Turkey Supported Armed Groups in Syria: On Their Way to Bankruptcy Strategically and Financially
By Khaled Iskef Global Research, April 04, 2021 All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the “Translate Website”
In the shadow of the decline of the value of the Turkish lira and the weakness of the Turkish economy resulting from many factors, the most important of which is the loss of profits from the tourism season on the one hand and the policies of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s son-in-law Berat Bayrak when he was Minister of Finance. How the value of the lira declined during his reign and his attempt to court Germany, perhaps for some aid from here or from over there.
These financial problems called on Ankara to financially limit the support of its militants and mercenaries in northern Syria by cutting their salaries.
(note: Reports say mercenaries get 500 Turkish lira a month , which with the fall of the currency is worth
barely $80 US, hardly enough to eat. No wonder Erdogan is trying to make amends in Europe and NATO and demanding another 7 BILLION euros blackmail to not send Syrian refugees to the EU.)
There may be other reasons behind the suspension of salaries, among them the pressure on the factions to implement a Turkish plan that is being prepared in northern Syria whose features are still ambiguous.
It has been reported that Turkey has stopped the salaries of the so-called Watani Army militants loyal to it in northern Syria about two months ago.
The sources said that a state of discontent and restlessness prevails in the ranks of the Ankara factions militants against the background of their salaries being cut off, noting that the Turkish intelligence services responsible for communicating with the armed factions and financing them, have deducted sums from the salaries of the militants in exchange for military allowances.
It should be noted that members of the Syrian National Army are organizing a protest in the city of Al-Bab, east of Aleppo, due to the delay of the officers ’salaries for more than 70 days.
The sources pointed out that the last salary received by the Ankara factions militants from the Turkish side was in the first month of this year, while the funding was cut off during the months of February and March, without any clarifications from the Turkish side about the reasons for stopping salaries and when they can return again.
The sources stated that the suspension of salaries was preceded by another similar incident, during which Turkish intelligence officials promised the armed factions financial rewards after they took control of Tal Abyad in the northern countryside of Raqqa. However, Turkish officials later delayed the delivery of the bonuses and then evaded them, and no amount was paid to the militants.
Erdogan considers all these people to be ”Kurdish terrorists”
In addition, sources reported that there are 500 militants who were transferred again from northern Syria towards Libya via Turkey. Ankara is trying to reduce the economic burdens left by supporting armed groups in northern Syria by transferring them to several countries, as happened in Libya and Azerbaijan.
Against the background of these activities, Al-Nusra once again raised the prices of fuel in its areas of control.
Where the Al-Nusra Front organization once again raised fuel prices within the areas under its control in northern Syria, where its affiliated Watad company, which has a monopoly on the sale and import of fuel from Turkey, issued the decision to raise prices, justifying it by the decline in the value of the Turkish lira against the US dollar.
Sources indicated that Al-Nusra raised the price of a gas cylinder to 88.5 Turkish liras, after it was 80.5 Turkish liras, and set the price of one liter of imported gasoline at 6.30 Turkish liras instead of 5.31 Turkish liras.
As for the price of a liter of imported diesel, it increased by half a Turkish lira to become 6 lira, after it was 5.49, at a time when the price of refined diesel was recorded at 4.27 Turkish lira.
This increase in fuel prices is considered the second imposed by the Al-Nusra Front during the current month, as the prices previously witnessed a rise on which was described at the time as unprecedented in terms of its high percentage, which came in conjunction with the collapse of the value of the Turkish lira. People in areas controlled by armed groups are forced to deal with them.
This is what leads to general discontent on the part of the people of the areas occupied by these armed factions. This matter did not stop the Levantine Front from its desperate actions to compensate for the lack of Turkish support for it, so it stole equipment, machinery and tractors from the people living in the city of Afrin and sold them in dollars on the pretext that the people did not pay an imposed tribute. by them
Al-Jabha al-Shamiya sells stolen tractors in the markets of Azaz.
Where the sale of agricultural tractors in the city of Azaz, which is under the control of the Turkish-backed armed factions in the northern countryside of Aleppo revealed the scale of the thefts that the militants commit against civilians and their property that are confiscated from them under various pretexts in various regions, to sell them in other areas under the pretext that they are war spoils.
The sale of tractors by the militants of the Levant Front faction in favor of the so-called local councils in the Azaz area, so it became clear later that these tractors were stolen from people in the city of Afrin and its villages, under the clause of confiscation because of their owners’ refusal to pay Royalties on their agricultural business.
