… The escalation of tensions between U.S./Israeli forces and the pro-Assad coalition in Syria these past two weeks come while Turkey and Russia announced construction of the Turkish Stream pipeline is officially underway in the Black Sea.

Gazprom never stopped building its side of the above-ground portion of the pipeline, even when it was South Stream. Remember, Turkish Stream is simply a re-routing of the defunct South Stream pipeline that Bulgaria nixed amid intense political pressure from the EU and the U.S.

And Turkey is emerging as a very pivotal player in the next stage of the Syrian conflict. Its massing of troops and attacking PKK Kurdish forces near Afrin this week put pressure on the Syrian Defense Force/U.S. relationship as Kurdish fighters have slowed their attacks on the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa to possibly support their brethren against Turkey to the north…

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