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Saudis Establish Joint Operations HQ With Turkey, Boast That Russia Will 'Fail to Protect Assad'

Saudis step up their rhetoric as Turkey shells Syria for second straight day

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

According to reports (not in English, but we will try to dig up a proper translation as soon as possible), Saudi Arabia has created an operations room with Turkey, in preparation for a joint assault on Syria. The report also claims that military planes from the United Arab Emirates are now stationed at Incirlik airbase in Turkey -- the same base where Saudi jets were recently deployed.

The report, which hasn't been independently verified, is consistent with the Saudis' openess about a possible invasion, as well as Turkey's warning that escalation is imminent. And it's not all talk. Turkey has already begun attacking.

<figcaption>The Saudis hope to provoke Russia into firing the first shot</figcaption>
The Saudis hope to provoke Russia into firing the first shot

For the second straight day, Turkey has shelled Kurdish and SAA positions in Syria. There are now even reports that Turkey has launched airstrikes against Kurdish positions in Northern Syria, most likely from their own airspace in order to avoid retaliation from Russia.

The Saudis have yet to join the fight, but they certainly are confident about their military prospects. According to an Al Jazeera correspondent:

It's still unclear exactly how Saudi Arabia (or Turkey) would launch an invasion without being immediately decimated. They're probably hoping that Russia, Iran or Syria will fire the first shot, giving Turkey the ability to call in the US or even NATO under Article 5.

Interestingly enough, Jordan has made it clear that it will not participate in a direct war against Syria unless there is a UN mandate led by US and British forces:

A Jordanian official confirmed that the country will not participate in any Turkish- or Arab-led Syrian invasion unless mandated by the United Nations, led by western forces and coordinated with Russia.

"Jordan is not going to send ground forces into Syria unless these troops are led by Americans and British," the Jordanian official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "We have very long borders with Iraq and Syria which are more than 550 kilometers. Any ground troops including Jordanian forces should be sent after a UN approval and after full coordination with Russia."

Stay tuned.

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