Take one look at a map of Syria and Iraq and what areas ISIS controls. You have to ask yourself, what is the viability of a new country named “ISIS” that straddles in a central region between Turkey and Saudi Arabia? One look at the map, and you see, Alawites (Assad’s Clan) heavily populated on Syria’s Mediterranean; Shiites controlling Southern Iraq and Kurds controlling Syria’s east, and Iraq’s North East. What is left is basically what ISIS controls – Iraq Dessert west (Anbar province) and Syria’s center all the way up to the Turkish border.
The new “ISIS’ region is land locked. Predominantly dessert terrain. With Virtually no water, no agriculture! Yes, they have grabbed Syria’s oil fields – but so what? Syria was never a big oil producer – ever! There is no fundamental viability to a new ISIS nation linking Turkey to Saudi Arabia!
So what is the end game here? What could a political ‘resolution’ look like?
For me, the end game is obvious. ISIS was set up to (a) primarily enable the splintering of Syria and Iraq so Israeli and Saudi pipelines can cross over to Turkey (b) to create a buffer state between Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran (Saddam’s strategic value for the Saudis), (c) to cut off the Shiite (Iranian) crescent from Tehran to Beirut via, Baghdad and Damascus (i.e. to diminish Iran’s threat on Israel’s eastern frontier), (d) to retard China’s Silk road program by connecting to the Mediterranean across Central Asia via Tehran, Baghdad, and Damascus! And ( e) to shut out Russia from the Middle East (and essentially shut down Russia’s naval base in Syria).
So, ISIS’s backers: Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and Turkey (along with U.S. and Europe … no one is stupid enough think Saudi’s will do anything without U.S. backing) will for sure insist on the creation of this new landlocked “Sunni” state…. To achieve their strategic goals.
But, the new country is not viable! So how can it legitimately survive?
The answer is simple. Take one look at the facts on the ground and we have our answer. Turkey right now controls Syria’s Eastern province of Aleppo. The Turks have already put their feet on the ground inside Syria and actually control the city of Aleppo – in every practical way.
It wasn’t so long ago, that much of Syria was actually under Ottoman domination. And even after Syria’s ‘independence’, there have been border disputes between Syria and Turkey. Syrians have actually claimed some regions INSIDE Turkey as rightfully theirs and vice a versa. The border was drawn from three treaties:The Ankara treaty on October 20, 1921, June 5, 1926 and June 23 1939 signed between Turkey and France. According to modern Turkish ‘street’ views: Many Turkish villages and Turkish populated areas were kept out of the new Turkish territory. “Much of Eastern Syria should actually be part of Turkey”! Syrians have other views on this.
But, much like Putin, Turkey’s leader “Erdogan” is chasing old dreams of empire. If all Turkey wanted out of supporting ISIS was gas transit fees, then surely they could press Iran for similar financial arrangements that the Saudi’s and Israelis have promised them. Iran has the world’s second largest natural gas fields, why not work with Iran instead of starting a blood bath in Syria?
But, no, Erdogan is chasing something more …. Much more… the creation of a new empire. Turkey is actually planning to expand and take over much of the land ISIS occupies. The New Islamic State, will actually get absorbed into Turkey, and Turkey will end up having a direct border with Saudi Arabia!
There are other benefits here too for Turkey. By controlling much of this land, Turkey will encompass much territory occupied by the Kurds. In effect, Kurdistan can become a ‘sub-state’ within Turkey and become a more unified region. Kurds would then not straddle four countries – but possibly be primarily within Turkey alone. The Kurdish issue could be treated then much like the “red Indians” in the U.S. – be granted tribal status, and quasi-autonomy within the confines of a larger Turkish state.
Although the new Islamic State has no viability, it surely can survive as part of Turkey. This is pure and simple – novo Turkish imperialism – playing out in Syria. 300,000 dead, 4 million refugees, 8 million displaced Syrians …. All for Erdogan’s dream of an expanded Turkish Empire.
Yes, my friends this is the end game here. How can it turn out any different? One hundred years after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, we have Turkey expanding again. History repeating itself!!