Sources indicated that the Shamiya gunmen sold the stolen tractors at the amount of $ 2,300 to several “local councils” in the villages of the Soran district of the Azaz area.
The sources added that other sales took place in the village of Kafrghan, and not only agricultural tractors, but also, several motorcycles stolen from Afrin, which were sold to militants as war spoils taken by the SDF.
Since Turkey and the armed factions took control of it, Afrin region has been witnessing continuous robbery and looting of their properties, in addition to the displacement that is taking place.
They were presented to him by the various factions that are expelling the people of the region from their homes and lands, and housing the militants and their families in their place.
Erdogan’s FSA army supplement their dwindling salaries by openly looting in Afrin, as well as extortion, kidnapping and property seizures. see ANHA reports
All these desperate actions and behavior by the Turkish factions are nothing but confirmation of their involvement in the looting and theft of factories, facilities, and infrastructure in the areas, they occupied during the previous conflict with the Syrian army.
Arab section of SDF, Jaysh al-Thuwar, defending Manbij against Turkey-backed jihadist groups and the Turkish army.
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The refugee deal between the two parties established that those asylum seekers who were found not to havethe right to enter the EU will be returned to Turkey.
In return, the EU would spend more than $7 billion of public funds to provide Turkey with the funds necessary to take care of the millions of Syrian refugees trapped in the country.
Turkey threatens yet again to ‘let loose’ its 3.5 million Syrian refugees on Europe, gaining billions in EU subsidies while using them as semi slave labour, mercenaries and strike breakers.. In reality 3.5 million is not so huge in a Turkish population of 80 million. In Afrin for example, before the Turkish invasion nearly half the population were internal refugees and something similar happened in parts of Lebanon.
(…..) Ankara claims that it is deeply concerned by the danger posed by refugees and its concerns for Syrian civilians in Idlib. However, the de facto currency of Idlib is no longer the Syrian pound, but rather the Turkish lira, which is presently having another collapse with rocketing inflation..
This is in conjunction with the installation of Turkish communication systems in the province, duty free Turkish goods flooding in and Syrian industry dismantled and taken into Turkey.
Convoy of Turkish military trucks carrying tanks heads past the town of Kilis , bound for Syria
These actions would suggest that Turkey is planning to permanently control the region. Syrians remember when its Hatay province was stolen by Turkey in 1939 and also remember when the northern portion of maritime neighbor Cyprus was invaded by Turkey in 1974.
Idlib by now is a breakaway statelet with its own government. The problem for Turkey is that it is controlled by the well organised extreme jihadi HTS /Nusra, over the FSA Turkish paid terrorists and others. This means Russia cannot support Turkey against its Syrian ally, and the US and NATO have not (so far) committed troops and public support to back the Turkish ‘invasion’..
In the minds of Syrians, a permanent Turkish occupation of Idlib is not an exaggeration as many officials in Ankara openly proclaim their dreams for a neo-Ottoman Empire and a Syrian jihadist leader even said on Turkish television that the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) will fight “wherever jihad is” and for the “Ottoman Caliphate.” (……..)
Meanwhile Afrin is now even more cut off with much of the population ‘ethnically cleansed’ of their homes and forced out into refugee camps in the Sabha enclave. ‘Turkification’ is in full swing, abolishing the Kurdish language, schools and culture.
Civilians run for cover from explosions in the city of Afrin in northern Syria on March 18, 2018, after Turkish forces and their rebel allies took control of the Kurdish-majority city. Turkish-backed rebels have seized the centre of Afrin city in northern Syria, Ankara said, as they made rapid gains in their campaign against Kurdish forces. A civilian inside Afrin said that rebels had deployed in the city centre and that the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia had withdrawn. / AFP PHOTO / Bulent Kilic
Erdogan’s mercenaries continue seizing goods and property to supplement their dwindling salaries, committing mass murder, rape and kidnappings while NATO, Russia and the EU allow impunity and turn a blind eye, considering Turkey to be a strategic ally. Afrin is abandoned even by the ineffectual marxist Left for resisting the ”anti imperialist” Assad regimes which previously attempted their genocide.
Afrin’s ”terrorist women” demonstrate for freedom of their leader Ocalan who organised a successful peace process in Turkey
To the blatant war crimes in illegally annexed Afrin are added forced language change, abolition oif progressive and horizontally organised Kurdish local councils, closed or destroyed schools, women forced into servitude, etc.
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