Manbij next, says Erdogan as Turkey warplanes bomb Syria’s Afrin

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Editor’s note:  Turks serving in their own army have to tire of changing into terrorist uniforms to follow their ever changing foreign policy, this being the 6th turnaround for Turkey in the past 3 years.  “Rebels” attacking Afrin are part of the non-existent “Free Syrian Army” that joined ISIS in 2014, meaning, they simply don’t exist.  The issue is the promise of a failed US occupation of Northern Syria, the Kurds as pawns, and when Russia will put its foot down now that Russia totally runs the Middle East.

Eventually that foot will land on Tel  Aviv.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Ankara plans to launch an operation against US-backed Kurdish militants in the northern Syrian city of Manbij as Turkish warplanes launch airstrikes on positions of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia in Syria.

Erdogan made the announcement in a televised speech in the city of Kutahya on Saturday after Ankara started a de-facto ground operation in the northwestern border region of Afrin in Syria.

“The Afrin operation has de-facto been started on the ground,” said Erdogan, adding, “This will be followed by Manbij.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said in a televised speech on Saturday that Turkish “armed forces have started an air campaign in order to destroy elements” of the YPG.

Reports said that Turkish fighter jets carried out 11 raids on the villages of Ain Dikneh, Mariamin, Tal Rif’at, Kafr Jannah, Maranaz and villages in the vicinity of Afrin in the northern countryside of  Aleppo.

Afrin and Manbij are controlled by the YPG, which Ankara views as a terror organization and the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK).

Turkey has in recent days sent dozens of military vehicles and hundreds of troops to the border area. Over the past two days, Turkish forces have been shelling YPG targets around Afrin.


Turkey deployed troops to northern Syria in August 2016 without Damascus’ approval under the pretext of fighting the Takfiri terror group of Daesh. The operation, named Euphrates Shield, however, was later seen turning its focus on the Kurds, whom Turkey associates with anti-Ankara terrorists.

The operation ended last March, but Turkey recently redeployed its forces after the US announced a plan to set up a new 30,000-strong “border security” force, including the Kurdish militants, near the Turkish border. Washington had already angered Ankara by reneging on its promise of stopping its arms transfers to the Kurds and retrieving the weapons it had already given to them.

“The promises made to us over Manbij were not kept. So nobody can object if we do what is necessary,” said Erdogan, referring to past American assurances that the YPG would move out of Afrin.

The Turkish president added that Ankara would “step by step” destroy a “terror corridor” that he said had been set up by the YPG.

“Later we will, step by step, clear our country up to the Iraqi border from this terror filth that is trying to besiege our country,” said Erdogan.

Meanwhile, the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed group of mostly Kurdish militants, on Saturday accused Turkey of using cross-border shelling as a false pretext to launch an offensive in Syria.

The SDF, which controls swathes of north and east Syria, said it would have no choice but to defend itself if attacked.

Syria has censured both the American and Turkish plans for a fresh wave of unilateral military operations on its soil. Damascus views such measures as an assault on the country’s sovereignty.

The Syrian government has also indicated that it would shoot down any Turkish planes entering its skies.

 

A photo made available by the Dogan News Agency shows Turkish army military trucks transporting armored vehicles to reinforce the border units in Sanliurfa close to the Syrian border on January 16, 2018. (Via AFP)
A photo made available by the Dogan News Agency shows Turkish army military trucks transporting armored vehicles to reinforce the border units in Sanliurfa close to the Syrian border on January 16, 2018. (Via AFP)

Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli says no troops have gone into Syria’s Kurdish-controlled Afrin region but the operation has started “de facto” with cross-border shelling.

Canikli said in an interview with broadcaster AHaber Friday that Turkey was developing weapons systems against anti-tank missiles used by US-backed YPG militants.

He said the planned military operations in the northwestern Syrian region should be carried out with no delay to purge the territories of what he called terrorist elements.

Amid its rising tensions with the US, Turkey said Thursday it would seek Russia’s approval for the operation as the country’s Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar traveled to Moscow for negotiations.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Akar’s trip was part of boarder efforts by Ankara to coordinate the campaign with Russia.

He said the presence of Russian observers in Afrin was an issue that has to be discussed ahead of the operation.

“When we carry out an intervention, we need to coordinate on this, it should not impact the Russian observers,” said Cavusoglu, adding that the coordination will also cover the situation in Idlib, a militant-controlled region northwest of Syria where Turkey backs an array of anti-Damascus groups.

“We are meeting the Russians and Iran on the use of air space,” the top Turkish diplomat added.

Cavusoglu had earlier said the planned Syria operation may expand beyond Afrin to the nearby city of Manbij.

Washington angered Ankara earlier this week when it announced a plan to work with US-backed militants of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to set up a new 30,000-strong “border security” force near the Turkish border.

The force would operate along the Turkish border with Iraq and within Syria along the Euphrates River.

Cavusoglu further reiterated Turkish concerns over Kurdish militant activities near its borders and said, “Our response to this is our legitimate right to retaliate. We told the United States this.”

