sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Operation Olive Branch - Continues

It's Day 5 of Operation Olive Branch in Syrian Kurdistan. There have been no significant changes in the security situation in northern Syria, but Turkey began carrying out its threat to attack Manbij.
Turkish President Erdogan said he plans to "foil games along our borders starting from Manbij." He said that Turkey would "clean our region from this trouble completely.”
The Turks promise the 'mother of all wars' in Manbij since they had their asses handed to them in Afrin. (yada-yada-yada)

Attacks on Manbij will be a test of intentions for all parties. The Syrian Kurds plan to resist the Turks there, they're well armed, supplied, and morale is high.

To break the Kurdish resistance, the Turkish aircraft must supply close support to the armor and fly low... or they need to send dismounted infantry forward and that means a LOT of dead Turks (and their Syrian allies). What to do?

Erdoğan underlined that the operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, U.N. Security Council resolutions, its right to self-defense under the U.N. charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, sources said.

The Turkish military said on Wednesday, the 24th, that 260 Kurdish and Islamic State (ISIL) fighters were killed. You can always tell when things aren't going well when they multiply the body count by 10x(+)

Turkish Modification - The political isolation and negative blowback have prompted the Turks to modify their propaganda about the targets of the Operation. Now the Turks are talking about killing Islamic State fighters. The Turks have always identified the Syrian Kurds as terrorists, but the Operation was aimed initially at Syrian supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)

In the past two days, daily situation reports always include Islamic State targets struck and fighters killed. However, last March, Erdogan claimed that Operation Euphrates Shield succeeded in clearing Islamic State fighters from the border zone. 

The Syrian Kurds in Afrin insisted the Islamic State never had a presence in Afrin and still has none. In other regions, the Kurds drove the Islamic State fighters down to Raqqa.

Another addition to the Turkish list of justifications is refugees. The latest purpose of Operation Olive Branch is to prepare a safe zone for 3.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey to resettle in northern Syria. This is the humanitarian dimension of Olive Branch.

Analysis: Turkish strong man Erdoğan, could order the entire Turkish Army into Syria, accept that he'll loose 1/3 of his expensive German made tanks (or more) and tens of thousands of soldiers. But he doesn't want to do that because even with those losses, "winning" may not be the outcome. I expect that General Mattis is sitting back, eating popcorn, and watching the show.

If the Turks sent their entire army into Syria, the Syrians wouldn't sit on the sidelines. They'd have to do something about a general invasion and then their Russian allies...and so forth would be involved. 

18 comments:

  1. Keep this commentary coming. Tap into your sources and keep us informed, LL!

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  2. Don't the Turks have any LR artillery or missiles? They are a NATO country, don't they have any decent artillery units that they can just pound the Kurds into dust?

    I haven't read anything about them using it.

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    1. The Kurds have some radar-supported tube artillery that is dedicated to counter-battery fire. Which means that shoot-and-scoot is the name of the game for the Turks. As soon as the round is in the air toward a designated artillery target, the Kurds have a round down range toward the Turks. Then the Kurds scoot.

      As to rocket artillery, it has very limited use agains widely disbursed infantry, dug in, well supplied, with high morale and a thirst for Turkish blood. You could inundate a grid in the HOPE of taking out the Kurdish AT weapons. Then you send in tanks to see if it worked...

      The best thing that the Turks could do is send in close air support/helicopters to cover the armored advance. But the Stinger missiles would take them out. Jets don't have the capacity to linger while the armor rolls forward, clearing out mines or whatever obstacles are in their way.

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    2. Wow!

      I didn't know that the Kurds had counter-battery fire capabilities.But that does explain a lot.

      Thanks!

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    3. They have limited capability in terms of bombardment, but it doesn't take much to counter-battery the Turks. And that works very quickly with modern equipment. The Turks literally must be moving immediately after shooting to avoid destruction. Most disconcerting.

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  3. Seems the Germans are upset enough to stop supplying Turkey with upgrades for their tanks.
    Reportedly since the 1980's Turkey has purchased around 750 tanks. Given the advances in anti-armor since then, you wonder how many are obsolete.

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    1. I think that most of the Leopard 1 tanks have retrofitted reactive armor (useless against what we gave the Kurds) and the Leopard 2 tanks have reactive armor integrated. One problem with reactive armor is that it kills infantry near the tank, so they need to give the tanks some distance. I'm sure that the Germans would be happy to keep supplying them tanks as the Kurds blow them up. Keeping up Turkish tanker morale is a larger problem. When the tanks are blown up every time they move forward, it makes it tough to motivate crews. The rolling countryside is perfect for anti-tank weapons. The rule of thumb is that by the time the Turkish tanks close to within 3 miles of the Kurds, the fire-and-forget missiles take them out. The Turks could send dismounted infantry 4 miles ahead of the tanks to make it safe for them to move forward... But even then, who is to say that the Kurds don't have deep holes and that the Turks won't find them until the armor rolls up?

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  4. Yep, more popcorn... I wonder what's flying out of the 'Lick' these days...

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    1. I don't know. I do know that I wouldn't want to be based there.

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  5. Interesting.....

    Are the Kurds still considered "Good Guys"? I seem to remember they had that reputation during their fighting in Iraq before we screwed things up.

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    1. As with all things, it depends where you stand. As a people they specialize in growing opium poppies for their cash crop - and have for a thousand years. The Turks hate them - because. They have been allies of the US but have socialist leanings.

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  6. Sultan Erdogan is a far cry from Mehmed and it looks as though his tanks are melting into the rolling topography of Syria. In the meanwhile, the 3rd Rome is waiting in the wings.

    Will it retake the Bosphorus? Yes, please.

    OK, we can hope.

    LOCK HER UP.

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    1. Pushing Mohammedans out of Constantinople would certainly cause a few ripples.

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  7. Your blog saves me a lot of time. The fastest way to be updated on relevant subjects and what the key points are.

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    1. That's flattering, John, but it's simply what the news media should be reporting - but they never seem to, at least in the US. The elite media is working constantly to overthrow the presidency, and if something, somewhere in the world doesn't fit that narrative, it isn't reported.

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    2. Trump visited Davos and did a great job. He presented the new business opportunities in the US and welcomed investors and companies. The same day Dow Jones add new points to the index and are all time high. Following the media today I really saw how little the MSM understand about what matters for a country where people want to have jobs and a better future. Trump made a wise decision to show up and he put the record straight. The contrast between the left wanting to expand government budgets and Trump actually creating what it takes to make the economy prosper is huge. Hopefully he will also harvest the results from it when most legal US citizens also get the experience of what makes their life better. But the MSM are doing their best to undermine their own country. When the president is there to do a great job to promote the USA and attract investments Obama in comparison went to Paris to become popular by giving a away money and increase the tax payers burden. Why do not the journalists understand what benefit the US taxpayer?

      Keep on the good work with the reports. I might ending up with becoming a paying subscriber.

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    3. The progressive movement doesn't want prosperity. They want DEPENDENCY on the government. Prosperity means that people feel empowered without the government handing them something (that it stole) from somebody else.

      Since the corrupt, sly, elite, media is the propaganda arm of the progressive movement, it would naturally condemn anything that made people more free from a yoke. I think that the journalists understand this perfectly. That's why they hate President Trump. The president wants to make America great again. That's precisely the opposite stance to the Democrat agenda and to the agenda of those who oppose both President Trump and the American people.

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