi, Assyrian Christian and Kurdish civilians have been terrorized by the bombings. At least five civilians have been killed in the air raids, according to media reports. Human Rights Watch has also issued a report, noting that a Turkish airstrike in Iraq "disregards civilian loss."

Given Turkey's military aggression in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Armenia, among others, and its continued occupation of northern Cyprus, further aggression, especially against Greece, would not be unrealistic. Turkey's desire to invade Greece is not exactly a secret. Since at least 2018, both the Turkish government and opposition parties have openly been calling for capturing the Greek islands in the Aegean, which they falsely claim belong to Turkey.

If such an attack took place, would the West abandon Greece?
Jane, I just wanted to thank you for including these kinds of articles too. I for one much appreciate the bits and bobs of background, and prefer as much source material for the source material as possible. I feel too that in addition to providing me a sorely needed remedial education, it may be pertinent to the interested parties of the future who wish to cobble together an understanding of the events.. . ..or not. I've been wrong before, but still, I do appreciate your contributions! : )
 
Top