WikiLeaks logo
The Global Intelligence Files,
files released so far...

The Global Intelligence Files

The Global Intelligence Files

On Monday February 27th, 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files, over five million e-mails from the Texas headquartered "global intelligence" company Stratfor. The e-mails date between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal's Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor's web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.

Re: DISCUSSION - TURKEY/SYRIA - the military buffer zone

Released on 2012-03-20 10:00 GMT

Email-ID 2241596
Date 2011-11-15 23:34:47
this is what the Turkish diplo source said - Turkey will send troops
across the border, ostensibly in order to safeguard its territory against
PKK attacks, and will use the terms of the agreement reached between
Turkey and Syria in 1998, which allows the Turkish army to penetrate a few
kilometers inside Syria to defend against PKK attacks. Turkey has been
asking for an Arab endorsement to commit itself more actively in Syrian


From: "Nathan Hughes"
To: "Analyst List"
Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 4:25:23 PM
Subject: Re: DISCUSSION - TURKEY/SYRIA - the military buffer zone

I'm no longer clear on what we're talking about.

Turkey is dropping hints about exercising an existing hot pursuit clause,

Can someone please lay out the specifics of what they're saying? What
exactly did Turkey hint at specifically and where did we get 'buffer


From: "Reva Bhalla"
To: "Omar Lamrani"
Cc: "Analyst List"
Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 4:13:38 PM
Subject: Re: DISCUSSION - TURKEY/SYRIA - the military buffer zone

yes, it's a hot pursuit clause

but, the idea is that Turkey is contemplating using that hot pursuit
clause to justify sending and keeping troops on the other side of the
border. that would deifnitely be stretching the rules, and would require
Turkey responding to (or perhaps inventing) a Kurdish militant threat in
that area that would legally justify such intervention.

but if Turkey were willing to absorb the risk of entering Syrian territory
and establishing a buffer zone, essentially as an act of war, then why go
through the trouble of bringing up this 1998 agreement to begin with when
Syria is going to see through it


From: "Omar Lamrani"
To: "Analyst List"
Cc: "Reva Bhalla"
Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 4:06:41 PM
Subject: Re: DISCUSSION - TURKEY/SYRIA - the military buffer zone

I looked through the links and this is what I found for the Adana

First Link - The right for Turkey to pursue terrorists (PKK) up to 15km
into Syria.
Second Link - The right for Turkey to pursue terrorists (PKK) up to 5km
into Syria.
Third Link - The agreement allows the Turkish Army to penetrate some
distance into Syria in case it feels threatens by PKK operations.
Fourth Link - The right for Turkey to pursue terrorists (PKK) up to 15km
into Syria.

All links do not point to a buffer zone. Instead, the Adana Agreement
according to the links provided allows for the authorization of
pursuit/hot pursuit into Syria to a maximum of 15km.
On 11/15/11 2:23 PM, Reva Bhalla wrote:

A Turkish diplomatic source mentioned a few days ago that a stipulation
in the 1998 agreement between Turkey and Syria would allow TUrkish
troops to enter a few kms into Syrian territory. We searched the public
text of that agreement and didn't find anything that resembled a line
like that, but when I followed up with a source, this is what I found

On Oct. 20, 1998 the Syrians and Turks signed the Adana Agreement, a
secret document that ended the conflict between two countries, and
transformed their bi-lateral relations from enmity into cooperation.
According to the terms of the agreement, Syria renounced its claim to
Hatay and authorized the Turkish army to pursue Kurdish rebels inside
Syria up to 5 kilometers without seeking the prior permission of the
Syrian authorities (some sites say the later Hafiz Asad allowed the
Turkish army to penetrate Syrian territories up to 15 kms, although the
5kms authorization seems to make more sense.

This is obviously a major concession that Syria had to make when it was
legitimately scared that the TUrkish army was going to keep rolling its
tanks across the border. The terms of the Adana agreement were not made
public because it was a total Syrian capitulation to the Turkish
demands. Some describe the agreement as a Turkish-Syrian Camp david

The following Arabic sites mention the Adana Agreement and the right it
gave to the Turkish army to enter Syrian territories.

I still don't think Turkey is close to establishing this military buffer
zone, but we're taking a serious look at how they would go about it if
they did do it. Tactical team is mapping out the terrain, roads, ets.
in this area.

A few things to keep in mind:

As Omar pointed out, even if there is this stipulation in a secret 1998
agreement, i doubt Syria would respect it if Turkey is using it to send
troops into Turkish territory and has publicized its interest in
toppling the regime. It would likely be regarded by Syria (and Iran, by
extension) as an invasion and thus an act of war. That means TUrkey
would not only be facing the SYrian army, but also could bear the brunt
of militant proxy attacks (think Hezbollah, PKK possibly, etc.)

A Turkish military buffer zone in the north doesn't do shit for the
areas where the SUnni oppoisiton is concentrated and getting beat. the
natural escape route for Homs and Hama is southward toward LEbanon
(where Syria has a lot of leverage.) In the north, you have the Kurdish
areas (Qamishli is the main city) and you have the important city of
Aleppo, where Syria has concentrated a lot of forces.

Remember Turkey's main interest when it comes to Syria. They're not
looking ot march on Damascus for kicks. They are most concerned with the
spread of Kurdish separartism/militancy. So far, the Kurds in Syria have
been relatively calm (we had insight on this recently on how KRG is also
advising the SYrian Kurds to not push it.) So the Kurdish threat has
not risen to the level yet for TUrkey to intervene.

But --

Turkey wants to show it's capable of doing something. I am still going
to argue that establishing a military buffer zone and risking war with
Syria (and proxy war with Iran) is not worth it in Turkey's eyes.

But --

If Turkey has legit reason to believe Syria and Iran are playing the
PKK card, things could shift. That's what i think we need to be watching
for closely.

Omar Lamrani
221 W. 6th Street, Suite 400
Austin, TX 78701