It is being widely reported that the US and Turkey have made an agreement to provide ‘air protection’ for rebels that are being trained and equipped to fight against ISIS, but don’t believe that for a second. What this agreement is really about is taking out Assad. They are just using ISIS as cover:
THE HILL – The U.S. and Turkey have agreed in “principle” to provide air protection to Syrian rebels being trained and equipped to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to Turkey’s foreign minister.
“There is a principle agreement on providing air support,” Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Turkish foreign minister told the pro-government Daily Sabah newspaper in comments published Monday, according to The Associated Press.
Congress last year approved $500 million for a program to train 15,000 moderate Syrian rebels over three years as a ground force to take on ISIS, but some lawmakers say the U.S. will also have to protect the rebels from both ISIS and the Syrian regime when they go into battle.
“They have to be supported via air,” Cavusoglu told Daily Sabah during a visit to Seoul, the AP reported. “If you do not protect them or provide air support, what is the point?”
Here we go again with the ‘moderate Syrian rebels’. There are none. They are all terrorist groups, like Al Qaeda, fighting to oust the Assad regime.
And the Assad regime is what this is all about. Below is the interview between the Turkish Foreign Minister and the Daily Sabah. Note how he says that the Assad regime must be stopped while lying about taking the fight to ISIS:
What are Turkey’s expectations from the train-and-equip program?
We aim to consolidate the moderate opposition in Syria both politically and militarily. We advocate a political resolution, but a significant alternative in the field is also needed. Both ISIS and the regime forces continue their assaults and killings. Aleppo’s defense against these forces is extremely important. Superiority in the field must be provided. As there are no military operations against these forces currently, with this program, we are trying to achieve a balance. The opposition forces are fighting on both fronts; while the fight against ISIS is prioritized, the regime must be also stopped.
Are there any developments regarding the no-fly zone in Syria?
No-fly and secure zones are a part of the extensive resolution for Syria. However, to provide security for the personnel that were trained and equipped, these are partial solutions.
Is there cooperation with the U.S. in providing air support for the train-and-equip army?
Of course. They have to be supported via air. If you do not protect them or provide air support, what is the point?
Does this air support include the use of armed drones from the İncirlik air base?
These are technical details. There is a principle agreement on providing air support. How it is going to be provided is in the responsibility of the army.
I suspect that if ISIS is fighting the Assad regime, the US and Turkey will provide air protection for that as well.
Eventually it’s possible that Turkey will go after ISIS, but not until the Assad regime is gone. It would be foolish for them to fight both ISIS and Assad at the same time. Remember when Turkey promised ground troops if Obama would go after Assad? This is definitely not about taking out ISIS.