22 March 2023
The Turkish Double Game In Syria
4 February 2020
The Turkish Double Game In Syria
U.S. and Turkish troops rendezvous for a joint patrol in the Northern Syria Buffer Zone on 4 October, 2019, in Idlib. This image was released by the United States Army. Northwestern Syria is almost liberated by the Syrian Arab Army in cooperation with Russia and Hezbollah. The next phase of the war, or rather the confrontation between Syria and Turkey, is looming around the corner. Is President Erdogan willing to pull out of the Turkish-controlled region, which is located within the northern areas of the Aleppo Governorate, with the southern tip of the territory located forty kilometers northeast of Aleppo?

Turkeyhas been militarily involved in the so-called Syrian conflict since its outbreak in 2011after condemning the Syrian government at the outbreak of the upheavals in 2011 in Daraa, which many people believe was sponsored by Turkey, just like the so-called Arab Spring. The Turkish government's involvement gradually evolved into military assistance to the so-calledFree Syrian Armyin July 2011. The so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) was also sponsored and made by the EU and the US. It was established by so-called Syrian defectors, who got protection from former Prime Minister of Syria Abdul Khalil Khaddam who is in exile in Paris and is the fiercest Sunni opposition leader to Bashar Al-Assad. He and his family are involved in fighting in Homs and Aleppo. They sponsored the so-called FSA because power was on the horizon. Khaddam was tried in absentia by a military court in Damascus and sentenced to hard labor for life and to be stripped of his civil rights and prevented from residing in Damascus or Tartous, his native town, in August 2008. The reason for the verdict was "slandering” the Syrian leadership and lying before an international tribunal regarding the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. One of his granddaughters is married to Rafik Hariri's son. He also blamed the US for "pushing Turkey into Russia’s open arms," and suggested that the US had a role in the coupin the 2016 coup in Turkey.

Back to 2020, the Western Media is playing a deceptive role when it comes to the reality on the ground in northwestern Syria, just as they did in Aleppo and Homs. They only speak about “refugees”, Syrian people who are forced to leave their villages and towns because of the bombardments of the Syrian and Russian army. Of course, there are bombardments, the terrorists are hiding in the empty or confiscated houses and shops owned by the native Syrians, and a lot of it was already destroyed before the latest bombardments due to the daily rocket and grenade attacks by the terrorists.

Assad’s forces have pushed ahead with their offensive in recent weeks, and by late January, they reached the outskirts of Maaret-al- Numan, a strategic town where the M5 highway linking Aleppo to Damascus passes through.Turkey has built 12 military observation posts around Idlib in what is known as a demilitarized zone. It was part of a peace deal that Russia and Turkey struck at Sochi in September 2018. The so-called rebels, including Turkish-backed so-called opposition fighters, have fallen back to Idlib where they are making a final stand-off. Many of them are foreigners, like the Chinese Uyghurs. About 18,000 fighters left China for Idlib, and from 2015, they have their own enclave called Al-Zanbaki located on the Turkish border. They belong to the Muslim faith (Sunni) and have a close relationship with Turkey (their language is related to Turkish and many Uyghurs speak Turkish). Also, they are part of the so-called Turkish rebel groups in Idlib. They have close links with the other groups present in Idlib: Tahir Ahrar-as-Sham, Al-Queda and ISIS. The Uyghurs united under the Turkistan Islamic Party are said to have transformed the city of Al-Zanbaki (just on the Turkish border) into an isolated camp. Most of the Western states signed a statement condemning China for their so-called concentration camps in Xinjiang where the Uyghurs live. Turkey didn't, but they also didn't sign the statements opposing that statement from Western Countries, such as what Russia did. Instead, they came out with their own statement in favor of the Uyghurs. This is part of their double game in Syria. The Uyghurs are fighting for Turkey against the Syrian government and therefore also against the Russian government.

Turkey also allowed Western countries and the US to have their headquarters in Gaziantep where the so-called rebels, consisting of above-mentioned groups and the White Helmets, got their orders. Bana the Twitter girl was all part of the “plot” and later appeared on President Erdogan’s lap after the liberation of Aleppo.

Erdogan is also once again threatening to send more refugees to Europe. He allowed the UN and other NGOs to establish refugee camps in Turkey before the crisis broke out in 2011 in Syria. Turkey is also sending ISIS fighters, their wives and children with foreign EU nationalities who are in camp Al-Hawl back to Europe.


The Turkish government is trying to get the best from both sides: the Russian S-400 missile system, a dreamed EU membership. They are part of NATO and smuggled oil for NATO in 2016 from ISIS in Syria and Iraq. They are also responsible for the Uyghurs' invasion of Northern Syria and the slaughtering of Kurds (the ones who picked the wrong side, the US and NATO, which were unreliable partners for their independence dreams). And last but not least, Turkey has a good relationship with Israel, their business is flourishing, even despite the accusations of one “great” leader to the other “great” leader. But as history shows, “you can’t have them both”.

By Sonja van den Ende
independent journalist