by Michael Snyder, The End of the American Dream:
Are Saudi Arabia and Turkey about to send ground troops into Syria? If so, how will Russia, Iran and the Syrian government respond? In 2016, Syria has become ground zero for a conflict that has been raging for centuries. For more than a thousand years, the Sunnis and the Shiites have been wrestling with one another for control of the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other Sunni nations had hoped to turn Syria into a Sunni nation, and for years they have been funding and arming ISIS and other Sunni insurgent groups in an attempt to overthrow the Assad regime. Initially the Assad regime was losing quite a bit of ground, but the tide turned once the Syrians invited the Russians and the Iranians to help them. Of course the Iranians have their own long-term goals. Once Assad leaves power, the Iranians hope to turn Syria into a truly Shiite nation that is run and dominated by Hezbollah. At this moment, the Sunnis and losing and the Shiites are winning. Relentless Russian airstrikes have enabled Syrian, Iranian and Hezbollah ground forces to advance, and now they have surrounded Aleppo. Before the war Aleppo was the largest city in Syria, and if it falls, the war will be very close to over.
Thousands of refugees are currently flooding out of Aleppo as the Russians bombard the surrounding area continually. There is little hope that the Sunni forces that once were so optimistic about overthrowing Assad can hold out much longer without help.
As the situation becomes increasingly desperate, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are now considering what was once unthinkable – a full-blown ground invasion of Syria.
Of course this could very well set off World War III in the Middle East, but Saudi Arabia and Turkey have already invested so much in this conflict, and they don’t appear to be willing to throw up their hands and walk away now.
Just consider what Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters this past weekend…
“What’s going on in Syria can only go on for so long. At some point it has to change,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on a plane back to Turkey from Latin America over the weekend.
As we’ve documented extensively over the past several days, Ankara, Riyadh, and Doha have their backs against the wall when it comes to the effort to oust Bashar al-Assad and perpetuate Sunni hegemony in the Arabian Peninsula.
Hezbollah has surrounded Aleppo and their advance is backed by what’s been described as an unrelenting Russian air campaign. The rebels’ supply lines to Turkey have been cut and without a direct intervention by either the US or the Gulf states, the battle for Syria will have been lost for the opposition which pulled out of peace talks in Geneva citing the ongoing aerial bombardment by Moscow.
And according to Bloomberg, he added the following ominous statement…
“You don’t talk about these things. When necessary, you do what’s needed. Right now our security forces are prepared for all possibilities.”
The Saudis are being less vague. They are now publicly saying that they would definitely be willing to commit ground troops to the conflict in Syria…
Ahmed Asseri, a spokesman for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting Yemen, said Saudis would also be willing to contribute ground troops as part of a wider campaign against Islamic State in Syria, Al-Arabiya television reported Friday.
And consider what one of their top generals told Al Jazeera…
“Today, the Saudi kingdom announced its readiness to participate with ground troops with the US-led coalition against ISIL, because we now have the experience in Yemen,” Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri told Al Jazeera.
We know that air strikes cannot be enough and that a ground operation is needed. We need to combine both to achieve better results on the ground.”
In addition to Saudi Arabia, the government of the United Arab Emirates is also indicating that it is ready to send ground forces into Syria. The following comes from the Express…
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