The White House later denied the plan, with Secretary of State Tillerson saying that the issue, which has incensed its NATO ally Ankara, had been “misportrayed, misdescribed. Some people misspoke.”

Turkey said the denial was “important,” but that it “cannot remain silent in the face of any formation which will threaten its borders.”

Ankara views the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), an offshoot of SDF, a terrorist organization linked to the homegrown Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, which has been fighting for independence inside Turkey.

Wary of the YPG’s activities at its doorstep, Turkey has repeatedly called on the US to stop supporting the Kurdish militants and take back the arms it has supplied to them under the pretext of fighting the Daesh terror group.

However, Syria has censured both the American and Turkish plans for a fresh wave of unilateral military operations on its soil. Damascus views such measures as an assault on the country’s sovereignty.

The Syrian government has also indicated that it would shoot down any Turkish planes entering its skies.

Turkey, Iran and Russia are the guarantors of a countrywide ceasefire in Syria. The three have been mediating a peace process since January 2016 among Syria’s warring sides in Astana, Kazakhstan.

As part of the Astana format, four de-escalation zones have been established across Syria amid ongoing political efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict gripping the Arab country since 2011.

The zones have helped reduce fighting significantly, while giving Turkey a breath to beef up security along its southern borders.


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8 COMMENTS

  1. The refugee/ragamuffin bandits passing for Turkish troops I saw deployed online this morning are a joke. Like my cavalry father said: “If you met them on the street you would give them a nickle.” The Kurds will be delighted to take them on. Why would Erdogan sacrifice a true soldier – let alone put one in harms way when he call fall back on would-be rabble-rousers or enfants terrible passing for infantry. Add the lunatic fringe of ISIS scum to the mix and voila – ‘Afrin here we come.’ But don’t be fooled and don’t underestimate the Turkish army. Churchill did, but what did he ever do right! The Pogues version of ‘And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda’ (Bogle) should never be far from the minds of military men. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZqN1glz4JY

    How well I remember that terrible day
    When the blood stained the sand and the water
    And how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay
    We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter
    Johnny Turk he was ready, he primed himself well
    He showered us with bullets, he rained us with
    Shells
    And in five minutes flat he’d blown us all to hell
    Nearly blew us right back to Australia…

    Oh and in case you missed it, the wedding of the year … wasn’t it grand for them… http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5294601/Apache-helicopter-pilots-exchange-vows-West-Point.html

  2. Assad made a big deal about deploying air defenses and threatening to shoot Turkish planes down. When you don’t follow through with it you look weaker. His advisers should have warned him. Better to walking softly but carry a big stick. Why would he want to get in the middle of a Kurd and Turkish fight? He has Iran and Russian partners to lean on the Turks, and they can’t do it, Syria sure as hell can’t.

  3. Assad made a big deal about deploying air defenses and threatening to shoot Turkish planes down. When you don’t follow through with it you look weaker. His advisers should have warned him. Better to walking softly but carry a big stick. Why would he want to get in the middle of a Kurd and Turkish fight? He has Iran and Russian partners to lean on the Turks, and they can’t do it, Syria sure as hell can’t.

  4. As you correctly asked the question in June 2017; The Kurds may have to face the Turkish army in Syria mano a mano.
    And as Globalization-ca in July had clearly announced them; Turkey will not fight the YPGs that are under US protection, but will fight the Kurds in Afrin (on the other side of Rojava).

    We knew from the beginning that the Kurds of Iraq and Syria were used as Trojan horses in order to divide the Middle East. And that the psychopaths with the US controllers would throw them in open country as soon as possible …
    For having translated into French and put in PDF version the Manifesto of the Democratic Confederalism, we know, insofar as the Kurdish people were betrayed by the supposed “leaders” in the pay of the US government ► https://jbl1960blog.wordpress.com/2018/01/21/comme-prevu-les-kurdes-face-a-larmee-turque-en-syrie-mano-a-mano/
    We keep our eyes open!
    Mrs. Jo Busta Lally

    • JBL1960

      You’re A Naive Baby .
      Who Said That Turkey’s Army Would like to get Entangled with Kurds in Syrian Territory ?

      Youre out of date !

      The Turks Will Only Use Bombing airraids to decimate the under Manned and USA Inc Propped up Kurdish Defenses .
      that’s How They Operate These Days .

  5. So we see Turkish planes Bombing Kurds AND Yet another time kurds get a beating . Erdogan is not Hot air but action too , I wonder why people underestimated Erdogan . to me if it’s a likelyhood that Kurds will be victims then I’d say yup can happen .

  6. The American public that gets their news from Zion main stream media are not given enough information to make a educated decision on foreign affairs , that simple as to informed Americans it’s none of Americans business we should have backed Assad and didn’t so Russia took the high ground and ZIONIST ISRAEL demand we split -up the country’s in the middle east into small helpless states and ISRAEL will then RULE over them as ISRAEL rules over America

  7. If the United States citizens had the resolve of the Syrian citizens; how much better could this world be. The Syrians are fighting a war that everyone else is losing without a single shot fired. Well, there are some shots, none the less.

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