As the war against Syria draws closer to entering its fifth year, peace talks have once again fallen apart, as anticipated. The Western powers, right- wing regional regimes such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and the terrorist-ridden opposition refuse to recognize Syria’s sovereignty in the fight against such reactionary forces as the Islamic State group (I.S.), Al Nusra and the Islamic Front. Those seeking to overthrow the Syrian government call for a ceasefire while they themselves continue to bomb and destroy Syria.
Russia and Syria, on the other hand, have continued to fight against these reactionary terrorist elements and have recently made major gains. With all the strife at the negotiating table, some governments have made serious threats, which, if taken to their conclusion, could make this regional war a global one.
The Russian Ministry of Defense said Jan. 31 that Turkey is building up forces on its border with Syria, possibly with the intention of invading. Kurdish forces on the Syrian side of the border say that Turkish forces have crossed the border and are building fortifications on Syrian land. (presstv.ir)
Turkey’s President Erdogan made provocative statements Feb. 7 that are only building upon these fears. “We don’t want to fall into the same mistake in Syria as in Iraq,” Erdogan said to journalists when returning to Turkey from a trip to Latin America. (bloomberg.com) The statement references the Turkish Parliament’s 2003 decision not to let the U.S. use Turkish land for the invasion of Iraq.
Turkey is making these threats while the Syrian government makes military advances in the north near the border with Turkey. The Erdogan regime responded to these advances by shelling the Syrian Army and killing one soldier on Feb. 1.
Spokespeople for both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates stated Feb. 6 that they are prepared to send troops to Syria to combat I.S. (cnn.com) This is despite their ideological ties to I.S.; in fact, many sources say these two countries directly support I.S.
Another factor complicating the proposed military operation against I.S. is that both Saudi Arabia and the UAE still openly seek the fall of the Syrian government, an objective they share with I.S.
With the help of Russia and Lebanon-based Hezbollah liberation fighters, the Syrian government has been making tremendous military gains in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, and in several other areas. These gains have prompted recent threats of aggression against Syria. Syria and Russia have not taken these threats lightly.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem warned, “Any ground intervention in Syria, without the consent of the Syrian government, will be considered an aggression that should be resisted by every Syrian citizen. I regret to say that [any foreign soldiers] will return home in wooden coffins.” He repeated this statement three times. (Al Jazeera, Feb. 6)