Thursday, March 15, 2018

Food For Thought? Here's A Feast For You All !

I really need to clear some of my  many bookmarked news articles- All topical. All related to events that are regularly covered here at the blog. And you know what? There's still more to post, but for now, plenty below.

Inside Porton Down: Britain's controversial top secret defence lab where VX nerve agent was developed and human 'guinea pigs' were tested.

It is one of Britain's most secretive sites, remaining shrouded in mystery for more than 100 years.
But this week Porton Down found itself at the centre of one of the biggest diplomatic crises the UK has faced in recent years.

 Skripal the guinea pig? The sacrificial lamb to burn Russia? Entirely possible.

Scientists from Porton were among the first to create biological weapons as well as one of the world's most lethal chemical weapons.

Porton Down opened in 1916 as the War Department Experimental Station for testing chemical weapons during WW1.
Scientists at the lab researched and developed weapons agents used by the British military during the war such as chlorine, mustard gas and phosgene.
 My, oh my how interesting phosgene..
After the war the government decided that work should continue at the site and by 1930 it had grown and developed into the Chemical Defence Experimental Station.
During WW2 research concentrated on chemical weapons like nitrogen mustard and nerve agents such as sarin.
It then led to the development of CS - or tear gas- and VX nerve agent in 1952, one of the most lethal substances ever created which results in a painful death.
Interesting? Britain is quite the chemical weapons king. Or queen? Whichever? 
The base was later named the Chemical Defence Experimental Establishment.
Chemical weapons were tested on site. Scientists built cannisters full of poison gas that could be released by a timer and they also filled shells with it and released them at targets.

Since 1916 more than 20,000 people have taken part in studies at the base.
Porton Down's experiments on humans have been widely criticised as it is alleged some human 'guinea pigs' were duped into taking part in tests.
Tests were carried out on servicemen to try and determine the effects of nerve agents on humans - with one recorded death due to a nerve gas experiment.
Leading Aircraftman Ronald Maddison died aged 20 in 1953 after taking part in sarin nerve agent toxicity tests.
Only 20,000? Or only the 20,000 that defence industry was forced to admit to? 
How many tests were done on the populace without their knowledge? 
From 1945 to 1989 the base exposed more than 3,400 people to nerve gas - testing more human subjects with the chemical than anywhere else in the world.


Initial samples of the Ebola virus were sent to the Porton Down lab in 1976.
Read more at the link above- Certainly provides one with plenty of food for thought. 

 "The chemical structures of the main weaponised novichok agents were made public in 2008 by Vil Mirzayanov"
Made public ten years ago---

Turkey:Why NATO's Intervention in Syria Wouldn't Play Into Turkey's Hands
Turkish troops take control of Bursayah hill

For his part, Cahit Armagan Dilek, director of the Ankara-based 21st Century Turkey Institute, expressed concerns over NATO's potential involvement in Syrian affairs.
"In my opinion, NATO's intervention in Syria will only facilitate the implementation of US plans," Dilek said. "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan probably wants NATO to oppose the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Kurdish self-defense units (YPG). However, NATO does not consider the PKK as a threat, and therefore does not intend to take action against it. Therefore, it is futile to expect that NATO will oppose the PKK and the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which virtually no country in the world recognizes as a terrorist organization."
The Turkish scholar emphasized that if NATO intervenes in Syria it would most likely occupy the territories previously cleared of terrorists by the Turks during the Euphrates Shield and the Olive Branch operations. As a result, the alliance would seek to implement Washington's plans in the region, not those of Turkey, he stressed.
"Turkey cooperates with Russia in the area west of the Euphrates. America wants to invade this area by hook or by crook. In fact, America is seeking to extend its control to the entire territory of northern Syria," the Turkish scholar suggested.
 Syria: US-Turkey meeting 'postponed' after Tillerson fired

 - The meeting on Syria scheduled next Monday in Washington between the diplomatic chiefs of Turkey and the US could be postponed in order for Mike Pompeo to take office as the new US Secretary of State, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a press conference in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

The summit had been very much anticipated in Ankara, which hoped to define an agreement on the Washington-backed Kurdish YPG to be driven away from Manbij.

