By Brian Kalman
Global Research, February 13, 2016
South Front 12 February 2016
Amid Turkish preparations for a military intervention in Syria, mainstream media and think tanks prefer to provide political speculations and local rumors instead of facts and analysis. SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence stands on another ground and provides an exclusive paper studying the Turkish military grouping which will be likely used in this operation.
We also recommend that you view an exclusive video ‘Foreign Policy Diary – Turkey’s military intervention to Syria‘, which covers the possible results of this act of aggression.
Recent public comments by the Turkish government have hinted at a possible invasion into Syrian territory to “stabilize” the situation and secure Turkey’s national security. Significant clashes between Turkish army and security forces with elements of the YPG and PKK, which have exacted a costly toll on the Kurdish civilian population have been raging in southern Turkey and northern Syria in recent months. Russian satellite surveillance and human intelligence employed by both Russian and Syria in the region have confirmed the build-up of troops and material on the border.
It is reasonable to believe that Turkey is preparing to salvage its failed policy of supporting Islamic fundamentalist mercenaries and terrorist groups in Syria by invading and establishing a safe area for these groups along its southern border with Syria, while at the same time dealing a crushing blow to the Kurdish forces that have been successful in fighting them. Turkey is not only trying to topple the Assad government in Syrian, but is also trying to liquidate the Kurdish movement both in Iraq and Syria, as well as within its own borders.
Turkey’s membership in NATO complicates its plans of invasion. Unless Turkey is itself attacked, the NATO alliance is not obligated to defend it. Turkey will have to engineer a provocation that frames it as the target of an aggression either by Kurdish forces from beyond its borders or by Syrian or Russian forces combating its terrorist allies in Syria. Such a false flag provocation is not outside of the realm of possibility.
When a Turkish F-16 shot down a Russian Su-24, claims that the bomber had strayed into Turkish airspace for a number of minutes and ignored radio warnings from the Turkish aircraft were proven to be patently false. A year earlier in 2014, an audio recording of Turkish officials, including the head of the Security Service (MIT), Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Foreign Minister and the Undersecretary to the Foreign Minister discussing staging an attack on the Tomb of Suleiman Shah (a sovereign piece of Turkish territory) in Syria and using it as a pretext to intervene in Syria were leaked anonymously on YouTube. The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan responded by banning YouTube in Turkey, in affect giving support to the recordings authenticity. Now that the Syrian government has the upper hand militarily, gaining back territory and destroying, surrounding or pushing back various Turkish-backed terrorist forces, Turkey may be ready to engineer a new excuse to invade.
Possible Invasion Task Force
It is most likely that elements of the Turkish Second Army are positioned along the southern border with Syria, and will form the nucleus of any invasion force. The 2nd Army is responsible for defending Southwestern Turkey. Its headquarters is based in Malatya, with approximately 100,000 troops under its command. The army is comprised of three corps, the 4th, 6th and 7th which are composed of the following units:
- 3rd Tactical Infantry Division
- 28th Mechanized Infantry Brigade
- 58th Artillery Brigade
- 1st Commando Brigade
- 2nd Commando Brigade
- 5th Armored Brigade
- 39th Mechanized Infantry Brigade
- 106th Artillery Regiment
- 34th Border Brigade
- 16th Mechanized Brigade (Diyarbakır)
- 20th Armored Brigade
- 70th Mechanized Infantry Brigade
- 172nd Armored Brigade
- 2nd Motorized Infantry Brigade
- 6th Motorized Infantry Brigade
- 3rd Commando Brigade
- 107th Artillery Regiment
It is not known how many elements of the 2nd Army have been committed to the build-up of forces on the border, nor how many elements of other Armies of the Turkish Armed Forces have been temporarily attached to this possible invasion force. Additional commando or mechanized units could be pooled from other military districts and added to the core of mechanized infantry, armor and artillery forces of the 2nd Army. It is surmised that most of the 2nd Army has been committed to a possible invasion or a limited offensive operation against the forces of the YPG all along the border. The map below shows the position of these units: Read full on GlobalResearch