Syria Reportedly Sends Warplanes Across Iraq Border to Bomb ISIS

Syria Reportedly Sends Warplanes Across Iraq Border to Bomb ISIS

Claims come as Iraqi forces continue fighting radical Sunni militants from ISIS

Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) — Reports that Syrian warplanes carried out a cross-border attack on Iraqi towns this week is further evidence of the blurring between the two countries’ borders as they face an offensive by Islamic extremists.

At least 57 Iraqi civilians were killed and more than 120 others were wounded by what local officials say were Syrian warplanes that struck several border areas of Anbar province Tuesday.

These border cities are among those under the control of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, which seeks to create an Islamic caliphate that encompasses portions of Iraq in Syria.

Reports of the Syrian incursion into Iraq is a reminder that the civil war in Syria and the unrest in Iraq are not isolated, but linked in ways that threaten the security of both.

Iraq’s ethnic divide

Iraq’s ethnic divideIraq’s ethnic divide

Sabah Karkhout, head of Iraq’s Anbar provincial council, told CNN that Tuesday’s air attacks struck markets and fuel stations in areas such as Rutba, al-Walid and Al-Qaim.

“Unfortunately, (the) Syrian regime carried out barbarian attacks against civilians in Anbar province,” he said Wednesday.

Karkhout said he was certain the warplanes were Syrian because they bore the image of the Syrian flag.

“Also, the planes flew directly from Syrian airspace and went back to Syria,” he said.

Local officials said residents used scopes and other equipment to see details on the warplanes.

Iraq’s military spokesman, Maj. Gen. Qassim Atta, denied reports that Syrian warplanes struck inside Iraq’s border towns.

“We know our airspace. We have not recorded or registered infiltration of our air space from foreign jets, and all the warplanes and helicopters flying over Iraq airspace are Iraqis,” he told CNN.

The head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, told reporters Wednesday that the warplanes that bombed the Iraqi cities were not Iraqi jets, but he did not have information beyond that.

Syrian state media called the reports of a cross-border incursion “completely baseless” allegations made by “malicious media outlets,” citing a “Syrian media source.”

CNN is seeking a response from the Syrian government in Damascus.

Iraq’s border region has been targeted by Syria in the past — as the Syrian conflict escalated in 2012, there was at least one instance where rockets fired from Syria landed in Al-Qaim.

Iraq’s Foreign Ministry said at the time that it was ready to respond in the event of additional attacks from Syria, but the Iraqi government was noticeably quiet after Tuesday’s incursion.

The claims come as Iraqi forces continue fighting radical Sunni militants from ISIS.

Inside Syria, the government, for the most part, appears to have avoided directly targeting ISIS, even though the group’s positions are well known. Only in the last week did the Syrian regime intensify strikes on Raqqa, a city in Syria’s interior that is considered ISIS’s headquarters.

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Kerry pledges ‘intense’ support in Iraq

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Why should Americans worry about ISIS?

Warplanes carried out seven raids on Raqqa on Wednesday, killing at least 12 people, including a woman and child, the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Whether the strikes signify a concerted effort by Syria to intensify its fight against ISIS is yet to be seen. It is also unclear whether the Syrian strikes in Iraq were a unilateral action or were coordinated with the Iraqi government.

Al-Maliki slams Sunnis

The sectarian rift in Iraq may have widened Wednesday when Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki blamed his political rivals for “coordinating” the crisis.

Al-Maliki, a Shiite, accused Sunnis of collaborating with militants and slammed the call to have a national salvation government that would remove him from power.

“Iraq is facing a cross-border terrorist attack that is supported by some neighboring countries,” al-Maliki said in a televised speech.

He appealed to his Shia constituency by saying he is adhering to the wishes of Shiite religious leader Ali Sistani, who called for volunteers to support the Iraqi army and government.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry downplayed al-Maliki’s rejection of a salvation government, saying it wasn’t something the United States had talked to him about specifically.

To the contrary, he said al-Maliki, is committed to the electoral process and creation of a new government that the United States has supported.

“And he committed to moving forward with the constitutional processes of government formation, and that is precisely what the United States was encouraging,” Kerry said. “He also called on all Iraqis to put aside their differences, to unite in their efforts against terrorism.”

Meanwhile, a U.S. official told CNN that Iran is flying surveillance drones over Iraq. It’s not known from where they are being launched.

