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Regional geopolitics

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  • Hakob
    kurds can kiss erdoghan’s ass.
    And I do not worry turks taking part of Syria. That will only enlarge the friction between turkey and Syria/Russia and Iran soon or later.
    US probably still thinks that oh well, it’s still a NATO country occupying Syrian soil (what about if it’s intentional?)
    But soon or later turkey has to show its NATO worth by opposing Syria/Russia more stronger.
    Erdoghan is sneaking incracks of vacuum between NATO and Russia/Iran.
    But this is just a prelude in game, because both, Russia vs west and Iran vs west/Israel/SA conflict is getting hotter.
    It will be very hard for Turks to not get pounded by any one side if it miscalculates it’s chances.

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  • Vrej1915

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  • Azad
    The two face turks have played their game correctly with timing.
    While all the world powers are arguing on Assad’s regime, they weaseled all sides and got one part of what they wanted.
    Russia should find a way to entice turks and shekelists go at each other. That will alienate turks with NATO and keeps the shekelists preoccupied with their conflict, instead of obsessing with Iran and creating conflicts all over the ME. Things do not look too good.

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  • Hakob
    Now it is abvious that Americans do not have a reliable fighter ally in kurds in the region. This will embolden Syrians, Russia and Iran to challenge US presence there.
    The SU 57s there, look like are a Russian preparation to challenge US/Israel.
    Kurds will pay very heavy price for not putting up a fight.
    Now it is even less likely that US will confront Turks in any way in order to stop their advance towards Manbij.

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  • Hakob
    Originally posted by Vrej1915 View Post
    Kurdish forces suffer horrific losses in Afrin battle – statistics

    By Andrew Illingworth

    Rate Article (5 / 1)

    BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:05 P.M.) – Kurdish paramilitary forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) have endured horrific losses over the course of Turkey’s ‘Olive Branch’ operation in the Afrin region of Syria’s Aleppo province.

    The near two-month long offensive by the Turkish Armed Forces and proxy militias under its command saw – for the first time ever – Syrian Kurdish forces dual it out with an opponent with vastly superior firepower resources.

    Syrian conflict monitor sources are now reporting that from the point of the initial incursion of Turkish-backed forces into Afrin’s countryside until the capture of the regional capital (the city of Afrin) on Sunday, Kurdish paramilitary ranks suffered around 1,500 fighters killed in action

    This statistic is far more believable that Ankara’s claim that around four thousand YPG and Islamic State (a complete lie stated for political purposes only) fighters have been killed.

    In any case, 1,500 fighters is a huge number to lose one one just battlefront during less than two months.

    Turkish airstrikes and artillery bombardment are widely believed to be the main source of YPG losses since the start of the Afrin operation.

    ???. Afrin was supposed to be a perfect environment for kurds to bleed Turks heavily.
    City fight is where conventional forces suffer the most because defenders can blur and mix battle lines in city, making heavy bombardment without attacker’s losss impossible.
    Am I right?
    So what went wrong?
    In every war in past we see attackers suffering heaviest when taking population areas.
    In some historic battles defenders holed up for months, breaking attacker’s morale and manpower.
    Kurds... they have been talking big but acting like mice.
    All I have seen in this war is kurds lobbing rockets at Turks from far in mountains. If not ATGMs then there is no any battle evidence at all.
    I guess kurds have only been good at abducting cristian women and children and robbing and killing unarmed Armenian peasants in their history.
    Paper tigers.
    I am not convinced now that they will do any harm to Turks by fighting as partisans. Looking how much they have done it turkey, the future is clear. They are not a nation in any world measure.
    Last edited by Hakob; 03-18-2018, 03:25 PM.

