Turkish forces in Iraq to impose: The Gas versus the water
Russia is ready to warm up the relationship if Ankara gives up on Syria
Published article: http://www.alraimedia.com/ar/article/special-reports/2015/12/08/641116/nr/iran via @alraimediagroup
Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai
The sudden uncoordinated presence of thousands of Turkish Special Forces supported by tens of tanks and armed vehicles in a new base in northern Iraq raised serious reaction not only from Baghdad but also among Iraqi allies. The Turkish government didn’t inform the central government of the increase of forces, neither the settlement in a new base, 100km away from the borders. Turkey is gaining more enemies and perhaps more sanctions could follow from neighbors. But Turkey has negotiation tools and demands from Baghdad to consider and agree upon before pulling out forces. It is the Gas versus the water.
But Russia also has a condition to restore its relationship with Turkey. Syria is the price.
“Turkey expressed to Iraqi visitors it readiness to pay whatever needed to allow the Qatari gas pipeline to go through their country and up to the Turkish borders to feed Turkey with the needed energy, fearing further Russian sanctions. Since it is n longer possible to use the Syrian territory for this purpose, Ankara needs to create an alternative for Qatar pipeline in case the Kremlin decides to increase its economic punitive as a reaction to the downing of the Sukhoi Su-24 last month over the Syrian borders and the killing of the Russian pilot. Turkey can provide and increase, in agreement with Iraq, all financial, economical facilities and engagement to raise the financial exchange and secure in any military support needed to fight terrorism. Ankara expressed willingness to release more water – or reduce it if necessary as insinuated – if Baghdad refuses to negotiate in order to resolve this crisis. Water levels on the Euphrates River flowing Eastern Turkey have already fallen more than half this year. As there is no international agreement for the Tigris with Iraq, the Llisu and Cizre dams on the Tigris (once concluded) and the Ataturk dam on the Euphrates can be regulated”.
“Turkey enjoyed zero problems with its surroundings before the Syrian war to zero friends and state of peace with the bordering countries and allies today. Forces crossed the borders into Iraq last week breaking all treaties, become an occupation force. The self proclaimed group called the “Islamic State” (ISIS) is considered as a terrorist organisation and Turkey will be considered a terrorist state if forces are not pulled out before the ultimatum (48 hours ending today) giving by the Iraqi government. Baghdad has agreed with Ankara to host trainers and experts. These can stay as part of the coalition forces, training Iraqis security forces and Peshmerga, as agreed previously. Both countries enjoy excellent relationship and co-existed in harmony. But the additional Turkish forces were pushed 100km into the Iraqi territory when the old treaty stipulated doesn’t allow more than 25km with the objective to pursue the Kurdish PKK in case of a punitive operation coordinated with Iraq. Moreover, the size of the Turkish force that penetrated in Iraq goes beyond any training or protection level. It is composed of a brigade of special units of around 1300 men, an artillery regiment and two squadrons of helicopters based in Ba’shiqa. The intent of the Turkish troops is unknown. This force positioned itself on a demarcation front with “ISIS” without revealing its objective to Iraq. Is it to protect the oil tankers line coming form Syria and Iraq as Russia can’t hit the convoy in Iraq? Is it to support ISIS or to blackmail Iraq? Baghdad accepts any military support in its fight against terrorism but is not in need of fighting troops on the ground”.
” At the moment, Iraq, as a state, is not in a position to engage with a war against Turkey. The war with ISIS is using the country resources and keeps its military force engaged. Therefore, declaring war on Turkey won’t be simple. Nevertheless, there are enormous economical projects that could be damaged. The Iranian-Turkish relationship is also at stake. Iran is also looking for alternative partners to Turkey’s economic relations in the field of energy. The situation is progressing for the worse in the Middle East and especially the style of Turkey blackmailing, not only Iraq, but also Europe. For the question of refugees President Erdogan is receiving $ 3 billion to stem the flow of displaced people. But today, Turkey enters the critical area of security to Iran under a sectarian cover “to protect the Sunni” as “Iran is protecting the Shia”. Mr. Erdogan is escaping Russia in Syria towards the Iraqi Kurdish areas, which is considered the softer side. ”
In regard to Russia – Turkey relationship: “Russia has one condition to restore warmth to its relations with Ankara. A part form apologizing, on top of the condition is Turkey withdraw completely from the Syrian dossier and stop support for its proxy militias and cease all military and economical facilities offered to ISIS. Turkey is in need of the oil coming from ISIS occupied land and of the business exchanged with ISIS. Turkey is the first supplier to ISIS by all means. If Turkey cease this relationship, Russia is ready to put aside the Su-24 issue. The presence of the additional Turkish forces in Iraq today is a way to escape to an area where Russia is not operating. This can only be disturbed if Baghdad allows Russia to hunt down ISIS in Iraq as well. This is where Turkey will again have no upper hand”.