The Turkish Military Intelligence (MIT) has long harbored a grudge against the Syrian Government; this distaste stems from their volatile history with Dr. Bashar Al-Assad’s father and predecessor (Hafezh Al-Assad); and it has now been inherited by the same Syrian President who made amends with the present Turkish Government after years of political hostility.
The Silent War Between Turkish and Syrian Governments
Much of the Turkish Government’s gripe with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad derives from their 15 year long war against the “Kurdistan Workers’ Party” (PKK), in which, the latter’s father aided the resistance group against the Turkish Army by providing them money, weapons, and a base in the Syrian capital of Damascus – some view this war in Syria as Turkey’s reprisal for their years of discontent.
Despite rapprochement in the late 1990s and the once harmonious relationship between Dr. Bashar Al-Assad and Turkish President Recep Erdogan, the two presidents and their governments are at odds with one another, while their intelligence agencies combat each other through different forms of aggression.
Syria’s role in the PKK-Turkish Army War was a result of Turkey’s insistence on building a number of dams on the Euphrates River that later obstructed the necessary water flow to the Al-Hasakah and Deir Ezzor Governorates; thus, preventing the necessary irrigation to their agricultural sector.
This was not the only issue Hafezh Al-Assad had with the Turkish Government, there was also the long-standing dispute over the Hatay Province and Turkey’s political alliances that put the two countries at odds.
Erdogan’s Proxy War in Syria
When protests erupted around Syria in March of 2011, the Turkish Government jumped at the chance to return the favor to the Syrian Government for their years of political and military support to the PKK in Turkey; however, the Erdogan regime did not stop at just political support, the Turkish President allowed thousands of armed militants to pour into Syria from the Bab Al-Hawa, Jarbalus, and Tal Abyad border-crossings.
Since the inception of the armed conflict, the Turkish Military Intelligence apparatus has succored the Islamist militants with a large supply of arms, ammunition, and military supplies, while they attempt to weaken the Syrian Government and Armed Forces.
At one point, the Turkish Army even provided Al-Qaeda militants military support by shelling the Syrian Arab Army’s positions at the town of Kassab in May of 2014; this was later revealed by members of the Turkish Government and then condemned by the Syrian Parliament.
The Turkish Military Intelligence apparatus has not only assisted Al-Qaeda militants; it has aided a number of Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) fighters that have used the Turkish border with Syria as a launching point for their attacks on the SAA and the predominately Kurdish “People’s Protection Units.”
Recently, the Turkish Government has attempted to convince a number of western nations to initiate a no-fly-zone over Syria as a means to “protect” the SAA’s military opposition.
The Turkish Intelligence apparatus did not stop there, they also did their part by assisting the militants from Jaysh Al-Fateh by closing off the Bab Al-Hawa border-crossing to civilians and boosting their military support during the Idlib offensive.
Turkish Military Intelligence Caught Aiding Al-Qaeda
On Thursday morning, the Turkish news outlet “The Daily Cumhuriyet” revealed a large cargo supply of missiles, grenades, rockets, assault rifles, and ammunition being delivered to Al-Qaeda militants in Syria.
The Turkish news agency confirmed that there were as many as 1,000 mortar shells, 1,000 cannons, tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition, and et al…all being transported to Syria under the cover of a humanitarian aid.
After investigating the large cache of weapons, The Daily Cumhuriyet journalist exposed the Turkish Military Intelligence insignia on the weapons that were concealed under humanitarian boxes and being transported to the Al-Qaeda linked militants in the Idlib Governorate of Syria.
This could not come at a worse time for Recep Erdogan, as his political party – the “Justice and Development Party” – is attempting to maintain their majority status in the Turkish Parliament.
Recep Erdogan had originally done a great job of obstructing civilians in Turkey from foreign news outlets and social media networks (e.g. Twitter) that could harm his political policies within the borders of his country.