Rex Tillerson's firing however reportedly froze negotiations.

 Tillerson’s Firing Had Been Expected, but It Still Stunned Observers
Some critics raised the prospects of what they called a more hawkish and rightward turn in United States foreign policy.
Despite the way the announcement was handled, many conservatives viewed Mr. Pompeo’s ascendance as an enormous opportunity.
“Tillerson firing may open the floodgates for more conservatives to enter the admin,” Jordan Schachtel, national security correspondent for The Conservative Review, wrote on Twitter. “Peace Through Strength is making its grand return.”
And then there's Gina Haspel- Evil Woman
Gina Haspel, had been named to replace him, given her role in coercive interrogations of terrorism suspects in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Gina Haspel, who helped destroy evidence of agency waterboarding, to become the first-ever woman tapped for the senior post.

Trump has no problem with women in positions of power. The choice of Haspel makes that abundantly clear- So all you pussy hat protestors were played for fools!  

Time of Israel
Haspel, who has extensive overseas experience, briefly ran a secret CIA prison where accused terrorists Abu Zubayadah and Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri were waterboarded in 2002.


Senior Kurdish official, key to US policy in Syria, killed


This June 28, 2017, photo provided by Omar Alloush, show Alloush, a senior Kurdish official, attending the funeral of a fighter from the Syrian Democratic Forces

A senior Kurdish official who played a key role with the United States in implementing its post-Islamic State group policy in northern Syria has been found dead in his apartment, Kurdish officials said Thursday.
Omar Alloush's death is a blow to the post-IS efforts in the region, as he played a key role in mediating between Arabs and Kurds and in shaping the U.S. policy in the area.

The main Kurdish party in Syria said Thursday the death of Alloush is under investigation, and officials suspect foul play.

Alloush was found dead in his apartment in Tal Abyad, a majority Arab town in northern Syria where he helped set up a joint Arab-Kurd administrative council after it was liberated from IS in 2015.

Alloush moved on to play a key role in forming the U.S-backed civil council for Raqqa, also a majority Arab town which was also the de-facto capital of IS. Raqqa was cleared of the militants last year after months of fighting.

Alloush and other Arab tribal leaders were instrumental in negotiating a deal with the remnants of IS to evacuate the city after they were squeezed into a small sliver of land.
It certainly would have been easy enough for US backed Kurdish official Alloush to 'negotiate' with ISIS
The October evacuation deal allowed a number of IS fighters to leave Raqqa in a convoy of vehicles, sparking criticism that the militants were let off the hook. The U.S.-led coalition said it was not involved in the negotiations, which aimed to save lives.

Another Arab mediator who played a key role in an evacuation deal of IS militants from Tabqa, a town near Raqqa, was also found killed last month in Syria.

Top Kurdish official Fawza Yousef said Alloush's killing is a blow to joint Arab-Kurdish action and social peace following the defeat of IS.

"Omar Alloush had a key role in forming the Raqqa city council and in developing the concept of coexistence in Tal Abyad, Raqqa and Tabqa," she said, naming also another major town west of Raqqa that was recaptured from IS.

Those who killed him "want to incite sedition between ethnic groups and ignite internal infighting," she said.
If I was to believe her statement, I'd first have to believe there had been/ is no internal ethnic fighting ongoing.  Another possibility is that those who killed him have had enough of the internal ethnic fighting, displacement and balkanization plotting

Yousef accused Turkey of being behind the assassination of Alloush, saying he received threats before. Turkey views the dominant Kurdish militia, which is the U.S. partner in the fight against IS in Syria, as a terrorist group.
Maybe Turkey? Maybe not. It's a PKK standard to blame Turkey for everything.
Ankara had sent troops into Syria to push the Kurdish militia away from its borders and prevent it from linking up areas it controls in west and east Syria. The U.S. support for the Kurdish-led forces was a reason for souring relations with Ankara.

