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Putin and Hollande go after Erdogan's racket

By       Message Pepe Escobar     Permalink
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Reprinted from RT

From youtube.com/watch?v=dzdBCbp-xLo: Francois Hollande and Vladimir Putin
Francois Hollande and Vladimir Putin
(image by Pravda Report, Channel: PravdaTV)
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It all started with French President Francois Hollande, after the Paris attacks, having the temerity to advance the idea of France working together with Russia in the same coalition against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh in Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip "no excuse" Erdogan thought NATO and Russia by this time would be at each other's -- Cold War 2.0 -- nuclear throats, while Washington had brushed off Hollande's idea with a cascade of platitudes and distortions.

And in less than 17 seconds, Prime Minister Ahmet "I ordered it myself" Davutoglu had authorized Turkey to shoot down a Russian Su-24 -- only a few hours before Hollande met with President Obama.

So everything seemed to be falling into place. No chance of a new detente between the Atlanticist powers and NATO. On the contrary. Erdogan was sure he had sabotaged for good the Hollande-Putin face-to-face meeting in Moscow.

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Not so fast, Sultan.

In Moscow, Hollande and Putin confirmed that France and Russia will not be torn apart. The French leader declared: "What we agreed, and this is important, is to strike only terrorists and Daesh and to not strike forces that are fighting terrorism. We will exchange information about whom to hit and whom not to hit."

Now that unveils a thrilling horizon. In the "to hit" section we already find Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra, a.k.a. al-Qaeda in Syria, which the Vienna negotiations have already branded as terrorists.

And considering that al-Nusra has gobbled up, co-opted or instrumentalized an array of Salafi outfits, "moderate" or otherwise, it won't be hard for the Russians to convince the French these are all legitimate targets.

Also significant is that France will increase support to "rebels" fighting Daesh on the ground; that's code for the YPG Syrian Kurds -- one of Erdogan's nemeses alongside the PKK.

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So the Sultan's risky shoot-down investment is not paying too many dividends. What if Hollande came up with the same old scratched Obama CD, as in "Assad just go," while Putin re-emphasized that "the fate of the president of Syria must stay in the hands of the Syrian people"? Everyone knows this is not the main priority of the Vienna negotiations. The main priority -- as reiterated by the declaration of war inbuilt in UNSC resolution 2249 -- is to smash ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

And then the clincher, as Putin and Hollande reached a consensus: there will be a barrage of air strikes against the fuel tanker truck convoys transporting stolen Syrian oil across Daesh-controlled territory on the way to Turkey.

There goes in flames the profitable racket of "Sultan's" son Bilal Erdogan, a.k.a. "Erdogan Mini Me," one of three shareholders of marine transportation corporation BMZ.

Send in the Sukhois!

Putin delivered a sarcastic cruise missile as he said it was "theoretically possible" that Ankara didn't know about stolen Syrian oil entering Turkish territory from all points Daesh, but he added that was hard to imagine.

So leaving nothing to the imagination, one of Russia's S-400 AA missile defense systems is already on combat duty at the Hmeymim airbase, and another one is on the way.

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Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia (more...)
 

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