Turkey, Russia, Iran: Filling the Vacuum

Chris

Administrator
Staff member
Turkey, Russia, Iran: Filling the Vacuum
By Erick Stakelbeck

Originally Published by the Gatestone Institute.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s longstanding threat to invade northeastern Syria — under the pretext of targeting terrorists from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) — has become a reality.

On the Iran-Iraq border a few weeks ago, I found myself just a few hundred meters from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), standard bearers of a regime that has practically copyrighted the phrases, “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”

At the Kurdish Peshmerga military base stood a series of small, white structures spread out across the mountaintops on the Iranian side of the border.

“IRGC observation posts,” said one of my Kurdish hosts, eying the mountains warily.

The Pershmerga generals interviewed in Iraqi Kurdistan seemed eager to talk about the threat posed by the IRGC and the Iranian regime—not only to the Kurds, Israel and the broader Middle East, but also to the United States.

They were understandably more reticent, however, in discussing the other looming threat in their immediate neighborhood — an increasingly aggressive Turkey, led by Islamist strongman President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan’s longstanding threat to invade northeastern Syria — under the pretext of targeting terrorists from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) — has become a reality. Following the sudden announcement by the White House that U.S. troops would “no longer be in the immediate area,” and that Turkey would be “moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria,” Erdogan’s forces made their move. If reports are accurate, their targets, predictably, reach far beyond the PKK and prove that Erdogan had much bigger designs all along.

Turkish forces are reportedly shelling Kurdish areas in northeastern Syria indiscriminately, threatening the area’s large Christian minority and deliberately targeting fighters from the U.S.-aligned Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group comprised mainly of Kurdish fighters.

In recent years, these same SDF forces, assisted by American air support, took the lead role on the ground in crushing the ISIS caliphate that had once covered 34,000 square miles of territory across Iraq and Syria. Now they’re once again defending their homes and neighborhoods against jihadists — this time, from the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which has aligned itself with Turkish forces in the invasion.

A humanitarian crisis seems all but imminent, with more than 160,000 people having already been displaced by the fighting, according to the UN.

A distraught U.S. Special Forces member on the ground in Syria who witnessed the Turkish invasion up close told Fox News that “atrocities…are happening,” and that U.S. forces, their hands tied by the White House’s abrupt decision, are “sitting by and watching it unfold.”

With President Trump’s announcement last weekend that all U.S. forces are withdrawing from northern Syria, and with Turkish forces driving ever further into Syrian territory, the Kurds, in desperation, have now cut a deal with Russia and the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in hopes of finding some protection from Erdogan’s expansionism. To see a longtime, loyal U.S. ally forced to turn to two anti-American regimes for survival is particularly troubling. As that same U.S. Special Forces member told Fox News, “The Kurds are as close to Western thinking in the Middle East as anyone.”

Erdogan, by contrast, moves further from the West and Turkey’s all-but-erstwhile NATO allies seemingly by the day. In response to European leaders’ concerns over the Turkish invasion, Erdogan has threatened to allow 3.6 million Syrian refugees to flood Europe— echoing a similar threat he made last month.

While the White House announcement last week stated that, “Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past two years,” it was Erdogan who allowed the Turkish-Syrian border to become a virtual sieve and transit point for thousands of jihadi foreign fighters to enter Syria during the height of the ISIS caliphate.

Trusting Erdogan — a committed Islamist in the Muslim Brotherhood mold — to oversee the thousands of ISIS prisoners currently held in northeastern Syria creates an instant fox-guarding-the-hen-house scenario. Already, there are reports that more than 785 ISIS fighters have escaped prison and detention camps in northeastern Syria amid the chaos of the Turkish invasion. Their swift recapture is likely not high on Erdogan’s priority list.

Erdogan, has, in fact, openly harbored members of ISIS, as well as the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas on Turkish soil. Erdogan, who lamely insists that Hamas is not a terrorist organization, has repeatedly slammed Israel as a “terrorist state” and engages in some of the most vicious anti-Israel rhetoric by a world leader this side of Iran’s mullahs.

