by Yusuf Dhia-Allah (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 45, No. 1, Jumada' al-Ula', 1437)
But when it is Our will to destroy a social order, We convey Our last warning to those of its elite [rulers and decision-makers] who have lost themselves entirely in the pursuit of worldly pleasures; and [if] they [continue to] indulge in their evil ways, the sentence [of doom] passed on the community takes effect, and We destroy it utterly (17:16).
This divine warning applies so aptly to the rulers in the Arabian Peninsula and Turkey that one may be led to believe this particular ayah was revealed specifically for them. Their current policies are not only extremely detrimental to the people of the region but ultimately also to the ruling elites themselves. But there are times when people are unable to mend their ways and continue on the path of self-destruction.
This appears to be happening to the rulers in Riyadh and Ankara, especially as it relates to their policy in Syria. For five years, they have unleashed murderous terrorists on the Syrian people causing mayhem, death, and destruction. Recent developments, however, have turned the tide against their pet monsters. Russia’s bombing campaign launched on September 30, 2015 has begun to bear fruit. It has seriously degraded the terrorists’ ability to continue their operations.
Concurrently, the Syrian army has made significant gains on the ground not only liberating strategic territory from the clutches of the takfiri terrorists (aka Da‘ish, ISIS, or ISIL) but also choking off a number of supply routes from Turkey. At the time of the writing of this story, reports from Aleppo indicate that some 800 terrorists were completely surrounded in East Aleppo. With their supply and escape routes blocked, their fate is sealed unless they surrender to the advancing Syrian army.
This has resulted in two developments that have blown both the takfiris’ cover and that of their foreign backers. First, in desperation, the takfiris have been calling for fresh supplies of weapons to be delivered to them urgently. Second, the Saudis announced that they would be prepared to send ground troops into Syria, ostensibly to fight the terrorists but in reality to fight against the Syrian army in order to protect their own terrorist monsters.
The Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir confirmed this when he was quoted by the German magazine, Der Spiegel, on February 19 saying that the terrorists be provided anti-aircraft missiles to “enable… [them] to neutralize the [Syrian] helicopters and planes.” The Saudi regime has done just that for five years, without achieving the principal objective of overthrowing the Syrian government. How could the Saudis claim to be ready to fight the takfiris while calling at the same time to arm them with missiles?
The vast majority of takfiris in Syria are not Syrians. They are mercenaries who have come from other parts of the world at the behest of their foreign masters to destroy the country. The real name of the takfiris’ leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is Ibrahim al-Samarrai. As the name suggests, he was born in Samarra, Iraq. He is no Islamic leader or scholar; he is merely a street thug and a violent one at that.
The Saudis’ announcement to deploy ground troops plus reports that Turkey is also considering a ground invasion of Syria clearly indicate their nefarious designs are failing. At the same time they have exposed themselves as being directly responsible for the mayhem in Syria.
Western complicity in supporting the terrorists was also exposed yet again when they rejected a Russian resolution presented to the Security Council on February 19 to condemn Turkish artillery fire into Syria. Turkish attacks have targeted the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia that has liberated large swathes of territory from Ankara-Riyadh-backed terrorists as well as civilians. Turkish shelling has also targeted Syrian forces in the Hatay border region.
Instead of condemning Turkish attacks on another country, Western rulers have again demanded that Russia stop supporting President al-Asad and his government. American ambassador to the UN, Samantha Powers, even branded Russia’s attempt to present a resolution at the Security Council to stop Turkish attacks on a sovereign country (Syria) as diverting the world’s attention. From what, one might ask. Isn’t Turkey’s shelling of Syrian territory in violation of the very “international law” the US and its allies are so quick to invoke when it suits their interests?
Syrian army and allied militias’ gains have resulted in the disintegration of the takfiri forces. While this is the outcome on the ground, at the international level, Ankara and Washington have started to make accusations against each other. Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan has not only upped the ante against Russia but has also revealed that America had supplied weapons, through air drops, to the takfiri terrorists in late-2014. This was known all along but the Turkish president reconfirmed it.
Erdogan’s angst is the result of the decision by both Moscow and Washington to support the YPG. The Kurdish militia has not only defeated Ankara’s — and Riyadh’s — favourite terrorists but it has done so in a region that Turkey considers its exclusive preserve. The Turkish president has accused the YPG of cooperating with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and alleged that it was responsible for the February 17 car bombing in Ankara that killed 21 people, all but one of them military officers.
Kurdish political leaders have vehemently denied any involvement in the Ankara bombing. That, however, has not prevented Erdogan from continuing to repeat the allegation with the aim of getting the YPG also declared a terrorist organization, like the PKK. He is unlikely to realize this objective, hence his increasingly hysterical pronouncements and irrational moves.