Iran is believed to be providing small arms and ammunition to Iraq, as well as providing intelligence to al-Maliki’s government, the official said.

Is Baghdad ready for an ISIS attack?

Meanwhile, on the outskirts of Baghdad, the eerie emptiness of a major highway raises questions about whether the capital would be prepared for a militant invasion.

The Iraqi military insists it’s ready to beat back ISIS if the fighters reach Baghdad.

A post-battle video purportedly shows army forces celebrating a victory over ISIS just west of Baghdad. The bodies of two militants are draped over the hood of a Humvee.

“Look at those ISIS! We killed them!” one man says in the video.

But the opponents are formidable. ISIS fighters have captured cities and towns across Iraq in its effort to create an Islamic state.

And the highway from Baghdad to Abu Ghraib in Anbar province showed few signs of readiness for ISIS.

No tanks or big guns could be seen, CNN’s Nic Robertson said. What used to be a thriving roadside marketplace now looks like a deserted wasteland.

It’s unclear what lies farther down the highway, but images on the Internet suggest a dire situation. Photos posted by ISIS show two soldiers sitting cross-legged on the ground, guns pointed at their heads.

At least six civilians were killed and 21 wounded Wednesday when an Iraqi military helicopter fired two rockets on a mosque and nearby house in central Ana, in Anbar province, according to police and health officials.

Most of the injured were children, who were attending a course on the Quran inside the targeted mosque, the officials said.

At least 12 people were killed and 46 others were wounded when a suicide bomber exploded in a popular coffee shop in Mahmoudiya, south of Baghdad, followed by several mortar rounds attacked several locations nearby.

At least four people were killed and 11 others were wounded when a car bomb exploded in an outdoor market in Rahimawa in northern Kirkuk, police officials in Kirkuk told CNN.

Who has what?

Maj. Gen Atta said security forces had regained control of two key border crossings after briefly losing them to the militants.

Atta said Iraqi forces, aided by Sunni tribes, retook al-Walid, which connects Iraq with Syria. He also said Iraqi forces regained the Trebil border crossing between Iraq and Jordan.

He also said that all towns between Samarra and Baghdad, 80 miles (129 kilometers) to the south, are in the hands of Iraqi security forces.

But large swaths of Iraq, particularly in the north and west, have fallen from government control to the hands of ISIS.

U.S. officials say they think ISIS now has as many as 10,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria. But is unknown, officials say, exactly how many are in Iraq because it’s not clear how many go back and forth across the Syrian border and how many loyalists have joined ISIS as it has taken over various towns.

The spread of ISIS

Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said he fears the strength of radical militants could spill further across borders.

“We’ve been saying for a while that the rise and spread of extremism and the politics of exclusivity will threaten the security of the entire region,” Judeh told CNN’s Becky Anderson.

“The root cause of ethnic and sectarian division, the root cause of instability and the rise and spread of terrorism and extremism has to be addressed.”

BILDERBERG PLAN FOR SYRIA: ORDER OUT OF CHAOS

Overthrowing the government in Syria has thus far proven problematic
by KURT NIMMO | INFOWARS.COM | MAY 30, 2014

The Bilderberg Meetings website, established after Infowars.com and the alternative media began exposing the secret globalist confab, lists the Middle East as one of the key topics to be discussed this year in Copenhagen, Denmark.

An item on the website simply bulleted as “The new architecture of the Middle East” offers plenty of ambiguity and zero details on what in particular the global elite have in mind. Discussion during past meetings, however, provides a likely course of action.

During the 2012 Bilderberg conference held in Chantilly, Virginia, the head of the Syrian National Transitional Council, Bassma Kodmani, discussed the violent overthrow of the Bashar al-Assad regime and the installation of a government taking orders from the State Department, the European Union and NATO.

“Kodmani is the Head of Foreign Affairs with the SNC, a coalition of Syrian opposition groups based in Istanbul, Turkey,” Paul Joseph Watson wrote on June 2, 2012. “While at the Bilderberg meeting she will be in the company of the likes of former Secretary of State and accused war criminal Henry Kissinger, warhawk Richard Perle, and Thomas E. Donilon, National Security Advisor for the Obama White House.”

“Kodmani is a darling of the establishment, having written op-eds for the New York Times calling for the overthrow of Assad. In recent months her position has become increasingly hardline and pro-NATO intervention. In January she called for ‘greater militarization of local resistance or foreign intervention.’ Kodmani has also called for Syria to form an alliance with Israel.”