His budding alliance with Iran and Russia, and his sweeping crackdowns on Turkish dissidents and journalists, have made Turkey’s shift to the East all the more pronounced. In short, Turkey, under Erdogan’s radical leadership, can be best described today as NINO, or NATO In Name Only.

The U.S. Congress is looking to push back against Erdogan’s brazen foray into northeastern Syria. For months, there has been a bi-partisan effort on Capitol Hill to convince the Trump administration to implement sanctions on Turkey in the wake of its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system.

The events of this past week will likely only escalate pressure by Congress against the Erdogan regime.

Meanwhile, as Syria’s Kurds try desperately to stave off a massacre at the hands of Turkish forces, Iraqi Kurdistan lies directly in the line not only of Turkish but also Iranian fire. As the Iranian regime continues — through Shia militias and other proxies, including the Houthis and Hezbollah — aggressively to expand its influence across Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon, the Iraqi Kurds interviewed fear that they could be next in Iran’s crosshairs.

In September 2018, for instance, IRGC forces fired seven missiles into Kurdistan in what Iran’s regime claimed was an attack on Iranian Kurdish dissidents based there. At least 11 people were killed in the strike, which occurred just a short distance from a Peshmerga military position visited by the author.

Today, the U.S. troop withdrawal from neighboring Syria, combined with the glaring lack of response by the West in the face of escalating Iranian and Turkish aggression in the region, have left Iraq’s Kurds and other U.S. allies in the Free World feeling more exposed than ever to the expansionist aims of both Erdogan and Iran’s mullahs.

Given the Kurds’ painful history, including genocide at the hands of Saddam Hussein, and the threats they currently face, it’s no wonder that many shared an affinity for Israel — and a concern for the future.

“We defeated ISIS,” a Peshmerga general said, “only to see Iran and its Shia militias become stronger. They are filling the vacuum.”

Islamist-led Turkey has now joined those same Iranian-led forces in filling that vacuum — with the full acquiescence of the United States.

Erick Stakelbeck is Director of Christians United for Israel’s Watchman Project and Host of The Watchman show, seen weekly on TBN and the Fox Business Network.

https://www.raptureforums.com/ezekiel-38-39/turkey-russia-iran-filling-the-vacuum/
 

Endangered

Well-Known Member
There will NEVER be peace in the Middle East until Jesus returns to end it all. I truly feel sorry for the Kurds. They have been persecuted by Hussein, ISIS and now Erdo. They will have their day when they destroy Babylon and leave no one living. Until then please pray for the Kurds.
 

DanLMP

Well-Known Member
Trump was handed a situation in the ME that was worse than the bottom of a trash can. PREVIOUS Presidents caused this situation by deciding not to have the US as the dominant player in the area.

It would take a large amount of money, material and personnel to reestablish the US as dominant in the area.

Is it worth it?

I guarantee that all the people complaining about Trump pulling the US out of a losing situation would complain even louder if we tried to reestablish ourselves in the area.

Erdogan was going to go into Syria whether we were there or not. If he went in with us still in the area we would be at war right now.
 

ItIsFinished!

Well-Known Member
Trump was handed a situation in the ME that was worse than the bottom of a trash can. PREVIOUS Presidents caused this situation by deciding not to have the US as the dominant player in the area.

It would take a large amount of money, material and personnel to reestablish the US as dominant in the area.

Is it worth it?

I guarantee that all the people complaining about Trump pulling the US out of a losing situation would complain even louder if we tried to reestablish ourselves in the area.

Erdogan was going to go into Syria whether we were there or not. If he went in with us still in the area we would be at war right now.
Great point my friend.
 

athenasius

Well-Known Member
Trump was handed a situation in the ME that was worse than the bottom of a trash can. PREVIOUS Presidents caused this situation by deciding not to have the US as the dominant player in the area.

