Wiam Wahhab is a Druze politician in Lebanon, who is a front man for Syria, and is allied with Hezbollah. This isn’t the first time he’s made this threat, but it takes on a new relevance now that Turkey and Syria are in a stage of active hostilities.
First Wahhab threatens active clashes in the streets of Istanbul, which is unsubtle code for violent Alevi protests. There are no definite figures on how many Alevi there are in Istanbul, but they form an estimated fifth of Turkey’s population, putting them somewhere in the 14-15 million range.
“It will happen in the streets of Istanbul and throughout the provinces of Turkey. You will see in Turkey what you see in Aleppo today,” Wahhab says, projecting the expansion of the Sunni-Alawite religious civil war from Syria into Turkey.
Then he warns, “If the Turks intervene, thousands of missiles will rain down on Turkish cities, factories, and other sensitive areas.”
Last time around, Wahhab threatened that 100,000 missiles would fall on Turkey if Turkish troops occupied any part of Syria and that 100,000 missiles would fall on Palestine, aka Israel, if NATO intervened. The 100,000 figure is significant because it’s the number that Hezbollah claims to possess.
Wahhab could be full of hot air, but it’s likely that as a Syrian agent, he’s relaying a message from Syria. And if he were acting out of line, then a year would have been plenty of time for Syria to tell him to shut up.
So Syria has shifted from threatening Israel with Hezbollah’s missiles to threatening Turkey with Hezbollah’s missiles. To get a sense of a similar set of events, imagine if during the conflict between the USSR and Communist China, Cuba was told to start threatening China with its nuclear missiles. That’s where we’re at now.
To get some larger context on this mess, Turkey is looking to reconstruct some Islamic version of the Ottoman Empire, even though the Turks are having trouble keeping the Kurds in occupied Kurdistan under control.
Syria has its own Greater Syria obsession, which was why it founded the PLO with dreams of using Palestinian terrorism to conquer Israel and Lebanon and annex them to Greater Syria. Wahhab isn’t just a Syrian agent, he’s part of an imperialistic network which Syria’s deluded leaders have used to try and build a Greater Syria.
Turkey and Syria are clashing along Sunni vs Alawite lines, which is a convenient platform for the newly Islamist Turkey because it enables it to strip away Syria’s Sunnis and turn them against an Alawite dominated Baath Party. But they’re also clashing along ethnic and imperial lines.
Turkey is looking to force Syria into its orbit for a new Ottoman Empire. Syria is looking to use the Shiite axis, that Wahhab calls the “Axis of Resistance” to maintain a Shiite empire. Both are using the fractured religious and ethnic minorities in the region as weapons, in the traditional fashion. Once you understand that, you also understand the phoniness of the entire Palestinian conflict, which isn’t about Palestinian nationalism, but about the nationalism of their Syrian, Turkish and Egyptian backers.
The Shiite Axis of Resistance is now facing off against the Sunni Axis of Resistance, both consisting of Jihadists and their state sponsors. The “Resistance” part usually means resistance to America and Israel, but in this case it’s come to mean a Resistance civil war between Sunnis and Shiites, both sides accusing the other of being American and Zionist puppets.
You will see editorials urgently telling Americans that we need to intervene in Syria. And sure that might be fun for Qatar, which just paid a supportive visit to Hamas, but it wouldn’t be any fun for us. On the other hand if Hezbollah starts firing all those Iranian missiles at Istanbul, that should be a hell of a fireworks show.