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  • Vrej1915
    Quarter million new Syrian refugees. Turks take Afrin city. Al Ghouta about to fall to Assad

    debka Mar 18, 2018

    The Turkish army and its surrogates took control on Sunday March 18 of the Kurdish Afrin City in northern Syria, as some 200,000 Kurds fled the town of a million inhabitants. It is unclear what happened to the Kurdish YPG militia holding the town against the Turkish invaders and their local surrogate, the “Free Syrian Army. Some say they withdrew and mingled among the constant stream of refugees fleeing north towards areas under Syrian military control; others that the YPG is regrouping for a counter-offensive. But meanwhile, Turkish bulldozers knocked over the statue of a Kurdish hero in Afrin town center and surrounding buildings were arrayed with Turkish flags.
    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan could boast that his army had taken control of Afrin city, although it took nearly two months to complete Operation Olive Branch and achieve its object of expelling the leading Kurdish party and militia from one of its main cantons in northern Syria.
    The US and Russia went through the motions of trying to dissuade Erdogan from this path to avert the major humanitarian catastrophe which is now at hand. However, they did not actually lift a finger to stop him. The Turkish president played the game by sending delegations to Washington and Moscow to hear their arguments, but his only object was to chalk up diplomatic mileage and buy time for his army to reach its goal.
    The capture of Afrin is proving to be stage one of Erdogan’s campaign of expansion. He used the free hand granted him to recruit 30 Syrian Sunni militias for doing his bidding in northern Syria. Now, he has the brass to claim equal standing in northern Syria with Russia and the United States and demand that the two powers give his wishes due consideration.
    With the Turks evidently on the march, DEBKAfile’s military sources disclose that, on Saturday, March 17, US forces based in northern Syria began redeploying to new positions for defending Manbij, another Syrian Kurdish town coveted by the Turkish president. This town is his next target, once the Turkish army winds up its Afrin operation. Marine Corps Lt, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, Director of the Joint Operations Staff, ordered Marine reinforcements transferred to Manbij and US units based in Iraq to cross the border and head for the Kurdish areas of northern Syria.
    In another part of Syria, Bashar Assad, like Erdogan, is looking forward to an imminent victory for his army and allies, after a month of the some of the bloodiest warfare in the civil war. East Ghouta, the last rebel stronghold in the Damascus area, is about to fall. Sunday, a spokesman for the Fallaq al-Rahman, the leading rebel group still holding out in the southern pocket of the enclave, said his group was in negotiations for a ceasefire “to guarantee the safety of civilians.” DEBKAfile: They are in fact negotiating for terms of surrender. The insurgents are in a hopeless situation. Lacking the weapons for fighting off the air, ground missile and artillery barrages aimed at them, they never stood a real chance of winning the day against the merciless bombardment inflicted indiscriminately on the enclave and its inhabitants by the Syrian army, with Russian air force and pro-Iranian Shiite militia backing.
    Hundreds of civilians died in the merciless month-long hammering. According to UN estimates, at least 25,000 civilians have fled the enclave in the past week alone – many on foot with their belongings on their backs. Both the Turkish and Syrian presidents remained unmoved throughout by the horrors attending their brutal assaults on the civilian populations of the two enclaves, and the deaths and privations of women, children, the sick and the wounded. And the world stands by as another quarter of a million Syrian civilians flee their homes for unknown destinations. Altogether it is estimated that the Syrian war has resulted in more than 12 million refugees and displaced persons, of whom 5 million fled across the border

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  • Vrej1915
    Two more Russian topline Su-57 land in Syria to challenge US, Israeli air might