Overthrowing the government in Syria has thus far proved problematic. In addition to significant military setbacks, the so-called rebels – in fact mercenaries funded and supported by the CIA, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey – have lost their previous “moderate” descriptor and are now congealed into a more or less united front of radical Sunni jihadists set against not only al-Assad in Damascus, but the United States and the West as well.

It can be argued if this turn in the proxy war against al-Assad is a natural or artificial development. Regardless, the intense Salafi character of the so-called resistance in Syria works in favor of the order out of chaos agenda often used by the financial elite to undermine societal cohesion and balkanize vassals, as Rockefeller globalist Zbigniew Brzezinksi has designated people in Eurasia and the Middle East. Brzezinski and the global elite employed a similar strategy during the CIA’s proxy war in Afghanistan. Support for the Mujahideen resulted in the formation of the Taliban and al-Qaeda, both now regarded as key enemies in the war on terror.

During the Bilderberg meeting held in Watford, UK, in 2013 attendees further discussed Syria and the course of action required to remold the “architecture” of the Middle East. It was decided an effort would be made to prolong “the war in Syria by arming the rebels and overturning recent military victories by Assad’s forces,” Infowars.com reported.

This effort was not realized. In addition to infighting between the ISIS, the al-Qaeda pledged Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and other Islamic groups, a vigorous offensive by the Syrian Army and Hezbollah beginning in March of this year has turned back rebel gains. Subsequent military efforts by the CIA mercenaries, seriously weakened and distracted by factional infighting, were ineffectual and allowed the Syrian government to retake al Buraq near the town of Mashara in Quneitra without armed clashes. Other strategic areas were also retaken by the Syrian military.

Marching orders: Obama shifts attention from Afghanistan to Syria.

Earlier this week Infowars.com reported on a renewed effort by the Obama administration to heighten tension in Syria.

On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported “Barack Obama will authorize US troops to train selected Syrian rebels, in order to counter the rising power of Al-Qaeda-linked extremists.”

“The current policy approach continues to be strengthening the moderate opposition, which offers an alternative to the brutal Assad regime and the more extremist elements within the opposition,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

This move may represent an effort to stem the mercenary losses in Syria. Moreover, as the causal observer of the proxy war in Syria knows, “moderate” rebel groups in Syria are now virtually irreverent and al-Nusra and other radical jihadists dominate the fighting despite setbacks on the battlefield.

Short of direct military involvement by NATO and its al-Qaeda proxy on par with the effort in Libya, the Turkish based mercenaries coordinated in part by the U.S. military in Jordan are likely to continue a failing effort to overthrow al-Assad and install a brutal Salafist regime in Damascus.

Short of an unlikely military victory the plan likely under discussion now in Copenhagen is to insert more jihadist mercenaries via Turkey to destabilize the country, engage in violent fratricide, and terrorize the Syrian people.

The effort to destroy Syria and eject the al-Assad family and the Ba’ath regime that has ruled the country since 1971 may take longer and will be ultimately more costly and bloody than the relatively short operation in Libya, thus pushing back any timeline devised at the Bilderberg conference this week in Copenhagen.

‘Pilot program’ revealed: Washington sends missiles to Syrian rebels

‘Pilot program’ revealed: Washington sends missiles to Syrian rebels

The US is sending missiles to Syrian rebels as part of a “pilot program” to strengthen the opposition, American media reveals. Addressing criticism the US is arming extremist militants, Washington claims its weapons will not “fall into the wrong hands.”

Washington’s new initiative aims to find out whether it can supply opposition forces in Syria with weapons without them falling into the hands of Islamist extremists, American officials told USA Today on condition of anonymity.

“They will try this first and see how it goes” before expanding it, said a former official. According to reports, rebel groups have already received anti-tank missiles, known as TOWs, which are specially designed to destroy tanks and pierce reinforced bunkers.

Rebel fighters prepare to launch an anti-tank missile towards forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Maaret al-Naaman village, in Idlib April 30, 2014. (Reuters / Rasem Ghareeb)
Rebel fighters prepare to launch an anti-tank missile towards forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Maaret al-Naaman village, in Idlib April 30, 2014. (Reuters / Rasem Ghareeb)

This latest move by the US comes as the head of the Syrian National Coalition for Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, Ahmad Al-Jarba, visits Washington to lobby for more support. Al-Jarba will push for Washington to supply rebel forces with anti-aircraft missiles, the New York Times reports.