Nadim Houry, director of the counter-terrorism program for Human Rights Watch, called Alloush's death "terrible news," describing him as a "cornerstone" of Kurdish-Arab relations in the area.

"Whoever killed him wants to destabilize the area," Houry wrote on his Twitter account.
Isn't the area already destabilized and wasn't that the plan all along?
U.S. officials had no immediate comment on Alloush's death.

Nicholas Heras, a Middle East Security Fellow at the Washington-based Center for a New American Security, said Alloush's suspected killing was a "terrible blow" to the U.S. efforts to stabilize Raqqa and therefore U.S. strategy in Syria. The Kurdish-led forces have "a big bulls eye on its back and the road ahead will not be easy."

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Militant Provocation? US Strikes/Very Serious Consequences Warns Lavrov

Saved this yesterday, with the intent to post at that time, but real life comes first.
Plans for a false flag and a serious warning regarding consequences of those possible actions

The Warning:
MOSCOW, March 13. /TASS/. The consequences of a new US strike on Syria, the possibility of which was stated in the UN Security Council by United States Permanent Representative Nikki Haley, will be very serious, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.

"If a new strike of this kind takes place, the consequences will be very serious," Russia’s top diplomat stressed.

"Mrs. Haley should understand that it is one thing to irresponsibly exploit the microphone in the UN Security Council and it is another thing when both the Russian and American militaries have communication channels and it is clearly stated via these channels what can be done and what must not be done," Lavrov said.

"When, against the backdrop of an obvious failure to implement resolution 2401, in as much as it concerns militants and their sponsoring West, new resolutions are put forward under the pretext that it is Russia, Iran and the Syrian government that have failed to provide for the requirements of the previous resolution while Mrs. Haley makes a statement that the US is, of course, a peaceful nation but it may at any time deliver a strike against the forces in the Syrian Arab Republic, as they did a year ago by striking the Shayrat airbase, I simply don’t have any normal terms left to describe all this," Lavrov pointed out.
This is where my idea of tying the use of 'chemical weapons' in UK ties into Syria. I see two others understood and had shared similar thoughts

Flashback : Theresa May Delivers an Ultimatum to Moscow- 24 Hours to Respond
From my list of possible confrontation actions -A strike on Syria- because ya know... Russia "bears responsibility" for alleged chemical weapons use

PS. They chose a CW narrative purposefully. To bolster the image of their illegal presence and intervention in Syria as well as casting further doubt on Russia's role. At a time when Russia and the regime are further peddling them back particularly with the current strategic East Ghouta gains.

I thought along the same lines. Gas attacks, Syria, Russia behind both, red lines, something must be done.

"Near term target needs - go massive - sweep it all up, things related and not." Donald Rumsfeld


MOSOCW, March 13. /TASS/. Militants are preparing a provocation with the use of chemical agents in Syria to justify a massive US strike against Damascus’ government neighborhoods, Chief of Russia’s General Staff Valery Gerasimov said on Tuesday.

According to Gerasimov, Russia has hard facts about preparations for staging the use of chemical weapons against civilians by the government forces.

After the provocation, the US plans to accuse Syria’s government forces of using chemical weapons. He added that the United States plans to "furnish the so-called ‘evidence’ of the alleged mass civilian deaths through the fault of the Syrian government and the Russian leadership supporting it."
As has been done so conveniently in the UK?
"As a countermeasure, Washington plans to deliver a missile and bomb strike against Damascus’ government districts," Gerasimov said.

He stressed that there are Russian military officials in Damascus in the Syrian Defense Ministry’s facilities, and "in the event of a threat to our military servicemen’s lives, Russia’s Armed Forces will take retaliatory measures to target both the missiles and their delivery vehicles."

The Russian Defense Ministry is ready to take retaliatory measures against US’ possible strike over Damascus if there is any danger to the Russian military, head of the Russian General Staff added.

