Day 20

Blog Post
The Turks have been teaching the Kurds a lesson now for twenty days in Operation Olive Branch. CNN-TURK, the propaganda arm of the Islamic Republic claims that the Turkish Army “neutralized” some 1,028 elements of Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Iraqi Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Islamic State in its Afrin operation. 

Speaking to the heads of local governments, President Erdogan said the Turkish army will ‘’destroy the threat of terrorism in Idlib after doing so in Afrin. We will continue fighting terrorism, even despite the calls to stop the operation in Afrin.” 

He also said that Turkey was committed to clearing the north-western areas of Syria from terrorists in order to ensure the return of refugees to their homeland.

Playing to a gaggle of local civic leaders is not delivering Kurdish heads on a plate as Erdogan knows, but he’s keeping up the rhetoric, and CNN-TURK is reporting every slurred word as if it was carved in stone on the side of a mountain. 
The turks have been launching repeated air and artillery attacks on the city that the Kurds evacuated twenty days ago to “soften up the Kurds” so that they could send in tanks and troops to march into the city. The Turkish air force ceased attacks for several days this week after the downing of the Russian ground attack aircraft, but resumed on the night of 8 February.
The Russians reportedly told the Turks that they were setting up a new air defense system in Afrin in the aftermath of the downing of the Russian ground attack aircraft near Idlib. The Syrians also told the Turks that Syria was upgrading its air surveillance and missile and gun air defense systems in the northwest.
The Turks have overreached in Syria and have not “liberated” Afrin. Their inability to control their proxy fighters finally has generated a reaction from the Russians and the Syrians.

Multiple news agencies report a surge in fighting in Syria again, mostly because of increased Syrian operations to recapture all Syrian territory and because of Turkey’s Olive Branch operations. There are eight important actors in Syria including the Saudi/Al Qaeda and none of their interests appear congruent. They even do not agree on the desirability of an end to the fighting.

14 thoughts on “Day 20

  1. The Russians are installing nodes of a S-400 “Triumf” (NATO SA-21 Growler) surface to air system in Afrin to shoot down American made Turkish F-16's that are bombing Afrin. Naturally, the system will be crewed by Russians. This in reaction to the Turkish irregulars shooting down a Russian aircraft elsewhere in Syria.

    The Syrians are making noise about coming to the aid of the besieged Kurds as well, likely for the purpose of churning up good will. I expect that you'll see Syrian armor roll into Afrin before you see Turkish armor there. The establishment of Russian SAM's is a first step for them. The Russian anti-aircraft system is superb.

    All this goes to Kurds who are also armed by the US.

    It appears as though everyone wants to punk the Turks. Which isn't a bad thing.

  2. "It appears as though everyone wants to punk the Turks. Which isn't a bad thing."

    Domestic consequences for Turkey?

  3. +1 on Ed. If you don't follow this stuff as closely as you do,it can get really confusing. Mainly because who ever we are pulling for today will be our enemy tomorrow.

  4. Difficult to say. It depends on the army. They can overthrow Erdogan if they decide to. I'm sure that the bribes to the generals are considerable.

  5. The Russians really are not our enemies in Syria, though we do have competing interests. They want Assad to stay and we'd rather see somebody (not controlled by Iran) running the place. Iran isn't our friend but they are careful not to step on American toes. The Saudis/Al Qaeda can't be said to be friends, but are the Saudis our enemy (in Syria)?

    Very confusing – then there are the Chinese.

  6. Sultan Erdogan's going to have to do better than this if he's going to establish the Caliphate of his dreams. Mind you, he could always cut his losses in Syria and attack Europe. It's not as though he'd face any armed opposition.

  7. The Turks have already successfully occupied Germany. The last time I was in Berlin, there were more Turkish flags flying than German flags. Yes, strange, but the again, they doubled down and invited 1 million military age Muslim savages into the country.

    An attack on Britain might work since they're in the process of dismantling their military. The Brits has burkah day (your blow) as a sign that a Turkish invasion would be welcome.

  8. Fascinating. I'm amazed we don't see more news of this conflict, but then again that would require some actual journalism.
    I'm also quite interested to see what, if any, this little adventure has on Erdogan domestically. It's amazing that the Turks, with their modern army and fairly well trained troops, can't overrun Kurdish irregulars sitting very nearly on the border. This should have been a week long campaign.
    Keep up the commentary, LL, it's much appreciated.

  9. CNN and MSNBC stopped reporting the news a couple years before Barack was elected. I'm sure that most people who work at those outlets are young and don't recall the days when the news reported news and not Democrat Party Propaganda.

  10. At least we have your blog and a few others to look at, since there is no good news source any more.

  11. I try to shine a light here or there, but what I do is pretty light weight. Still, thank you for appreciating the work that I do.

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