There will be no peace in Syria, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir announced yesterday that for The Kingdom, the removal of Assad is “crucial,” adding without any sense of shame that the Syrian leader is the “single most effective magnet for extremists and terrorists in the region”.
This is not a rogue statement made by a renegade government: It’s a policy that has been approved, and most likely dictated, by the United States. And now the Saudis have parked their F-15s at a Turkish airbase used by the US military to strike targets within Syria:
Royal Saudi Air Force F-15 Eagles arrive at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey.
— محمد بن خالد (@MbKS15) February 13, 2016
Turkey has openly acknowledged that it is working with the Saudis on a joint attack plan.Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has already made this clear:
“If we have such a strategy, then Turkey and Saudi Arabia may launch a ground operation,” he added, fueling concerns that a foreign troop invasion may soon further complicate the already turbulent situation in the war-torn country.
Earlier, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE voiced their readiness to contribute troops for a ground operation in Syria on the condition that the US would lead the intervention. Damascus and its key regional ally, Iran, warned that such a foreign force would face strong resistance.
Of course, both Turkey and Saudi Arabia insist that their strikes will be aimed at ISIS — perhaps one of the most cynical, laughable claims made since the start of the Syrian conflict. As Slavoj Žižek argues, “The so-called ‘war on terror’ has become a clash within each civilisation, in which every side pretends to fight Isis in order to hit its true enemy.”
The US will likely avoid direct involvement, but Washington is already hard at work behind the scenes: Even with many supply lines cut, the CIA is working overtime to resupply the “moderate” rebels with weapons.
#BREAKING Ankara says Turkey and Saudi Arabia could launch anti-IS ground operation in Syria
— AFP news agency (@AFP) February 13, 2016
With each passing day, the possibility of a direct military confrontation between Russia and the US (or at least its allies) seems more and more likely. The first F-15 to be shot down by a Syrian or Russian jet (or anti-air system such as the S-400), could mark the beginning of all-out war. Which is exactly what Washington appears to want.