"At the same time, Russian military advisors, members of the Russian Reconciliation Center for the Conflicting Sides and military policemen are staying in the Syrian Defense Ministry’s facilities in Damascus. In case there is a threat to the lives of our military, the Russian Armed Force will take retaliatory measures both over the missiles and carriers that will use them," he said.

According to Gerasimov, "events to further normalize the situation in Syria’s capital are going on."

According to earlier reports, illegal armed groups are shelling with mortars both positions of the Syrian government forces and the residential quarters of Damascus and its suburbs.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Breaking: Trump Fires Tillerson, Appoints Pompeo as Secretary of State

This is certainly interesting. Or as hubby says that's  a real "wtf " kind of thing!


President Donald Trump has fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, replacing him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
With Mr Pompeo moving, CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel will take over the running of that department.

Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
Mr Tillerson had just returned from a shortened trip to Africa hours before Mr Trump's announcement. The president offered no explanation for the change, but thanked Mr Tillerson for his service. 

The former head of the CIA as secretary of state.... What could go wrong? Or right?

US President Donald Trump has removed Rex Tillerson from his role as Secretary of State, less than a day after the top diplomat slammed Russia for their suspected role in a poisoning attack on British soil.
 Was this related to the British spy incident as is claimed? Or is something else afoot?
It's  also being reported Tillerson was asked to step down Friday

The White House yesterday pointedly refused to join the UK, arguably their staunchest ally, in condemning Russia for their part in the poisoning of a former double agent in Salisbury.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders had earlier condemned the attack in a briefing to reporters, but stopped short of laying the blame for the attack at the door of the Kremlin.
Under Tillerson, however, the State Department (roughly equivalent to the Foreign Office) issued their own strongly-worded statement condemning Russia’s actions and pledging support to the UK.
US outlets are reporting that Trump asked Tillerson to resign his post on Friday, when the two disagreed on the President’s plans to meet North Korean dictator Kim-Jong-Un.
His statement yesterday on Russia’s suspected role in the attack in Salisbury incident, which has left Sergei Skripal and his daughter in a critical condition, surprised observer.
It is possibly more forceful as a result of his imminent departure, rather than the cause of it.


Monday, March 12, 2018

Theresa May Delivers an Ultimatum to Moscow- 24 Hours to Respond

 Theresa May ups the Anxiety Inducing Theatrics in Britain  as everybody sits on the edge of their seats, because Moscow has been given 24, or maybe 48 hours, "to respond".....

Oh what will they say?!   I can just imagine what it's like in telly land? The not knowing.
This over the top drama, apparent from the get go, now requires you to wait for the next episode  before knowing the outcome. 

Was just talking to hubby, discussing with him, that I see the whole 24 hour ultimatum as still more theatrics. If someone, like a neighbour,  broke into my house or car,  it's inconceivable to me that I'd wait 24 hours to get an explanation from them why they'd busted into my property! Particularly if I was certain of the identity of the perpetrator! 

So, we are in psyop land as far as the May ultimatum.
I'm of the mind, and still am, that it was Britain that desired this pretext. 

From yesterday: Britain to Support US Style Magnitsky Sanctions Against Russia??

I'm of the opinion that Britian wanted the sanctions anyway- hence the alleged poisoning serves as a perfect pretext for the desired actions.
Was this the pretext? About that Alleged Poisoning of Sergei Skripal

Onto the latest: 

Sydney Morning Herald:
London: It is highly likely (but not certain) that Russia poisoned former double agent Sergei Skripal with a military-grade nerve agent, British Prime Minister Theresa May says – and she has given the Kremlin 24 hours to rebut the claim before she takes “extensive measures” in response.

