Last Wednesday, Turkey rolled over the Turkey-Syria border allegedly to combat ISIS forces but they focused on the area around Jarabulus. Jarfubulus is the area the Kurds were poised to take over.
With 20 Turkish tanks and 100 Turkish troops from Karkamis” — the border town in Turkey –the Turks headed through the villages west of the city and then on to Jarabulus. Behind them were the US-backed Free Syrian Army jihadis and other Arabs.
They were assisted by 12 United States airstrikes, pretending to combat ISIS forces, though the strikes were around Jarabulus and against the Kurds who were moving in.
It is a turning point in the Syrian war and the first time Turkey has invaded Syria’s borders.
The Turks have several goals: they want to destroy Assad, they do not want a Kurdish enclave near Turkey and they want to accrue territory. They have actually allied themselves with ISIS.
They marched in with the Western-backed terrorists/freedom fighters — the Free Syrian Army — and quickly announced they took back the border town of Jarablus, which has become a known jihadist safe zone. There was little resistance.
The Free Syrian Army includes Arabs and jihadists. We have at least indirectly supported the nusra terrorists and armed them. The left knows it but they don’t want to come out too strongly against their president.
— ANADOLU AGENCY (ENG) (@anadoluagency) August 24, 2016
The Turks aren’t planning to leave any time soon. According to the Turkish government, Operation Euphrates Shield will “create a safe zone” that will be 90 kilometers long and 40 kilometers wide that stretches roughly from the town of Jarablus to the town of Marea.
That is a a great deal of land and the Turks obviously have no plan to leave. They already have military forces occupying portions of northern Iraq. They killed Kurds in the region while they were at it. This move helps them inch their way towards their dream of a new Ottoman Empire while eliminating the competition.
Once the Turkish tanks had established their position on a hill west of Jarabulus, they began firing on the fragmented IS units in the city. But they also fired on those troops that had likewise been seeking to liberate Jarabulus from IS: the Kurdish-controlled SDF militia, which had advanced on the city from the south. For the Turks, it was a two-fold success: For one, they attacked IS, which Ankara believes was behind the attack last weekend on a wedding in Gaziantep which killed over 50 people. For another, Turkey was able to pursue its primary goal of stopping the advance of the Kurds, who are seeking to establish a contiguous territory stretching across all of northern Syria. That is something Ankara wants to prevent at all costs.
The Turks want their Caliphate; destroy the Kurds; and topple Assad. The Russians want to be dominant in the region and the US wants to defeat ISIS. It’s a fractured war.
Russians are willing to swap out Assad for a general of their choice after the war in Syria is ended and it appears Turkey is cooperating with that vision.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said last weekend that Turkey would tolerate an Assad-led transition government. The deal would involve concessions for Turkey in exchange for Ankara’s agreement that Assad could remain in power for the time being. Russia, meanwhile, would then drop the Kurds as an ally, a partnership that only came into being last autumn.
Al-Masdar reports on the progress of the Turkish military offensive by writing:
The Turkish Special Forces, alongside the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Faylaq Al-Sham, reportedly captured their first village during this new offensive dubbed “Operation Euphrates Shield.” According to Faylaq Al-Sham’s official media wing, their forces captured the village of Tal Katlijah after the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) terrorists quickly abandoned the area in order to reinforce Jarabulus.
ISIS has mostly abandoned the small area between Jarabulus and the Turkish border, leaving only small units to resist the advancing Turkish-backed rebels.
The Turkish-backed rebels are now attacking the hilltop village of Tal Sha’er, which is along the road to Jarabulus.
The safe zone mantra gives Erdogan cover as he “works within” the same safe zone guidelines set up by NATO but his true intent is to invade Syria and drive back Kurds to keep them from establishing a country.
The porous “safe zone” is known as the Jarablus corridor, and the Turks, with the assistance of US air strikes, are now invading and filling up with terrorists as we speak.
Syria’s government has denounced Turkish military incursion, describing it as Turkey’s “blatant violation” of Syrian sovereignty.
