Vladimir Putin Threatens Turkey with Tactical nukes

Moscow warns Ankara that it will fiercely resist an invasion of Syria

Award-winning Iran-Contra journalist Robert Parry has been told by a source close to Vladimir Putin that Russia has threatened Turkey with the use of tactical nuclear weapons if it launches a joint invasion of Syria with Saudi Arabia.
Writing for Consortium News, Parry warns that the risk of the United States and its allies escalating the conflict in Syria to rescue rebels who are now on the verge of defeat could spark “World War III”.

“If Turkey (with hundreds of thousands of troops massed near the Syrian border) and Saudi Arabia (with its sophisticated air force) follow through on threats and intervene militarily to save their rebel clients, who include Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, from a powerful Russian-backed Syrian government offensive, then Russia will have to decide what to do to protect its 20,000 or so military personnel inside Syria,” writes Parry.
“A source close to Russian President Vladimir Putin told me that the Russians have warned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Moscow is prepared to use tactical nuclear weapons if necessary to save their troops in the face of a Turkish-Saudi onslaught. Since Turkey is a member of NATO, any such conflict could quickly escalate into a full-scale nuclear confrontation.”

Parry’s background suggests the information should be treated seriously. He covered the Iran-Contra scandal for the Associated Press and Newsweek and was later given a George Polk award for his work on intelligence matters.

According to Parry, although President Obama has “sought to calm Erdogan down and made clear that the U.S. military would not join the invasion,” he has been “unwilling to flatly prohibit such an intervention”.

Moscow’s alleged threat to repel a Turkish invasion of Syria with nuclear weapons follows comments by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in which he warned of a new world war if the United States and its allies send ground troops into Syria.

Turkey and Saudi Arabia have both signaled they are considering a ground invasion of Syria in order to aid refugees and so-called “moderate rebels” fighting against the Assad regime.
Last week, Turkish officials called for a “safe zone” to be established within Syria to allow refugees to flee Russia’s advance, although the United States argued that such a corridor could not be set up without a no fly zone.

Turkey ready to send ground forces to syria
Turkey ready to send ground forces to syria
Saudi Arabia is currently conducting the biggest wargames the region has seen for a quarter of a century. Northern Thunder involves 150,000 troops from 20 countries and is viewed by some as a precursor to a possible invasion of Syria.

Earlier this month, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told CNN that President Bashar al-Assad will have to be removed “by force” if the political process fails.

Despite official denials that the kingdom possesses nuclear weapons, Saudi political analyst told RT’s Arabic network last week that the Saudis have indeed obtained the bomb and that tests will be conducted soon.

Credits: Infowars
US, Paris Rejects Russia Push Against Turkey over Syria

US, Paris Rejects Russia Push Against Turkey over Syria

Paris Rejects Russia Push Against Turkey over Syria
Turkey shelling the kurds in Aleppo

Paris rejects Russian UN draft resolution to end Turkish cross-border shelling in Syria, as US gives Ankara its backing.

Western powers have rejected a proposed UN resolution drawn up by Russia that demanded the immediate halt of cross-border shelling by the Turkish army into Syria.

The Russian draft presented at an emergency security council meeting on Friday sought to "cease any actions that undermine Syria's sovereignty".

When asked whether he supported the move, Francois Delattre, France's UN ambassador, replied: "The short answer is no," the Associated Press news agency reported.

Delattre said the current military escalation was "the direct result of the brutal offensive in the north of Syria led by the Syrian regime and its allies".

He said Russia must understand that its support for Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is "a dead end that could be extremely dangerous".

Samantha Power, the US ambassador, called the Russian draft "a distraction", and urged the Russians instead to implement a resolution adopted unanimously by the Security Council in December endorsing a peace plan for Syria that includes a cessation of hostilities and negotiations between the Assad government and opposition.

The Kremlin said it regretted the rejection of the resolution and that it would continue to protect Syria's sovereignty.

"We can only express regret that this draft resolution was rejected," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

"Russia naturally continues with its consistent, transparent and clear line to provide stability in the fight with terrorism, to preserve the territorial integrity of the country [Syria] and the region."
The draft resolution comes amid heightened tensions between Russia and Turkey over the former's backing of a Syrian regime and the Syrian Kurdish armed group Peoples' Protection Unit (YPG) advance against rebel territory bordering Turkey.

Turkey has responded to the offensive, which is backed by Russian fighter jets, by shelling Syrian army and YPG positions.

Intervention in Syria

Turkey has proposed military intervention in Syria to counter the threat posed to it by Kurdish groups and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.