“Should there be no credible response, we will conclude that this action amounts to an unlawful use of force by the Russian State against the United Kingdom,” May said.
So an attack on the UK ?
"Though she did not outline what her response would be, May’s words suggest she would invoke NATO’s principle of collective defence, in which an attack against one ally is considered an attack against all"
"Either this was a direct act by the Russian State against our country, or the Russian government lost control of this potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others"
"The Russian ambassador was summoned to the British Foreign Office and asked to explain how a Russian-produced nerve agent could have been deployed in Salisbury"
Theresa May gave no out to Russia by suggesting Russia lost control of the nerve agent.
She started a new thread in the narrative-

Will Theresa May Invoke Article 5:
" Mr Speaker, on Wednesday we will consider in detail the response from the Russian State. Should there be no credible response, we will conclude that this action amounts to an unlawful use of force by the Russian State against the United Kingdom. And I will come back to this House and set out the full range of measures that we will take in response."
This is quite something. It suggests the government is treating this as far more than a murder attempt on a former spy that happened to take place on UK soil. Unless the Russian ambassador can come up with a convincing alibi (e.g. the terrifying possibility that Russia has lost control of its chemical weapons stock), it will treat the poisoning as a state-sponsored attack on the UK as a whole. This is far stronger language than used, for instance, by John Reid in the wake of Alexander Litvinenko’s death, even after the authorities had established it was the result of polonium poisoning.
The PM’s statement was interesting for two other reasons. First, she emphasised that Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with ‘a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia’. In other words, this was a kind of military attack rather than a civilian or ordinary criminal one.
So this raises the question: might May invoke Nato’s Article 5 on collective defence? That article, from the original 1949 treaty, states that ‘the Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all’ and that they should work together to ‘restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area’. It has only been invoked once in Nato’s history – by the USA after September 11th – so this would be the strongest possible option open to her.
 There will be no "credible" response that Russia can make to Britain. Nothing that will be deemed to be "credible", that is.  Britain is looking for a confrontation of some sort.

To explain the confrontation idea:

-May wants to appear leaderish.
-Smear Putin prior to elections
-Maybe a boycott of World Cup?
- A strike on Syria- because ya know... Russia "bears responsibility" for alleged chemical weapons use
- Most importantly to enact the Magnitsky style sanctions, which are a form of Economic Warfare, enabling May to sell them as a response attack.

SMH continues "This attempted murder using a weapons-grade nerve agent in a British town was not just a crime against the Skripals," May said.

"It was an indiscriminate and reckless act against the United Kingdom, putting the lives of innocent civilians at risk."

May will also take her case to the United Nations, she said.

She also suggested the government may drop its opposition to a proposed new law applying visa bans and asset seizures against corrupt Russians who have laundered money through London real estate.
See post from yesterday linked at the top regarding Magnitsky style sanctions

Huffington Post
Novichok, the fourth generation of poison gas, was made with agrochemicals so that offensive weapons production could more readily be hidden within a legitimate commercial industry, according to US chemical weapons expert Amy Smithson.

 The group of “military-grade” chemical agents was positively identified at the UK government’s Porton Down laboratories
 Moscow is not believed to have ever declared Novichok or its ingredients to the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which oversees a treaty banning their use. There are no known previous uses of the substance.

It was designed as a “binary weapon” - meaning they are made up of two relatively harmless ingredients that only become deadly when mixed together.
This is, allegedly, a cold war weapon.
It's made with agrochemicals. I'm figuring based on my reading this is based on phosophorous/phosphine fumigant type stuff, weaponized?
If anyone knows for certain, chime in?! 
Also notice that this chemical weapon meme is continuously recurring?
What about Syria?

The Backlash Against the Pentagon's Hybrid War in Syria

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Britain to Support US Style Magnitsky Sanctions Against Russia??

Was this the pretext? About that Alleged Poisoning of Sergei Skripal
I see Theresa May is all set to announce Russian sanctions this Monday...

"Theresa May is expected to announce sanctions against Russia as soon as Monday..."

I'm of the opinion that Britian wanted the sanctions anyway- hence the alleged poisoning serves as a perfect pretext for the desired actions.

Philip Hammond has signalled the Government could back moves to mirror US-style sanctions legislation on Russian officials in the wake of the Salisbury spy poisoning.
The Chancellor claimed the Government is "seeking to reach an accommodation" with MPs wanting a British version of the US' so-called "Magnitsky Act".