In a statement reported by state-run news agency SANA on Wednesday, the government says that “any move to combat terrorism on Syrian territories should have been coordinated with the Syrian government and army.”
The statement also calls for an immediate end to the Turkish “aggression,” which it says is being carried out under the pretext of fighting terrorism.
It says: “Fighting terrorism cannot be undertaken by ousting Daesh and replacing it with other terrorist organizations directly backed by Turkey.” Daesh is the Arabic language acronym for IS.
The United States has refused to help the Syrian Kurds who are pro-West and do not want to form a Caliphate. As they appeared ready to move on Jarabulus, Joe Biden told them to gat back east of the Euphrates.
The Kurdish Peoples Protection Units (YPG) will lose American support if they do not retreat to east of the Euphrates.
Kurdish forces “must move back across the Euphrates River,” Biden said. “They cannot, will not, under any circumstance get American support if they do not keep that commitment.”
Turkey’s Yildirim, speaking at the same press conference, said that Turkey will not allow Kurdish advancements along its border.
Biden said Washington supported the Turkish-led operation in Jarablus and that the United States provided air cover.
“We strongly support what the Turkish military has done, we have been flying air cover for them,” Biden said, adding that “we believe very strongly that the Turkish border should be controlled by Turkey.”
Our administration, ironically, doesn’t believe we should control our own borders.
The Kurds have been steadily losing US support as they moved toward Turkey. They were supposed to move on Raqqa but changed directions and began to oust ISIS from the border region.
The Kurds have also disentangled from their alliance with Assad after Assad recruited Sunni fighters with a history of bombing the Kurds and then himself bombed Kurdish lands.
The Kurds were used:
The recent events mark an unfortunate example of history repeating itself — of the PKK allowing itself to be used by the Syrian regime only to be dropped at the whim of Damascus. For many years beginning in the 1980s, Assad’s father and predecessor Hafez Assad allowed the PKK to maintain a presence in the Syrian-occupied Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. But when Turkish tanks appeared on Syria’s northern border in 1998, Hafez turned his back on the Kurds and the PKK had to abandon its Bekaa Valley camps. That marked the beginning of Öcalan’s odyssey across the world, which ended with his arrest by Turkish special forces in Kenya.
Now, it looks as though the PKK has once again miscalculated. The group had hoped to take advantage of the US and Russian battle against IS to establish a Kurdish state in northern Syria. And Russia had been happy to use the Kurds to pressure the Turks. Now that Moscow has achieved its goal, though, it looks to be abandoning the PKK.
The Kurds and the Turks have long had a troubled relationship.
Turkey president/dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan hates the Kurds and has moved his massive army into Syria as Russian troops conduct snap military drills as they did before they invaded Crimea.
The US is siding with the radical Islamist and NATO ally/trading partner as they – Turkey – ostensibly move into Syria to fight ISIS but are in effect attacking the Kurds.
The facade of fighting ISIS is just that – a facade. ISIS has sold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stolen oil through Turkey until Russia intervened. The purpose was to attack the Kurds.
The Kurds, who only want freedom and territory to live it out, are made up of peaceful factions and the declared terrorists, the YPG. The Kurds have long been the victims of genocidal attacks. Saddam Hussein slaughtered over half a million of their people.
If this escalates, what will Russia and Iran do as the fighting continues? What creepy deals are being made? One seems certain — the pro-Western Kurds are being sold out.
It’s hard to know what is truth and what isn’t, but there are reports from Kurds that Turkey is massacring inhabitants. That will not be reported in US media.
ANHA reports Turkey backed armed groups from Jarabulus attacked Dandania village of Manbij with chemical weapons pic.twitter.com/eTaZMgXFy4
— Mutlu Civiroglu (@mutludc) August 25, 2016
The invading Turkish army was massacred Jarabulus all residents of the village of Bir El-kûsa https://t.co/2omidQutja
— Mitanni (@mitannmed) August 28, 2016