In a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry, Al-Jarba emphasized that his coalition was “moderate and inclusive.”

“The coalition’s goal is to build a pluralistic, civil state where the majority can live together with the minority in peace,” he said.

Washington has thrown its support behind the Syrian National Coalition, granting the body official foreign mission status in the US. The US government suspended the Syrian embassy, representing the Assad government, earlier in March. In addition, the White House has pledged an extra $27 million to helping the cause of the rebels in Syria.

However, Brian Becker of the anti-war ANSWER coalition, says this money will only go to help the spread of terrorism in the country.

“The opposition in Syria includes notorious terrorist forces and they have used terrorism, of course supported by the United States through proxy forces in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to finance it and arm them, but they have been carrying out terrorist actions,” the anti-war activist mentioned.

“The idea that there is a dichotomy between a good opposition and a bad opposition is just a myth in the face of rising public and media attention in the US about the nature of the terrorist organizations that are fighting the Assad government,” Becker concluded.

A road sign is seen as Syrian government forces walk in a street on May 9, 2014 in the Christian neighborhood of Hamidiyeh in the old city of Homs after Syrian government forces regained control of rebel-controlled areas. (AFP Photo / Youssef Karwashan)
A road sign is seen as Syrian government forces walk in a street on May 9, 2014 in the Christian neighborhood of Hamidiyeh in the old city of Homs after Syrian government forces regained control of rebel-controlled areas. (AFP Photo / Youssef Karwashan)

As the US steps up its support for the opposition, the Assad government has scheduled presidential elections for June 3. Bashar Assad will run for re-election against rival candidates Maher Abdul-Hafiz Hajjar, 46, and Hassan bin Abdullah al-Nouri, 54. Elements of the Syrian opposition and Washington have already leveled criticism at the vote, branding it a “farce.”

One senior US administration official denounced the Syrian election as “a parody of democracy,” AFP reports. Assad’s decision to hold the elections “rings particularly hollow given that the regime is continuing to attack and massacre the very electorate that is purporting to represent,” the official said.

Washington believes the conflict in Syria can only be solved if Assad steps down as president.

Syria was plunged into civil war in 2011 when peaceful uprisings against Assad descended into violence. As a result of the conflict, at least 150,000 people have died and millions more have been displaced and gone into exile. The international community made significant progress last year, when the US and Russia agreed that Syria should destroy its chemical weapons stockpile following an attack in Damascus on August 21 last year.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-UN task force confirmed last week that 92 percent of the weapons stockpile had been removed from the war-torn nation.

YouTube ban: How Turkish officials conspired to stage Syria attack to provoke war

YouTube ban: How Turkish officials conspired to stage Syria attack to provoke war

“I’ll make up a cause of war by ordering a missile attack on Turkey.” This leaked conversation is coming back to haunt the highest echelons of the Turkish government as it plans a provocation in Syria, while scrambling to contain social media internally.

The leaked audiotapes that reveal Turkey’s highest ministers staging an anti-Assad military intervention in Syria, have already caused YouTube to be shut down in the country, as well as leading to fevered accusations of treachery and betrayal of Turkey’s political interests – “a declaration of war,” as Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu put it.

This is of course after intelligence chief Hakan Fidan suggested seizing the opportunity to secure Turkish intervention in the Syrian conflict – a war that has already claimed 140,000 lives, and counting. In the conversation, Davutoğlu is heard saying that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sees any attack as an “opportunity” to increase troop presence in Syria, where it has staunchly supported the anti-Assad rebels.

Below is a transcript of that conversation in full. The video can be found below.

Ahmet Davutoğlu:
“Prime Minister said that in current conjuncture, this attack (on Suleiman Shah Tomb) must be seen as an opportunity for us.”

Hakan Fidan:
“I’ll send 4 men from Syria, if that’s what it takes. I’ll make up a cause of war by ordering a missile attack on Turkey; we can also prepare an attack on Suleiman Shah Tomb if necessary.”

Hakan Fidan:
“I’ll send 4 men from Syria, if that’s what it takes. I’ll make up a cause of war by ordering a missile attack on Turkey

Feridun Sinirlioğlu:
“Our national security has become a common, cheap domestic policy outfit.”