Under the 2012 legislation, which has since been extended globally, the US can subject foreign officials involved in corruption and human rights abuses to asset freezes and visa bans.

Asked if the Government could back plans to introduce similar laws in the UK, Mr Hammond told the BBC's Andrew Marr show: "The proposals that were put forward actually create a power that we already have.

"The Home Secretary already has a power to exclude individuals from the UK if she believes their presence is not conducive to our national security or the public good.

"So, it's not strictly necessary but we're seeking to reach an accommodation with those who have put this amendment forward.

"Let's see if we come to a proposal which works for everybody."

Mr Hammond promised the Government would "respond appropriately" if evidence is found of foreign state involvement in the nerve agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, Wiltshire.

MPs are campaigning for a "Magnitsky amendment" to be included in the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, which is currently progressing through Parliament.

Sky News understands Boris Johnson is backing the introduction of a UK version of the so-called "Magnitsky Act", while the Sunday Telegraph reported Home Secretary Amber Rudd is also in agreement.

Labour also back the move with shadow chancellor John McDonnell claiming such legislation could be "remarkably effective", as he highlighted his party's efforts last week to introduce similar amendments.

The US legislation was designed to punish Russian officials involved in the mysterious death in prison of anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky ( accountant) in 2009, who had found millions of dollars worth of tax fraud linked to the Kremlin.

The law, which prompted an angry reaction from Russian President Vladimir Putin, at first blocked 18 Russian government officials and businessmen from entering the US, along with the freezing of assets.

After the US legislation was expanded in 2016, American sanctions now apply to human rights abusers worldwide.

Both the Chancellor and universities minister Sam Gyimah have defended the Conservative Party's acceptance of money from Russian-linked supporters.

It comes after The Sunday Times revealed Russian oligarchs and their associates have registered donations of more than £820,000 to the Tories since Mrs May became Prime Minister.

Mr Gyimah told Sky News' Sunday with Niall Paterson: "We have a very strict legal process in this country and Government policy towards the Kremlin has not in any way been affected by what British citizens, who are originally from Russia, may or may not choose to do by donating to the Conservative Party."

A Conservative spokesman accused Labour of "playing politics with a serious issue" after the party's shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith called into question Theresa May's willingness to challenge Russia's conduct.

He added: "As the Prime Minister has made clear we are driving reform of NATO so it is better able to deter and counter hostile Russian activity, we are strengthening our cyber security and looking at how we tighten our financial regimes to ensure the profits of corruption cannot flow from Russia into the UK"

"All donations to the Conservative Party are properly and transparently declared to the Electoral Commission, published by them, and comply fully with the law."

In the wake of the Salisbury poison attack, Mr McDonnell and Peter Dowd, Labour shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, revealed the party will "review" their MPs' appearances on Kremlin-controlled TV station Russia Today, which has been branded a "propaganda channel".
From Earlier:

The Backlash Against the Pentagon's Hybrid War in Syria

The Backlash Against the Pentagon's Hybrid War in Syria

I can recall a time, not too long ago, when the statements made by myself, years before M.K. Bhadrakumar's oped, earned heaps and heaps of scorn- How the times have changed..

Turkey and the US aren't besties anymore- The USrael machine is working on Israel 2.0 aka Kurdistan.. It's all here
MKB; "U.S. and Turkish officials are due to meet in Washington today to begin thrashing out the range of issues now threatening to tear the already fragile relationship between the two NATO allies apart.

