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Could a Bomb Blast in Ankara Change the Outcome of the War in Syria?

By       Message Mike Whitney       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

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Reprinted from Counterpunch

Recep Tayyip Erdogan - Prime Minister of Turkey
Recep Tayyip Erdogan - Prime Minister of Turkey
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems to think so. In fact, Erdogan is acting like Wednesday's explosion in the capital was a gift from God. You see, Erdogan and his fellow Islamists think that if they pin the blame for the bombing on luckless patsy, Salih Neccar, who has links to the Kurdish YPG, then they'll be able to convince Washington that the YPG is a terrorist organization. And if they can convince Washington that the YPG a terrorist organization, then Obama will have to break off relations with the YPG even though the Kurdish militia has been helping the US defeat ISIS in Syria. And if Obama breaks off relations with the YPG, then he'll have to depend more on good old Turkey for his footsoldiers, which is just hunky-dory with Erdogan provided that Washington meet his numerous demands, that is.

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So, could a bomb blast in Ankara change the outcome of the five-year-long war in Syria?

It certainly could, if Obama is stupid enough to fall into Erdogan's trap. But so far that looks unlikely.

The problem with Erdogan's rationale is that the Obama administration is not convinced that the YPG is a terrorist organization. Nor are they certain that Neccar is guilty. More important, the US maintains a crucial alliance with the YPG in Syria which has helped them recapture strategic cities and territory from ISIS in the northern part of the country. The militia has provided the boots on the ground the US needs to prosecute its war in Syria. Naturally, they are not going to end a relationship like that without solid evidence that the charges are true.

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And there are plenty of reasons to believe the charges aren't true. For example, the head of the Syrian PYD, Salih Muslim, has not only denied all responsibility for the Ankara bombing, but also stated that neither he nor any of his lieutenants have any idea who the perpetrator is. (The PYD is the political wing of the YPG)

"We have never heard of this person Salih Necar," said Muslim, after which he added, "These accusations are clearly related to Turkish attempts to intervene in Syria."

Of course, Muslim could be lying, but you have to ask yourself whether or not the bombing achieves its political objectives if the perpetrators deny responsibility? And the answer is "No, it doesn't." So why lie?

Here's more from the New York Times:

"...some analysts questioned the plausibility of (Erdogan's) accusation, since mounting such an attack would jeopardize the group's American support.

"'These allegations are unfounded -- lies with no truth to them,' Redur Xelil, a spokesman for the group said via WhatsApp from Qamishli, Syria.

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"'We are not enemies of Turkey, and our goal is to fight Daesh inside the Syrian borders,' he added, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State. 'We have no interest in being enemies with Turkey.'

"'Sponsoring or being involved with car bombings in Turkish cities would break its alliance structure with the U.S. and Russia,' said Michael Stephens, research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security. 'Neither of which the P.Y.D.-Y.P.G. wants. In short, the Y.P.G. have nothing to gain and everything to lose by being involved in this.'" ("Turkey Blames Kurdish Militia for Ankara Attack, Challenging U.S.," New York Times)

So who is responsible for Wednesday's terrorist attack?

While no one knows for sure, many people think the Turkish government itself might have been involved, which isn't too far fetched when you consider that this same administration was implicated in a similar incident in 2014 when the foreign minister (who is currently the Prime Minister) was caught on tape cooking up a false flag operation with the head of Turkish Intel to create a pretext for invading Syria. Sound familiar? (See here for more.)

The fact that the Erdogan administration has been involved in this type of skullduggery before suggests that they might have gone to the well one time too often... In any event, given what we know of their past, the members of the Turkish government should, at the very least, feature very prominently on any list of probable suspects. Add to that the fact that there's now tons of evidence showing that the government has been arming, training and funding terrorists in Syria, and the only conclusion a reasonable person can draw is that Turkey is governed by a thoroughly untrustworthy lot of fanatical miscreants whose spurious accusations should be taken with a very large grain of salt... Here's more from yesterday's Hurriyet:

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Mike is a freelance writer living in Washington state.

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