It cannot be discounted that the Ankara bombing was carried out by Turkish intelligence, at the behest of Erdogan, to achieve a broader political and military objective. He has made no secret of his goal to establish a security zone in northern Syria where the terrorists are based and to be able to supply them weapons. Syrian army and YPG advances in this crucial area have undermined Erdogan’s expansionists goals. The Turkish president has also exposed himself as a Machiavellian politician who will stop at nothing to achieve his megalomaniac dreams: to become the unchallenged warlord of the Muslim East.
His Saudi allies are acting just as irrationally. Having learnt nothing from their folly in attacking Yemen, Bani Saud have moved a large number of military aircraft — F-15E attack planes — to Incirlik Airbase in Turkey. These would be used, ostensibly, to attack takfiri targets in Syria (albeit without Syrian government approval) but in reality to attack Syrian army positions.
It is ironic that while there is nothing in common between the regimes in Ankara and Riyadh, their shared hatred of Islamic Iran and its successes has pushed them into each others’ arms. Both Ankara and Riyadh — as well as Tel Aviv, the third partner in this unholy alliance — see the fall of Bashar al-Asad as crucial to containing Iran’s growing power and influence. The obscurantist Wahhabis (Saudis) hate all other Muslims, especially Sufis and Shi‘is. Turkey is a predominantly Sufi country. Further, it was Bani Saud’s Wahhabi hordes that, acting as agents of British colonialists, undermined the Ottoman Turks and drove them out of the Muslim East. That the two should now be working together proves yet again that politics make for strange bedfellows.
Both Erdogan and Bani Saud are vying for leadership of the “Sunni” world. This brings them into direct conflict with each other but for the moment they have set such differences aside. Bani Saud have historically used petrodollars to buy Muslim loyalties. This is becoming increasingly untenable both because they are running out of cash and also because Muslims are beginning to see through their policies that are extremely detrimental to the interests of Islam and Muslims.
They righty ask, why is it that Bani Saud are willing to spend billions of dollars on destroying another Muslim country — Syria — that is part of the resistance front against Zionist Israel yet they have not lifted a finger against Zionist barbarities in defence of hapless Palestinians. Instead, they have become close allies of the Zionists against Islam.
The same question is being asked of Erdogan who faces growing criticism at home over his handling of the situation in Syria. The main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party has been vocal in condemning Erdogan’s Syria policy saying it is steering Turkey toward disaster. Ozturk Yilmaz, deputy head of the Republican People’s Party, stated this in writing after the Turkish military started shelling YPG positions inside Syria.
For the record, Yilmaz is not only a politician but also a seasoned diplomat and expert on the region. In June 2014, he was Turkey’s consul general in Mosul when the city was overrun by takfiri terrorists, who took Turkish diplomats including Yilmaz hostage for more than 100 days.
The diplomat-turned-politician said that Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Developing Party (AKP) was still chasing the mirage of becoming leader of the Middle East. In fact, it is Erdogan’s dream: he wants to become the new sultan of Turkey and a self-proclaimed khalifah so that other Muslims would pay homage to him. Yilmaz accused Erdogan of lacking wisdom and foresight and said this was causing immense “harm to Turkey’s security interests and dragging Turkey step by step into the Syrian quagmire.”
Another diplomat, retired ambassador Ali Tuygan, was equally scathing in his criticism of Erdogan’s policy. Tuygan had served as undersecretary at the Turkish Foreign Ministry from 2006–2009. He said that Turkey’s military escalation against Syria was a continuation of the mistake made vis-à-vis that country from the beginning. He also criticised Ankara’s anti-Russian rhetoric that he described as a major risk to Turkey’s interests.
Far from realizing their mistake and reversing course, both Ankara and Riyadh are getting deeper into the Syrian quagmire. Those blinded by hatred begin to make bigger mistakes that ultimately lead to their downfall. Bani Saud are teetering on the brink. There are deep internal divisions in the country. Many experts are predicting their imminent collapse.
Erdogan is in no better position. In fact, there are strong indications that the imperialists and Zionists are pushing him in a direction that would result in the disintegration of Turkey itself. That would be a frightening prospect and would have far reaching consequences for the entire Muslim Ummah.
But those who serve masters other than Allah (swt) and pursue agendas of personal aggrandizement can expect to suffer defeat and humiliation. Despite his bluster and fine western suits, Erdogan remains a street fighter and a thug. The greater tragedy is that he is also dragging the good people of Turkey into the gutter with him.