The Turkish-American discord goes back to the Obama administration when Washington persuaded Ankara to spearhead the regime-change project in Syria circa 2011, only to see the U.S. retract later, leaving Turkey holding a can of worms"
flashback- 2014 my friends, 2014!
 I suspect Turkey is in the process of being double crossed- And, I believe Erdogan is aware of this. We have seen this type of double cross on more then one occasion. Libya had attempted to cooperate with the US only to be betrayed and Gaddafi brutally killed.
Syria had also attempted to appease the US, again, only to find itself caught in the crosshairs of the NATO global tyranny nexus dominated by US/Israeli/UK interests.
Turkey is being prepped for that same treatment. It's been a plan in the making for at least 12 plus years, but, likely much longer. So let's step back in time.......
MKB: "Since then the relationship has become mired in several disputes, with the overarching geopolitical result that Turkey has steadily drifted away from its Western allies towards a d├ętente with Russia. This has taken the form of a quasi-alliance with Moscow over the Syrian conflict—a partnership that appears to be flourishing as a “win-win” economic relationship and has resulted in the Turkish decision to purchase an S-400 air defense system from Russia.  
It's my opinion that Russia is cultivating the relationship with Turkey to create a actual wedge in NATO while simultaneously challenging the concept of the alliance. I'm sure Turkey's leadership is aware of this. It's a matter of all parties hedging. It's realpolitik
MKB: "The situation in Syria will top the agenda during the talks in Washington on Thursday. The priority for both sides will be to avert a standoff in northern Syria where the U.S. and Turkey are pursuing sharply divergent interests. At least since 2014, the U.S. has aligned with Kurdish groups that Ankara regards as terrorists belonging to the PKK, the separatist movement waging a bloody struggle to carve out an independent state in the Kurdish homelands in eastern Turkey. On the other hand, Kurds are the Pentagon’s foot soldiers in its war against the Islamic State in Syria.

To say the talks are taking place in an acrimonious climate is an understatement, and the trust deficit is palpable. The only high note is that both Turkey and the U.S. are diplomatically experienced enough to navigate their perennially problematic relationship as allies and, most certainly, neither seeks a showdown in Syria. Recent remarks by Pentagon officials suggest the U.S. has no intentions of terminating its alliance with Kurdish militia in eastern Syria anytime soon, as Turkey demands. Meanwhile, Turkey wants the redeployment of the Kurdish militia in Manjib in northern Syria to the east of the Euphrates. During his visit to Ankara in February, Tillerson had assured the Turks that the U.S. would heed their sensitivities over Manjib. But curiously, Turkey now alleges the U.S. is instead “lifting” the Kurdish fighters in Manjib to the frontline in the canton of Afrin, 100 miles to the west, to stiffen the Kurdish resistance against the current Turkish military operation there"
Turkey and the US are already having a showdown in Syria- The entire situation is northern Syria is evidence of that. What may occur in Afrin will tell us more about how far the US is willing to push Turkey. The Kurds themselves have stated they've shifted fighters to Afrin and you can be sure the US has aided them all the way! 

 flashback: Really Think the US & Turkey Aren’t Fighting One Another in Syria? Think, Again!

MKB: "To be sure, an elaborate pantomime is playing out. The Turks suspect that Washington is simply playing for time by engaging them in talks, while on a parallel track systematically advancing a geopolitical project to create an independent Kurdish entity carved out of northern Syria, which would eventually have direct access to the eastern Mediterranean. The Turkish press is awash in accusations of bad American intentions. In a sensational report on Monday, the pro-government Turkish daily Star published a supposed American blueprint for establishing a full-fledged Kurdish state in eastern and northern Syria along Turkey’s borders.
An elaborate pantomime is playing out- Washington is simply playing for time while their proxies carry out the long worked on, planned for, Israel 2.0 . The goal is to get to the Mediterranean or Israel 2.0 is a fail.
"And even more crucially, projecting ahead, a Greater Kurdistan would be the ideal buffer state acting in tandem with larger Israeli strategic interests; in one go, it would simultaneously amputate Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria."

MKB: "Amidst all this, Erdogan recently spoke on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to discuss Syria. The Kremlin evidently takes an interest in creating space for Turkey to negotiate effectively with the U.S. Ankara also finds it useful and necessary to keep the line open to Moscow. The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu plans to meet his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow next Tuesday prior to a likely visit to Washington on March 19 to activate yet another “mechanism” between himself and Tillerson.

