More than two dozen Saudi Air Force personnel and a cargo of military equipment have arrived in Turkey to prepare for a joint air campaign in Syria.
Turkish media said on Thursday that some 30 officers had arrived onboard two C-130 military cargo planes at Incirlik military airbase south of Turkey two days ago. The military personnel are expected to prepare for the deployment of Saudi fighter jets which are due to arrive in Turkey in the coming hours.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday that he expects the warplanes, which are to allegedly take part in an air campaign against ISIS "Takfiri" group in Syria, to be stationed at the Incirlik on Friday. However, some reports said the Saudi jets had already been deployed to Incirlik. The deployment would be the first ever for Saudi warplanes in Turkey.
There are already jets belonging to the United States, Britain and France at Incirlik, all allegedly involved in ongoing US-led air strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Despite having an array of differences on regional issues, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have coordinated efforts aimed at ousting the government of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. The two countries recently announced potential plans for dispatching ground troops to Syria to fight ISIS. The plan was later apparently withdrawn with Cavusoglu saying that sending troops to Syria is not on the agenda.
Riyadh and Ankara have widely been blamed for the surge in the deadly militancy in Syria as the pair have been supporting militants with funds, training and weapons. In fact, irrefutable evidence now exists that Turkey is actually doing business with ISIS! While ISIS occupies portions of Syria and northern Iraq, they have been stealing the oil from those areas, pumping into tanker trucks driven by smugglers, and sending the oil to . . . TURKEY.
Convoys of oil tanker trucks cross into Turkey almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They bring the stolen oil to a small refinery, where it is lightly processed to remove dirt or silt, then re-packaged to look legitimate.
The oil is then sold -- CHEAP -- and tons of cash money get distributed to everyone participating in the scheme. Since the convoys of oil tankers do not even have to stop at the Turk border crossing (border guards simply wave them through) it is quite clear that the Turkish President Recept Erdogan is giving the orders to let these convoys pass, because he's the only one who could.
Thanks to this smuggling of stolen oil, and with the help of Turkey, ISIS is receiving about $100 million per month to fund its war in Syria and another in Iraq, as well as fund its terror attacks around the world.
When Russian air strikes started targeting those oil truck convoys, it put a dent in the cash flow. Days later, Turkey shot down a Russian jet - presumably to send a message to leave the tanker trucks alone. That was when Russian Intelligence publicly released video showing the smugglers convoys entering Turkey unobstructed, and made clear Turkey is in cahoots with ISIS.
This was further demonstrated when photos of an ISIS camp were released showing ramshackle tent-type housing being used by ISIS fighters, with the ISIS flag outside, and the Turkish flag (shown below in Red) beneath it!
Later, it came out that Saudi Arabia is also assisting ISIS and Al Qaeda inside Syria, with money, weapons and logistics! Vast stores of food labeled as "aid" from the Saudi government, have been recovered from ISIS-controlled areas which were liberated by SA troops. An empty food box from Saudi Arabia is shown below, recovered from conquered ISIS territory!
Both Saudi Arabia and Turkey "claim" they are part of a U.S. led coalition against ISIS, but it now seems that those two countries are more interested in overthrowing Syrian President Bashar Assad than they are fighting ISIS.
All that being the case, one must wonder: Are the Saudi jets which are arriving at Incirlik air base in Turkey, going to be attacking ISIS, or are they part of a massive betrayal, which will strike at the legitimate Syrian government instead? This is a pertinent question because ISIS and Al-Qaeda are now losing territory to the SAA, and will soon be cut-off from supplies being sent in via Turkey.
Will the Saudis and Turks betray and mis-use their access to attack Syria? Stay tuned.
ISIS suddenly trapped
Lately, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has launched a major counter-offensive which aims to reopen the supply line from central Syria (Hama) to Aleppo city. By capturing Khanasser (Khanasir) and a few other villages, government forces have reduced the ISIS-held road to just 4 miles; just yesterday, it was 7 miles. According to a military source close to al-Masdar, the SAA intends to recapture the road entirely within the next 48 hours to come. The map below shows the current situation. Green is Kurd-Controlled area (loyal to the government of Syria), Red areas are recent battle zones now controlled by the SAA (the lawful government) Lighter red are battle areas. Gray is ISIS-controlled but weakening from attacks. Black is ISIS held area.
Remarkably, ISIS fighters might become trapped in just hours as government forces continue to advance. Just a small escape route, largely made up of desert sand, links ISIS troops with the ar-Raqqah motherland which represents the capital of the self-proclaimed ISIS caliphate. Therefore, fighters of the Islamic State must either retreat while they still have time or face the airstrikes of the Russian Air force as well as seasoned government troops.
Currently, Tiger Forces (an elite specialized SAA offensive branch) are leading the efforts to recapture the road; however, their soldiers are also backed by hundreds of troops from the Syrian Arab Army’s 47th Regiment of the 11th Tank Division, the Republican Guard, the Liwaa Al-Quds Brigade, National Defense Forces and Al-Ba’ath Battalion. Earlier this month, the very same Tiger Forces unit captured more than a dozen villages from ISIS in eastern Aleppo and thus secured a steady supply route to Kuweiris Airbase.
However, over the past 4 days of combat, many government soldiers have died in battle:
– 49 from different SAA branches (Tiger Forces, Republican Guard, 47 Regiment).
– 13 from pro-government militias (National Defense Forces, Liwaa Al-Quds Brigade).
– 5 from paramilitary militias (Al-Baath Ba’ath Battalion).
– 4 officers of the Syrian Air Defense.
Furthermore, since ISIS cut the supply line to Syria’s largest city, government offensives elsewhere in Aleppo province have been temporarily halted as regional Syrian Arab Army commanders (most notably, Major General Suheil Al Hassan) found themselves forced to reconsider priorities inside the governorate.
Whether or not Tiger Forces will recapture the final ISIS-held villages is yet to be proven; however, with the Russian Air force blowing the area to smithereens, ISIS faces a considerable task in repelling them.
No sleep for Nusra as the Russian Air Force pounds
It was a long night (Thursday into Friday) for the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” and their extremist allies in the Aleppo Governorate’s northern countryside. The Russian Air Force conducted relentless airstrikes over the rebel strongholds of Hayyan, Haritan, ‘Anadan, and ‘Azaz.
According to the latest aviation report from the Aleppo Governorate, the Russian Air Force has conducted over 30 airstrikes as of 1:49 AM eastern US Time Friday morning, hitting several military installations belonging to Jabhat Al-Nusra, Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, and Jabhat Al-Shamiyah in the northern countryside of Aleppo.
The report added that the Russian Air Force has not let up, they are still launching several air raids over northern Aleppo in order to weaken the rebel defenses before the government forces attack.