It would take a large amount of money, material and personnel to reestablish the US as dominant in the area.

Is it worth it?

I guarantee that all the people complaining about Trump pulling the US out of a losing situation would complain even louder if we tried to reestablish ourselves in the area.

Erdogan was going to go into Syria whether we were there or not. If he went in with us still in the area we would be at war right now.
No it isn't worth it. As sad as the situation with the Kurds is, at the end of the day, American blood cannot build any other nation. Sadly if the Kurds cannot repel invaders they cannot have a nation. They are currently aligning with the Syrian army and the Russians to repel the Turks. At the same time, Russia and Syria are now responsible to jail, feed and care for the Isis prisoners in the area. Not America.

And moving from pragmatism which is depressing I'll move over to prophecy for a moment.

Given that most Christians who read and obey the Bible are praying for their leader (even if they don't like him much-- I don't love Trudeau but I pray he governs properly and loses his third election speedily) then we have to pause and remember that God is the one directing Trump and we see God's hand moving to bring about prophetic fulfillment in the Middle East.

Israel is the focal point of history from a Biblical world view.

I can see the mercy of God in action removing the Americans out of a war they have no Biblical role in, other than to set the stage (and Obama as well as other previous presidents certainly did that!)

I am thankful and I praise God for His mercies. Because God will protect Israel from Iran's plots and Russia's schemes and Turkey's dreams of a renewed Ottoman Empire.

And if God is prompting Trump to get out of a place he doesn't belong, then it will save lives. I'm looking at the prophetic scene unfolding. If America has blessed Israel, and they have under this president, then I see this as God's Hand of Blessing, to remove America from harms way.

God has used America greatly. Even now. Even through President Trump. Especially thru a man who doesn't listen well to advice when he knows inside himself what he is supposed to do. Trump has the courage to go it alone, even if everyone disagrees, even if there are terrific reasons not to do what he is about to do.

In this case, sad as it is, humiliating as it is to leave an ally behind to sort out their own dreams of national sovereignty, Trump is actually continuing like the Presidents before him to set the stage for Bible prophecy to play out in the final acts before the Tribulation period gets going. America's roles may not always be nice, or ethically defensible, but they will align with the Bible one way or another.

And one way or another each nation plays it's part in the build up to the final prophecies that have to happen.
 

TimeWarpWife

Well-Known Member
At first I was upset when POTUS announced he was pulling all troops out of Syria, which I later found out was going to be only 50 troops, but then I listened to Jay Sekulow explain why Mr. Trump was doing this. While I'm sad for the Kurds, it's something that has to be done because as Jay said, the United States can't keep being the world's police force and have our sons and daughters dying for things that don't even concern them.
 
Last edited:

vbf

Well-Known Member
Anything that helps facilitate Iran, Russia, and Turkey coalescing in Syria (solidifying a necessary regional hegemony) AND positions the Saudis into a contrary position with all three AND removes the US from the theater AND provides for greater alignment between the US and Saudi Arabia is ALL great news for students of Bible prophecy.

Things are speeding up and pieces rapidly falling into place. God is clearly using DJT as a key player in these last days. A couple of things (among many things) must be rapidly converging to include the fullness fo the gentiles will come in and the intensity of hostilities in the ME seemingly on the verge of all out warfare against Israel.

We're getting closer by the second.
 
Last edited:

ItIsFinished!

Well-Known Member
Anything that helps facilitate Iran, Russia, and Turkey coalescing in Syria (solidifying a necessary regional hegemony) AND positions the Saudis into a contrary position with all three AND removes the US from the theater AND provides for greater alignment between the US and Saudi Arabia is ALL great news for students of Bible prophecy.

Things are speeding up and pieces rapidly falling into place. God is clearly using DJT as a key player in these last days. A couple of things (among many things) must be rapidly converging to include the fullness fo the gentiles will come in and the intensity of hostilities in the ME seemingly on the verge of all out warfare against Israel.

We're getting closer by the second.
:thumbup
 
Top