Yaşar Güler:
“It’s a direct cause of war. I mean, what’re going to do is a direct cause of war.”
——–
FIRST SCREEN:
Ahmet Davutoğlu: I couldn’t entirely understand the other thing; what exactly does our foreign ministry supposed to do? No, I’m not talking about the thing. There are other things we’re supposed to do. If we decide on this, we are to notify the United Nations, the Istanbul Consulate of the Syrian regime, right?

Feridun Sinirlioğlu: But if we decide on an operation in there, it should create a shocking effect. I mean, if we are going to do so. I don’t know what we’re going to do, but regardless of what we decide, I don’t think it’d be appropriate to notify anyone beforehand.

Feridun Sinirlioğlu: But if we decide on an operation in there, it should create a shocking effect. I
mean, if we are going to do so. I don’t know what we’re going to do, but regardless of what we decide, I don’t think it’d be appropriate to notify anyone beforehand.

Ahmet Davutoğlu: OK, but we’re gonna have to prepare somehow. To avoid any shorts on regarding international law. I just realised when I was talking to the president (Abdullah Gül), if the Turkish tanks go in there, it means we’re in there in any case, right?

Yaşar Güler: It means we’re in, yes.

Ahmet Davutoğlu: Yeah, but there’s a difference between going in with aircraft and going in with tanks…

SECOND SCREEN:
Yaşar Güler: Maybe we can tell the Syrian consulate general that, ISIL is currently working alongside the regime, and that place is Turkish land. We should definitely…

Ahmet Davutoğlu: But we have already said that, sent them several diplomatic notes.

Yaşar Güler: To Syria…

Feridun Sinirlioğlu: That’s right.

Ahmet Davutoğlu: Yes, we’ve sent them countless times. Therefore, I’d like to know what our Chief of Staff’s expects from our ministry.

Yaşar Güler: Maybe his intent was to say that, I don’t really know, he met with Mr. Fidan.

Hakan Fidan: Well, he did mention that part but we didn’t go into any further details.

Yaşar Güler: Maybe that was what he meant… A diplomatic note to Syria?

Hakan Fidan: Maybe the Foreign Ministry is assigned with coordination…

Residents of Syria’s besieged Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp, south of Damascus, stand amidst debris as they wait to receive food parcels on March 24, 2014. (AFP Photo / Rami Al-Sayed)
Residents of Syria’s besieged Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp, south of Damascus, stand amidst debris as they wait to receive food parcels on March 24, 2014. (AFP Photo / Rami Al-Sayed)

THIRD SCREEN:
Ahmet Davutoğlu: I mean, I could coordinate the diplomacy but civil war, the military…

Feridun Sinirlioğlu: That’s what I told back there. For one thing, the situation is different. An operation on ISIL has solid ground on international law. We’re going to portray this is Al-Qaeda, there’s no distress there if it’s a matter regarding Al-Qaeda. And if it comes to defending Suleiman Shah Tomb, that’s a matter of protecting our land.

Yaşar Güler: We don’t have any problems with that.

Hakan Fidan: Second after it happens, it’ll cause a great internal commotion (several bombing events is bound to happen within). The border is not under control…

Feridun Sinirlioğlu:I mean, yes, the bombings are of course going to happen. But I remember our talk from 3 years ago…

Yaşar Güler: Mr. Fidan should urgently receive back-up and we need to help him supply guns and ammo to rebels. We need to speak with the minister. Our Interior Minister, our Defense Minister. We need to talk about this and reach a resolution sir.

Ahmet Davutoğlu: How did we get special forces into action when there was a threat in Northern Iraq? We should have done so in there, too. We should have trained those men. We should have sent men. Anyway, we can’t do that, we can only do what diplomacy…

Ahmet Davutoğlu: How did we get special forces into action when there was a threat in Northern Iraq? We should have done so in there, too. We should have trained those men. We should have sent men.

Feridun Sinirlioğlu: I told you back then, for God’s sake, General, you know how we managed to get those tanks in, you were there.

Yaşar Güler: What, you mean our stuff?

Feridun Sinirlioğlu: Yes, how do you think we’ve managed to rally our tanks into Iraq? How? How did we manage to get special forces, the battalions in? I was involved in that. Let me be clear, there was no government decision on that, we have managed that just with a single order.

FOURTH SCREEN:
Yaşar Güler: Well, I agree with you. For one thing, we’re not even discussing that. But there are different things that Syria can do right now.

Ahmet Davutoğlu: General, the reason we’re saying no to this operation is because we know about the capacity of those men.

