Russia urges restraint amid escalation in Afrin
Editor’s Note: Erdogan is following through on his threatened attack in the eastern Syria Kurdish enclave of Afrin. Turkish fighter bombers and artillery began softening up strikes on the YPG perimeter positions.
One would expect those to have been abandoned by the Kurds before getting blown up for no good reason. The YPG has promised to resist, but the match is a David and Goliath one from start to finish, more Syrian war theatrics by the Erdo man, who changes sides faster than underwear.
Those begin with Erdogan’s fake threat hyping. The Afrin Kurds have neither the strength nor desire to attack inside Turkey. I strongly suspect Erdogan had a commando team put into Syria to fire a few rockets at the Turkish Kilis border town that reported such today so he would have his casus belli.
It fooled no one. The YPG would not waste ammo that way. The Kurds will need it for a fighting retreat, but to where remains to be seen, including if Turkish planes would bomb them in retreat.
As I had expected, despite the huge number of Turkish troops at Erdogan’s command, we may not see any Turkish infantry going man to man with the YPG dangerous terrorists. Like the US Coalition, disposable proxy troops are to be used for that.
Not only are Syrian Kurdish troops doing nothing offensively in Turkey, what had been real combat inside Turkey with Kurdish separatists has been very quiet for some time. For us untrusting souls here at VT, we suspect that Erdogan wants a bigger military footprint inside Syrian going into the Sochi talks at the end of the month.
As for Turkey’s Syrian ceasefire partners, Russia’s response was the most lame, “urging restraint”, and demanding the operation to end (which will be ignored), while Iran went further, requesting that “Turkey must give assurances that it does not covet any part of the Syrian soil.”
Erdogan will say yes to this of course, and then do whatever he wants, knowing that no one is going to do anything about it. He has already tested the waters, coming right out and say he will take Manbij in the west next, where the US-supported Kurds are.
General Mattis said today that the Turkish general command is keeping the US advised of its operations. That was the US “OK” approval for the action, a scare tactic the US can use on their Kurds in the future, “do what we say or we will leave you for the Turks to deal with”.
The Eastern SDF Kurds are struggling with fierce counter attacks by what we were told was a decimated ISIS in SW Deir Ezzor province. It seems the SDF has neither US drones helping them out, nor enough training to not allow a VIBED to drive right through the front gate of a local SDF command post and blow it to kingdom come.
I have noticed this all through the Syrian War in all the videos we see, where TOWs are taking armor out. The SAA troops don’t seem to post spotters for incoming missiles to give them few seconds of warning that can be so critical.