    debka Feb 24, 2018

    Sukhoi-57, Russia, US, Israel, Syria

    Government sources in Moscow reported Saturday, Feb. 24, that four fifth-generation Sukhoi-57 jet fighters are currently deployed in Syria after a second pair landed Friday. The first two arrived on Monday, Feb. 19 at Russia’s Khmeimim air base, along with 4 Su-35 fighters, 4 Su-25 strike aircraft and an A-50U radar command-and-control platform.
    DEBKA file reported the first pair’s arrival on Friday, Feb. 23, along with this comment: This top-performance fleet raises Russia’s air strike and defense capabilities in Syria to the highest standards of any air force in the world, with enough power to take on superior US and Israeli air might in the Syrian arena. The Su-57’s weapon bays are designed to carry Russia’s new nuclear tactical X-50 air-launched cruise missile, although it is not known whether the aircraft in Syria are carrying them. DEBKA Weekly’s military sources see President Vladimir Putin’s decision to send the Su-57 fighters to Syria as substantially raising the big power stakes in Syria after the loss of dozens of Russian troops on Feb. 7 to massive US artillery and air strikes that decimated the Russian, Syrian and pro-Iranian forces crossing the Euphrates River. An American radar-invisible F-22 took part in that raid. The Russians have dubbed the Su-57 the “F-22 killer.”
    It is also Russia’s response to Israel’s air offensive on Feb. 10, which targeted the shared Russian-Iranian T-4 air base near Palmyra and smashed four Iranian Revolutionary Guards forward command centers in Syria, after downing an Iranian drone. It is also seen in Moscow as a challenge for Israel’s newly acquired fifth-generation US F-35 combat aircraft.
    Does Putin intend to order his mighty airborne strike force to go into battle against the US or Israel in the boiling Syrian arena? If he does, he will be launching the first contest between the most sophisticated warplanes ever devised for a test of superior might between the US and Russia and a war escalation unprecedented, even in Syria.
    The very presence of the Su-57 across the border has had the instant effect of reducing the Israel air force’s freedom of action over Syria and Lebanon. The landing of the Russian Sukhoi-57 in Syria and its dire implications were first revealed in the latest DEBKA

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  • Azad
    None of the countries in the region want a Kurdish State. The US was only using them to please israel, potentially destabilizing Iran.
    The kurds needed lots of Manpads and ATGMs . Even the US was hesitant to arm them with proper defense. Trucks and Hummers isn’t going to cut it.
    Did not want to see the turks emboldened.

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  • Vrej1915
    Syria war: Turkish-led forces oust Kurdish fighters from heart of Afrin

    • BBC
    Media captionFootage shows destroyed statues and flags being raised in the centre of Afrin
    Turkish-backed forces have taken full control of the centre of the Syrian-Kurdish city of Afrin.

    Fighters waved flags and tore down the statue of a legendary Kurdish figure after claiming the city centre on Sunday.

    The two-month Turkish-led operation aimed to rid the border region of a Kurdish militia that Turkey considers a terrorist group.

    Activists say 280 civilians have died, although this is denied by Ankara.

    Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that "units of the Free Syrian Army... took control of the centre of Afrin this morning". Image copyrightREUTERS Image captionTurkish forces and the Free Syrian Army entered Afrin on Sunday
    Operations continued on Sunday to clear mines and remaining Kurdish resistance elsewhere in Afrin.

    "Most of the terrorists have already fled with tails between their legs," the Turkish president said.

    "In the centre of Afrin, symbols of trust and stability are waving instead of rags of terrorists."
    Pictures and video footage emerged of forces tearing down a Kurdish statue with a bulldozer.

    The monument depicted the blacksmith Kawa, a legendary figure for Kurds. Image copyrightAFP Image captionSyrian rebels celebrated after the statue of Kawa was brought down in the centre of Afrin
    A statement on a Whatsapp group for the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces called it the "first blatant violation of Kurdish people's culture and history since the takeover of Afrin".

    A Turkish armed forces Twitter page posted a video of troops displaying the nation's flag in Afrin's centre.
    Skip Twitter post by @TSKGnkur
    End of Twitter post by @TSKGnkur

    Mohammad al-Hamadeen, spokesman for the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA), said they met no resistance as they entered Afrin on three fronts.

    "Maybe it will be cleared by the end of the day - it is empty of [YPG] fighters, they cleared out," he said.

    Turkish military spokesman Bekir xxxdag said the campaign would continue until the area around Afrin was secure. Media captionA short guide to the Syrian civil war
    He said the YPG's "terrorism corridor" in Afrin was over.