Turkey is openly disregarding Washington’s misgivings over the Astana process on Syria and continues to work actively with Russia and Iran. The foreign ministers from all three countries plan to meet in Astana on March 16. A statement by the Kazakh Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said that the ministers of the three “guarantor countries” would assess the results of their collaboration and “identify common steps.” The three foreign ministers propose to issue a joint statement after their meeting to determine areas of further work within the Astana process with specific reference to the tragic events in Eastern Ghouta. Again, the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday that a trilateral summit of the Turkish, Russian, and Iranian presidents is slated for April in Istanbul to “discuss Syria and potential steps in the region.”

Suffice to say, if Tillerson’s mission to Ankara had aimed at getting Turkey out of the Russian-Iranian orbit, he had no success.

flashback, again: Tillerson's Sweet Nothing's to Turkey. Israel & Syria. Lavrov insights

MKB: "The Astana process is returning with renewed vigor, and Turkey’s growing frustration and anger towards the perceived U.S. intransigence is strengthening its axis with Russia (and Iran). It is of the utmost importance for Turkey that Russia continues to remain passive while it presses ahead with the present operation in Afrin. A tacit understanding is apparent between Turkey on one side and Russia and Iran on the other as regards the Turkish operation in Syrian territory. For its part, Ankara will not impede the operations by the Syrian government forces and allied fighters in the Eastern Ghouta region and in Idlib and Aleppo provinces. Significantly, Erdogan virtually held out an assurance to Moscow on Tuesday when he said in a TV interview that Turkey will not cancel the contract for purchasing the air defense systems S-400 Triumf from Russia, even if it risks U.S. sanctions"
Turkey appears quite frustrated and angry with their alleged allies in NATO, lately. 
Though I think Turkey's leadership is aware that Turkey's NATO inclusion was one of convenience and not borne of any real loyalty to the nation state or it's people. The core group of NATO, the 5 eyes, have no special love for Turkey- That's how I see it.

flashback- 2015: NATO Bows Out on Turkey. Turkey and Article 4

MKB: "In hard-hitting remarks on Monday, Erdogan warned the Trump administration “Today we are in Afrin, tomorrow we will be in Manbij, the day after we will be east of the Euphrates to clean up all terrorists all the way to the border of Iraq. We will hold the terrorist organization [Kurdish militia] and its supporters [U.S. special forces] accountable… We are well aware of their treacherous tricks… Turkey has the power, energy and strategy to deal with those tricks.” To be sure, in immediate terms, the Turkish objective will be to coax out of the Trump administration a firm timeline for the redeployment of the Kurdish fighters in Manjib. But it is hard to see the Pentagon agreeing. Manjib serves as a supply hub for various front lines in northeastern and eastern Syria. 
I've written repeatedly about Manbij...
MKB: "The bottom line is that Ankara, Moscow, and Tehran have converged on the opinion that an open-ended U.S. military presence in Syria will be detrimental to their interests. The recent testimony by the commander of the U.S. Central Command General Joseph Votel before the House Armed Services Committee cast Russia as an adversary in the Syrian conflict. Votel described Russia as playing the destabilizing role of “both arsonist and firefighter” in Syria. Ankara gathers that the U.S. is fueling Kurdish nationalism for geopolitical purposes, which poses a threat to Turkey’s security and sovereignty. Iran, of course, is only too aware of the United States’ containment strategy towards it in Syria and Iraq.

The fundamental contradiction here is that the Pentagon is fighting a “hybrid war” in Syria using the Kurdish proxy without formal congressional approval. Behind the fig leaf of the residual operations to mop up the defeated ISIS, the U.S. hopes to take advantage of Syria’s overall fluidity to weaken the regime, get the Russians bogged down in a quagmire, roll back the Iranian presence in Syria and Iraq, and tame Turkey—all without really putting boots on the ground. Somewhere along the line, in a not-too-distant future, there is going to be a backlash"
Some additional reading if you've not had enough already!