The YPG's advance on rebel positions north of Aleppo has also strained ties with Turkey's NATO allies in Washington. Kurdish groups taking on ISIL are funded, supplied and trained by the US.
Turkey's presidency said US President Barack Obama had shared his concerns over the Syrian conflict and promised his support on Friday, hours after a tense exchange between the two NATO allies over the role of Kurdish fighters.

Paris Rejects Russia Push Against Turkey over Syria
Russia Deputy UN Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov holds a press briefing after attending closed Security Council meetings on Syria [AP/Bebeto Matthews]
In a phone conversation that lasted one hour and 20 minutes, Ankara said Obama had told his counterpart President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Turkey had a right to self-defence, and expressed worries over advances by Syrian Kurdish militias near Turkey's border.

Speaking in Istanbul before the phone call on Friday, Erdogan said he was saddened by the West's refusal to call the PYD and its military wing, the YPG, "terrorist groups".

Turkey accuses the YPG of being behind a bombing that left at least 28 people dead in its capital Ankara on Wednesday.


North Korea Fires Long-Range Rocket Despite Warnings

North Korea Fires Long-Range Rocket Despite Warnings

North Korea rocket launch
North Korea rocket launch
North Korea has fired a long-range rocket, which critics say is a test of banned missile technology.

A state TV announcer said that North Korea had successfully placed a satellite in orbit.
The launch was condemned by Japan, South Korea and the US, who have requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council later on Sunday.

South Korea says it is to begin discussing with the US the deployment of a missile defence system.
Senior defence official Ryu Je-Seung said if the THAAD missile system - considered one of the most advanced in the world - were deployed it would be only to counter the threat from the North.

US, South Korea, and China criticism

North Korea Rocket Launch
Kim Jong Un II During north korean rocket launch
The North insists its space programme is purely scientific in nature but the US, South Korea and even ally China say the rocket launches are aimed at developing an inter-continental ballistic missile capable of striking the US.

North Korea provoked international criticism earlier this year with a fourth nuclear bomb test on 6 January.

South Korean analysts had speculated that the North might carry out the launch ahead of 16 February, the birthday of the late North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il.

'North Korea Rocket Launch'

UN Security Council resolutions ban the state from carrying out any nuclear or ballistic missile tests.
In a statement, the North Korean National Aerospace Development Administration said earth observation satellite Kwangmyongsong-4 had entered orbit about 10 minutes after lift-off from the Sohae space centre in North Phyongan province.

North Korea launches rocket despite warnings
North Korea launches rocket despite warnings
Announcing the launch on state TV, a newsreader said it had been ordered by North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un and said the country planned to launch more satellites in the future.

"The fascinating vapour of Juche satellite trailing in the clear and blue sky in spring of February on the threshold of the Day of the Shining Star,'' was how the launch was described.

South Korean Defence Ministry spokesman Moon Sang Gyun said a warship had detected the launch at 09:31 (00:31 GMT).

US National Security Adviser Susan Rice said North Korea's use of ballistic missile technology was "yet another destabilising and provocative action".

"North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons programs represent serious threats to our interests - including the security of some of our closest allies," she said in a statement.

Contenders for the Republican ticket in the US presidential election this year were asked for their reaction during a debate in New Hampshire.

Donald Trump said he would work with China to resolve the North Korea nuclear issue: "I would get on with China. Let China solve that problem. They can do it quickly and surgically. That's what we should do with North Korea."
Turkey Violates Russian treaty by banning  Russian Observation Flight Near Syria Border

Turkey Violates Russian treaty by banning Russian Observation Flight Near Syria Border

Turkey Violates Russian Treaty
Turkey Violates Russian Treaty

The Russian military says Turkey has violated an international treaty by barring a planned Russian surveillance flight.

Defense Ministry official Sergei Ryzhkov says the Turkish military has refused to allow the mission intended to monitor the areas near Turkey's border with Syria and air bases used by NATO warplanes.

Turkey Violates Russian Treaty
Erdogan An Putin Shaking Hands
 Ryzhkov accused Turkey of creating a "dangerous precedent of uncontrolled military activities" by breaching its obligations under the Open Skies Treaty. The agreement allows unarmed observation flights over the entire territory of its three dozen participants, which include the U.S., Russia and Turkey.

Ryzhkov said Wednesday that Turkey denied permission for the flight after Russian inspectors had already arrived.

Russia-Turkey ties have remained tense after a Turkish fighter jet downed a Russian warplane at the border with Syria in November.
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