    However, in a televised statement, the co-chair of the Afrin executive council, Othman Sheikh Issa, said the war against Turkey had entered "a new stage".

    Kurdish forces remained in the region and would "strike the positions of the Turkish enemy and its mercenaries at every opportunity", he said.

    "Our forces all over Afrin will become a constant nightmare for them," he added.

    The statement also said civilians had not fled, but were evacuated "to avoid a worse catastrophe". Image copyrightAFP/GETTY Image captionCivilians have fled Afrin in the past few days
    Will Turkey press on?

    By Mark Lowen, BBC Turkey Correspondent

    President Erdogan has achieved his twin objectives: to remove a key area under YPG control and to rally the vast majority of Turks behind their commander-in-chief. The jingoism here has been breathtaking. Targeting Turkey's age-old enemy of the Kurdish militants is a rare uniting force in a polarised country. Those who have spoken out - several hundred - have been detained for "terrorism propaganda".

    The question now is whether Turkey pushes on to other YPG-held areas, namely Manbij, which could put Turkish troops in direct conflict with US soldiers there who see the YPG as allies. That depends on talks between Ankara and Washington, and the sacking of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last week removes an important interlocutor for Turkey.

    The risk in Afrin is that many residents who will return are Kurdish and could see Turkey as the aggressor. Tearing down a Kurdish statue in the town centre doesn't augur well. Will the Afrin operation actually push more local people into the arms of the YPG?
    Why has Turkey taken Afrin?

    The Turkish assault on Afrin, named Operation Olive Branch, began on 20 January, with the aim of ridding the city and surrounding region of the YPG.

    Turkey regards the YPG as an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has fought for Kurdish autonomy in south-eastern Turkey for three decades.

    The YPG denies any direct organisational links to the PKK - an assertion backed by the US, which is allied with the YPG in the battle against the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) in Syria.
    US plans to help form a Kurdish border force set alarm bells ringing in Ankara, and prompted the launch of Operation Olive Branch.

    President Erdogan vowed to "suffocate" what he called a "terror army."

    Turkey also announced plans to push Kurdish forces from Manbij, another city near the border. What is the Free Syrian Army?

    Backed by Turkey, the Free Syrian Army is a rebel group operating in the north of the country.

    It is helping Turkey to secure its border with Syria, and has fought against the Syrian army, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and the Islamic State group.What is happening elsewhere in Syria?

    The assault in the north-west coincides with a Syrian and Russian offensive on Eastern Ghouta, an enclave near Damascus.

    The Syrian army is pushing into the area with the support of Russian air strikes, and there are reports of civilian casualties.
    The pro-government assault is said to have captured 80% of the enclave. Seizing it would be a major victory for President Bashar al-Assad, who reportedly visited Syrian troops in the Eastern Ghouta on Sunday.

    State television broadcast images of the president in shirt and jacket surrounded by soldiers in an unspecified part of the district.

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  • Vrej1915
    Turkish-backed rebels loot Afrin city

    By Brecht Jonkers

    DAMASCUS, SYRIA (07:45 PM) – According to reports, units of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA), the Turkish-backed rebel organisation that fights both the Syrian government and Kurdish militias alike, has went on a rampage of plundering in recently conquered areas of Afrin.

    The FSA reportedly has started looting all across the city of Afrin after asserting full control over the city on Sunday, plundering civilian residences belonging to people who fled from the violence.

    Reports also have it that different groups within the FSA have violently clashed with one another, either over disapproval of the plundering or due to disagreements on how the spoils of plunder should be divided amongst the rebel forces.

    The FSA was one of the earliers Syrian rebel organisations, founded in 2011, but quickly lost relevance in the ensuing conflict. It subsequently all but disappeared to the background until 2016, when the FSA was chosen as Turkey’s strategical ally in the Euphrates Shield campaign, and later in the Turkish invasion of the Afrin district.

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