Yaşar Güler: Look, sir, isn’t MKE (Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation) at minister’s bidding? Sir, I mean, Qatar is looking for ammo to buy in cash. Ready cash. So, why don’t they just get it done? It’s at Mr. Minister’s command.

Ahmet Davutoğlu: But there’s the spot we can’t act integratedly, we can’t coordinate.

Yaşar Güler: Then, our Prime Minister can summon both Mr. Defence Minister and Mr. Minister at the same time. Then he can directly talk to them.

Ahmet Davutoğlu: We, Mr. Siniroğlu and I, have literally begged Mr. Prime Minster for a private meeting, we said that things were not looking so bright.

Turkish Foreign Affairs minister Ahmet Davutoglu (AFP Photo / Adem Altan)
Turkish Foreign Affairs minister Ahmet Davutoglu (AFP Photo / Adem Altan)

FIFTH SCREEN:
Yaşar Güler: Also, it doesn’t have to be a crowded meeting. Yourself, Mr. Defence Minister, Mr. Interior Minister and our Chief of Staff, the four of you are enough. There’s no need for a crowd. Because, sir, the main need there is guns and ammo. Not even guns, mainly ammo. We’ve just talked about this, sir. Let’s say we’re building an army down there, 1000 strong. If we get them into that war without previously storing a minimum of 6-months’ worth of ammo, these men will return to us after two months.

Ahmet Davutoğlu: They’re back already.

Yaşar Güler: They’ll return to us, sir.

Ahmet Davutoğlu: They’ve came back from… What was it? Çobanbey.

Yaşar Güler: Yes, indeed, sir. This matter can’t be just a burden on Mr. Fidan’s shoulders as it is now. It’s unacceptable. I mean, we can’t understand this. Why?

SIXTH SCREEN:
Ahmet Davutoğlu: That evening we’d reached a resolution. And I thought that things were taking a turn for the good. Our…

Feridun Sinirlioğlu: We issued the MGK (National Security Council) resolution the day after. Then we talked with the general…

Ahmet Davutoğlu: And the other forces really do a good follow up on this weakness of ours. You say that you’re going to capture this place, and that men being there constitutes a risk factor. You pull them back. You capture the place. You reinforce it and send in your troops again.

Yaşar Güler: Exactly, sir. You’re absolutely right.

Ahmet Davutoğlu: Right? That’s how I interpret it. But after the evacuation, this is not a military necessity. It’s a whole other thing.

SEVENTH SCREEN
Feridun Siniroğlu: There are some serious shifts in global and regional geopolitics. It now can spread to other places. You said it yourself today, and others agreed… We’re headed to a different game now. We should be able to see those. That ISIL and all that jazz, all those organisations are extremely open to manipulation. Having a region made up of organisations of similar nature will constitute a vital security risk for us. And when we first went into Northern Iraq, there was always the risk of PKK blowing up the place. If we thoroughly consider the risks and substantiate… As the general just said…

Yaşar Güler: Sir, when you were inside a moment ago, we were discussing just that. Openly. I mean, armed forces are a “tool” necessary for you in every turn.

Ahmet Davutoğlu: Of course. I always tell the Prime Minister, in your absence, the same thing in academic jargon, you can’t stay in those lands without hard power. Without hard power, there can be no soft power.

Civilians inspect a site hit by what activists said were barrel bombs dropped by forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Karam Homad district in Aleppo March 26, 2014. (Reuters / Mahmoud Hebbo)
Civilians inspect a site hit by what activists said were barrel bombs dropped by forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Karam Homad district in Aleppo March 26, 2014. (Reuters / Mahmoud Hebbo)

EIGTH SCREEN
Yaşar Güler: Sir.

Feridun Sinirlioğlu: The national security has been politicised. I don’t remember anything like this in Turkish political history. It has become a matter of domestic policy. All talks we’ve done on defending our lands, our border security, our sovereign lands in there, they’ve all become a common, cheap domestic policy outfit.

Yaşar Güler: Exactly.

Feridun Siniroğlu: That has never happened before. Unfortunately but…

Yaşar Güler: I mean, do even one of the opposition parties support you in such a high point of national security? Sir, is this a justifiable sense of national security?

Feridun Sinirlioğlu: I don’t even remember such a period.

NINTH SCREEN:
Yaşar Güler: In what matter can we be unified, if not a matter of national security of such importance? None.

Ahmet Davutoğlu: The year 2012, we didn’t do it 2011. If only we’d took serious action back then, even in the summer of 2012.

