The attacks by Islamist extremists in Paris on 13th and 14th November are one of a long series of terrorist attacks in France. The characteristics of those supposedly involved are interesting: young males in their late 20s, association with drug-dealings, one whose recent employment was destroyed by a Police decision to shut down his part-owned café because of suspected drug-peddling, poverty and refugees- yet not a strong connection to an Islamic tradition of the extremist Wahhabist sect that espouses asceticism and the hatred of other non Sunni sects.
As with many other civilian targeted terrorists attacks around the world , they occurred the same day as a major Paris medical response drill to a terrorist attack; coincidence? -probably…
We need to acknowledge that Western intelligence services, particularly those governments heavily involved in destabilising Syria -eg France, have turned a blind eye to young men going to Syria to fight in the extremist Takfiri groups against the Assad government regime there. Small wonder then that France’s intelligence agencies were fully aware of the main perpetrators of the Paris attacks , and did nothing.
Despite some attempts, particularly by American mainstream media, to portray those joining ISIS and the other Al Qaeda offshoots in Syria as dedicated to Islamic values and a return to a ‘golden age’ of a caliphate; the reality appears very different. These are predominantly angry young men, dispossessed, poor with few prospects to make money or a career in the West, lured by promises of glory, violence and a new world where they are the rulers of destiny. Western Intelligence and Gulf State governments’ cynical manipulation of these dispossessed, has resulted in the catastrophe that is the Middle East. Over the past few years, the United States’ half-hearted attempts to destroy ISIS with limited bombing runs and a focus on destroying extremist leaders’ rather than extremist infrastructure, has led ISIS and the other Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria and Iraq, to believe they are impervious to Western threats of force.
The recent extremely intensive aerial bombardment by Russian air-force and missiles of terrorist infrastructure in Syria, has changed the strategic balance. No more is it likely, as the Americans would have it, are we in for a ‘long war’ against ISIS. The militant groups are fast approaching the point where keeping large concentrations of militants on the ground and thereby ‘holding ground’, will be impossible. A resort to guerrilla tactics is therefore likely, but with vastly less impact on the Syrian population and landscape.
Small wonder the that France and the other colonialist governments in the West are concerned about the impacts of Russian attacks in Syria. Where else do the militants go; but home? We are likely therefore to see many more attacks in the West by disenfranchised Muslim youth, skilled in the use of explosives and weapons, in the months to come.
The shooting down of a Russian SU24 bomber close to the Syrian/Turkish border by a Turkish Airforce F16 on November 24th, has been downplayed in most media as something that is kind of unfortunate and will ‘blow over’.
The reality is somewhat different. This is the first time that a state agency (the Ankara Erdogan government) has explicitly supported its ISIS and Al Qaeda allies, along with the Turkmen mujaheddin allied with Al Qaeda: a state agency that has apparently ‘pretended’ to support the war against ISIS and now shows its colours- hence the ‘stab in the back ‘ statement by President Putin
The shooting down in what appears to be Syrian airspace is a serious violation , along with the not unexpected violation of the Geneva Conventions by the Turkmen ‘insurgents’ killing the parachuting ejected pilots in the air. NATO, while urging caution in the Russian response, clearly does not wish to see itself allied with such reckless actions by President Erdogan of Turkey, and has indicated its belief that the shootdown occurred in Syrian air-space.
The ramifications of this act are enormous, and will likely lead to significant internal rumblings by the Turkish military against this further slide of the Erdogan government towards Islamic extremism within and without Turkey. There are also clear lines of accountability to senior Turkish politicians benefiting from the sale of ISIS oil .
While the Russian government has requested the immediate discontinuation of Russian tourists visiting Turkey, the trade sanctions responses to Turkey are likely to be severe in an already vulnerable Turkish economy. The ongoing deployment of S300 and S400 anti-air batteries by the Syrians and Russians, along with the deployment of fighter air cover for Russian bombers is likely to result in a shootdown of Turkish fighters if Erdogan is not restrained. How will NATO respond? Whatever happens, the long term outcomes of this reckless action spell disaster for Turkey.
See the interesting and informative article by Gareth Porter on his interpretation of Turkey’s recent actions in Syria here