February 14, 2016

Turkey and Saudi Arabia could send tens of thousands of troops into Syria and a possible prelude to full blown Russia-Middle East war

The Turkish military has hit Kurdish and Syrian regime targets as Ankara considered a ground assault with Saudi troops, further complicating efforts to end the war just days after the US and Russia agreed on a “cessation of hostilities” in Syria within a week.

State-run news agency Anatolia said the armed forces shelled Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) targets around the town of Azaz, and also responded to regime fire on a Turkish military guard post in Turkey’s southern Hatay region.

With the conflict directly drawing in more international players, Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, quoted in Turkish newspapers, said Riyadh and Ankara were coordinating plans to intervene in Syria, where Russia has been backing a successful regime offensive against rebels.

Saudi Arabia is also sending planes to the Turkish base of Incirlik, a key hub for US-led coalition operations against IS already used by Britain, France and the United States for cross-border air raids.

Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced the move on Saturday, just two days after Saudi Arabia said the decision to send its forces into Syria was “final” and irreversible.

Two Saudi officials told CNN that the kingdom plans to run in March a multinational military training exercise -- involving as many as 150,000 troops -- to prepare for future anti-ISIS operations.

Most of the personnel will be Saudis; troops from Egypt, Sudan and Jordan have already arrived in the kingdom for the exercise, and troops from other countries -- Morocco, Turkey, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar -- are expected, the officials said.

Turkey-Ottoman Empire and Russia fought off and on for 300 years

You were already sick learning about arab and muslim history and now Russia, Turkey, Syria and Crimea history has become annoyingly relevant. Russia and Turkey-Ottoman Empire fought for 300 years

In the 1700s, Russian warm seas expansion presented a large and growing threat to the Ottoman Empire. King Charles XII of Sweden was welcomed as an ally in the Ottoman Empire following his defeat by the Russians at the Battle of Poltava in 1709 (part of the Great Northern War of 1700–1721.) Charles XII persuaded the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed III to declare war on Russia, which resulted in the Ottoman victory at the Pruth River Campaign of 1710–1711.

The Austro-Russian–Turkish War, which was ended by the Treaty of Belgrade in 1739, resulted in the recovery of Serbia and Oltenia, but the Empire lost the port of Azov to the Russians. After this treaty the Ottoman Empire was able to enjoy a generation of peace, as Austria and Russia were forced to deal with the rise of Prussia.

In 1768 Russian-backed Ukrainian Haidamaks, pursuing Polish confederates, entered Balta, an Ottoman-controlled town on the border of Bessarabia, and massacred its citizens and burned the town to the ground. This action provoked the Ottoman Empire into the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774. The Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca of 1774 ended the war and provided freedom to worship for the Christian citizens of the Ottoman-controlled provinces of Wallachia and Moldavia. By the late 18th century, a number of defeats in several wars with Russia led some people in the Ottoman Empire to conclude that the reforms of Peter the Great had given the Russians an edge, and the Ottomans would have to keep up with Western technology in order to avoid further defeats.

The Ottoman bashi-bazouks brutally suppressed the Bulgarian uprising of 1876, massacring up to 100,000 people in the process. The Russo-Turkish War (1877–78) ended with a decisive victory for Russia. As a result, Ottoman holdings in Europe declined sharply; Bulgaria was established as an independent principality inside the Ottoman Empire, Romania achieved full independence.

As the Ottoman Empire gradually shrank in size, some 7–9 million Turkish-Muslims from its former territories in the Caucasus, Crimea, Balkans, and the Mediterranean islands migrated to Anatolia and Eastern Thrace. After the Empire lost the Balkan Wars (1912–13), it lost all its Balkan territories except East Thrace.

The history of the Ottoman Empire during World War I began with the Ottoman's engagement in the Middle Eastern theatre. There were several important Ottoman victories in the early years of the war, such as the Battle of Gallipoli and the Siege of Kut. The Arab Revolt which began in 1916 turned the tide against the Ottomans at the Middle Eastern front, where they initially seemed to have the upper hand during the first two years of the war. The Armistice of Mudros, signed on 30 October 1918, and set the partition of the Ottoman Empire under the terms of the Treaty of Sèvres.

SOURCES - Wikipedia, Guardian UK, CNN

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