Feridun Sinirlioğlu: They were at their lowest back in 2012.

Ahmet Davutoğlu: Internally, they were just like Libya. Who comes in and goes from power is not of any importance to us. But some things…

Yaşar Güler: Sir, to avoid any confusion, our need in 2011 was guns and ammo. In 2012, 2013 and today also. We’re in the exact same point. We absolutely need to find this and secure that place.

Ahmet Davutoğlu: Guns and ammo are not a big need for that place. Because we couldn’t get the human factor in order…

Extremist tourists: 250 jihadists reportedly return to UK

Extremist tourists: 250 jihadists reportedly return to UK

Around 250 British jihadists have returned to the UK after training and fighting in Syria, a senior Whitehall security official told the Sunday Times. Security services are monitoring the “extremist tourists”, fearing they might carry out attacks at home.

Ministers have been informed that more than 400 Britons went to Syria to engage in militant activities, and “Well over half of those who traveled out have come back,” the official told the Times.

Senior security officials say the number of “returnees” is now five times the previously reported figure, highlighting the growing threat of so–called ‘extremist tourists’ going to warzones and returning home hardened militants.

“For some, their jihad is done, others will help others travel to Syria, while others will raise funds for fighting,” the Whitehall source said.

The security services are said to be closely monitoring the 250 returnees, who include several veteran hardliners who have fought in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Many others have participated in combat or received training in munitions or other skills applicable to terror operations, with some exhibiting a willingness to carry out attacks in the UK, security officials cited in the report said.

“There are a few hundred people going out there. They may be injured or killed, but our biggest worry is when they return they are radicalized, they may be militarized, they may have a network of people that train them to use weapons,” London police chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe told the paper.

When RT contacted the British Home Office, it responded with a pre-prepared statement from Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire.

In the statement, Brokenshire said there “up to 200 UK nationals” fighting in Syria “who may come in to contact with extremist groups that aspire to attack Western countries.”

He did not comment on Sunday’s report, however, only saying that the British government “is determined to detect, disrupt and where possible prosecute all terrorist threats, whether international or home-grown.”

“We know there is a risk of individuals returning to the UK after being radicalized, but they should be in no doubt that the police and intelligence agencies are working to identify and disrupt potential threats and protect national security. The police have the power to examine and detain individuals at the UK border to investigate any concerns of terrorism involvement.”

It is reported that many of the militants arrive in Syria via Turkey after joining one of the several British-organized aid caravans outwardly bringing humanitarian relief to Syrian refugees. The report says that once in the country, the UK jihadists may also be given special instructions on how to carry attacks back home. The report also warns that some of the UK citizens might even be training extremists from multiple countries about conditions in Britain.

Reports of the returnees come after the details regarding the first suicide attack carried out by a British national in Syria were made available.

Abdul Waheed Majeed is believed to have driven an explosives-laden truck into a jail in Aleppo earlier this month, joining the 20 British citizens to have died fighting in the Syrian civil war.

Political commentator Mohammed Ansar told RT Majeed’s attack presented a real difficulty to security officials, as he “does not fit the profile of a young British jihadi who has gone to Syria to fight.”

“One of the most worrying aspects we’ve seen of late is that people who are out in Syria, fighters from Britain, have been calling others to come and join them, whether they are British Muslim women, to support them,” he said.

“And they are setting themselves up as being effectively warlords who are out there, who are gun touting, and are really no benefit and no blessing to the people, and are going to become increasingly radicalized, and often go out there with a martyrdom mentality and often talk of not returning to this country.”

MI5 director-general Andrew Parker told parliament last year that the Syrian conflict has become a magnet for British nationals looking to engage in jihad, many of whom come into contact with Al-Qaeda-linked groups.

MI5 and police reportedly thwarted an alleged terrorist plot by extremist tourists operating on British soil last autumn. The terror cell was allegedly playing a mass shooting and bombing similar to the 2008 Mumbai 2008 attack, which resulted in 168 deaths and over 300 wounded.

Overall, around 2,000 European citizens are currently believed to be fighting in Syria. In January, the Wall Street Journal reported that intelligence agents from several European countries, including the UK, Germany, France and Spain, first traveled to Damascus last summer to speak with Syrian officials on how to work together to tackle the European jihadist threat.

The agents reportedly sought to share information on at least 1,200 European jihadists who traveled to Syria to help topple the government.