Please recall the story in which a Russian plane was shot down, on 24 November 2015, by a radical Turkish nationalist group called the “Grey Wolves”. The terrorists (legitimate to call them that, these guys even tried to off the Pope), who were mainly from Turkey but operating within Syria and pretending to be a “Syrian rebel group”, killed the Russian pilot (Lieutenant-Colonel Oleg Peshkov) as he was ejecting by parachute. I did a piece on it here, pointing out that the group in question enjoys a very tight affiliation with the Turkish government of Recep Erdoğan.
Three months later, and Russian/Syrian forces now control the territory which these Turkish terrorists claimed as their own stomping ground. But first, to recap the ethnic angle, and if I may quote from myself the following paragraph:
Turkomans/Turkmens are a Turkic-speaking ethnic group inhabiting various places around Iraq, Syria, Azerbaijan and Turkey. Individual units of Turkoman fighters are said to be part of the coalition fighting against the Syrian government of Bashar Al-Assad. When trying to overthrow a foreign government, it is convenient for Western (and especially American) media to give the impression of tons of different social and ethnic groups rising up against a repressive central government. American readers are especially suckers for that kind of narrative. They are pre-programmed to feel certain emotional resonance and develop long-range empathy for certain “approved” ethnic groups which are supposedly fighting against the evil authoritarian regime. Within the Syrian context, Turkomans are the good guys, whether they know it or not.
Turkoman Leader Grateful
Today I saw this piece, which is basically a reprint from this piece. Fully in accordance with all the rules of the genre: As Russian and Syrian forces enter each town, the local Turkoman community leaders come forward to express their appreciation to Russia and their loyalty to the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Proving that the “Grey Wolves” terrorist cells, with their snout hand signs, do not necessarily speak for all the Turkoman people.
The piece begins with the fact of 5 tons of humanitarian aid, put together by the Russian and Syrian governments, being delivered to a small ethnic Turkoman town, located within Syria but only 20 km from the Turkish border. Along with the aid, a mobile military medical unit has been opened.
The leader of the local Turkoman community, a man named al-Assawi Mustafa Kaffi [spelling approximate] greeted the aid workers and uttered the following words:
“I am grateful to the Russian Federation for the aid which you have provided us, and for telling the truth to the entire world. We always lived peacefully here, and had good neighborly relations with all the other ethnic communities. We are all Turkomans here, but at the same time we are citizens of Syria, and we want only to go on living in peace and harmony. We are against the aggression of Erdoğan, and we have no desire to help him. He is a very bad man.”
Kaffi also expressed regret for the death of the Russian pilot and added that the Russian assistance to the Syrian government has been a great help to keeping peace in the Turkoman villages.
“Our village has become sacred ground, because it is the site of the heroic deed of one of the Russian pilots, who was defending our land; and who fell, at the hands of the Turkish side. We express our condolences to Russia, and we regret that blood was spilled on our territory.”
Kaffi stressed that the majority of Turkomans are opposed to terrorism and support the legitimate Syrian government. After his speech, other members of the community stepped forward to express their appreciation to the Russian Federation. 76-year-old local resident Mahmad-Maruan Zaza [spelling approximiate], proving that even ordinary people know the rules of rhetorical eloquence, uttered the following:
“We are Syrians. We are willing to shed our blood to oppose Erdoğan and also [the rulers of] Saudi Arabia. Our blood will become the rich soil for the liberation of our country from all the terrible things that are happening to it. With all our hearts we thank the Russian President Putin for his support of Syria and its people.”
Another speaker, Ayub Karafellah [spelling approximate], who works as a doctor in the Syrian town Al-Issawiya [not to be confused with the Arab Jerusalem neighborhood of the same name] said the following:
“We are a single people, we don’t make any distinctions, who is an Arab, who is a Turkoman, who is a Syrian. We are making every effort to overcome this crisis, which has been going on for several years now. The truce now in place, this is the correct path, because it can give people a chance to come together and resolve this conflict.”
Appreciation for Russia was also expressed by refugees, many of whom have fled to this area, fleeing terrorist attacks in their own areas. Here is what Mohammed Najar had to say, he is a refugee from Damascus, now living with the relatives of his wife (who is an ethnic Turkoman) in the town of Al-Issawiya:
“Those who joined up with the terrorists, are traitors of our motherland. A lot is depending on Russia now, many ties unite our two countries. I have lived and worked with Russians, and I know them well, and we are really counting on them.”