Over the course of a week, from February 27 through March 5, #Syria’s Idlib province transitioned from being ground zero for a #war between the #Syrian #army and allied forces, and heavily armed groups opposed to the rule of Syrian President #BasharAssad, into a geopolitical powder keg that threatened to pull the #Turkish and #Russian militaries into direct #conflict with one another. On March 1, #Turkey, following up on threats previously made by President #Erdogan to drive the Syrian Army and its allies back to the line of demarcation set forth in the original #SochiAgreement, unleashed a major offensive, dubbed “Operation Spring Shield” and involving thousands of Turkish troops fighting alongside anti-Assad formations.This marks the second time in two years that #Russia has orchestrated the #defeat of a concentrated anti-Assad military action, and done so without triggering the #US-Russian #war that the #neocons are desperately hoping to #spark.
This operation soon fizzled; not only was the Turkish advance halted in its tracks, but the #SyrianArmy, supported by #Hezbollah and pro-Iranian #militias, were able to recapture much of the #territory lost in the earlier fighting. Faced with the choice of either escalating further and directly confronting Russian forces, or facing #defeat on the #battlefield, Erdogan instead flew to #Moscow.
The new additional protocol, which entered into effect at midnight Moscow time on Friday, March 6, represents a strategic defeat for Erdogan and the Turkish military which, as #NATO’s second-largest standing armed force, equipped and trained to the highest Western standards, should have been more than a match for a rag-tag Syrian Army, worn down after nine years of non-stop combat. The Syrian armed forces, together with its allies, however, fought the #Turks to a standstill. Moreover, the anti-Assad fighters that had been trained and equipped by the Turks proved to be a #disappointment on the battlefield.
One of the major reasons behind the Turkish failure was the fact that Russia controlled the air space over #Idlib, denying the Turks the use of #aircraft, #helicopters and #drones, while apparently using their own aircraft, together with the #SyrianAirForce, to pummel both the Turkish military and their allied anti-Assad forces. In the end, the anti-Assad fighters were compelled to take shelter within so-called ‘Observation posts’– heavily fortified Turkish garrisons established under the Sochi Agreement, intermingling with Turkish forces to protect themselves from further attack. #Operation #SpringShield turned out to be a resounding defeat for the Turks and their allies.
lake News @blakehounshell - 1:19 UTC · 6 Mar 2020The current #Covid-19 #panic was caused by seven weeks of daily #anti-China #propaganda as the #international #media abused the #crisis to bash Chinese officials, citizens and their culture. #H1N1 originated in the #US which utterly failed to contain it. It was therefore not propagandized.
I was looking at this timeline of the H1N1 pandemic put out by the CDC, and it’s way worse than I remembered. I don’t recall the same daily drumbeat of coverage but that was a different news environment. Or was I just not paying close attention?