sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Turkish Invasion of Syria

Arrests in Turkey

Operation Olive Branch
Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, opposition party leader to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK) is not criticizing the radical Muslims that have control of Turkey. One reason that Kılıçdaroğlu is being careful to not criticize the Operation is that critics get arrested.

The Interior Ministry said on Monday, the 29th, a total of 311 people had been held for “spreading terrorist propaganda” on social media in the last 10 days. Detainees have included politicians, journalists and activists. On the 28th, President Erdogan accused doctors who opposed the campaign of betrayal. 

Turkish authorities warned they would prosecute anyone opposing, criticizing or misrepresenting the incursion in northern Syria. The arrests show that the government is serious about suppressing criticism. CNN-TURK is the propaganda arm of the Erdogan government and continue to spew optimistic rhetoric about Turkish attacks on Kurds who did not attack or threaten Turkey -- referred to as "terrorists".

Operation Olive Branch (Turkish Invasion of Syrian Kurdistan)

Eleven days into the operation, Turkish forces and Turkish proxy forces have not captured Afrin. On the 29th, Syrian Kurdish fighters mounted a counter-attack to retake the hill between Afrin and Azaz that the Turks obtained disputed control over on Sunday. The Turks scheduled a press session with CNN-TURK to announce victory in regard taking the hill for the 29th, but canceled it because the hill was not secure.

The might of a Turkish armored division supported by militia, aircraft and artillery can't take a hill in Syria...how embarrassing. How pathetic. (The tankers know when they move their tanks forward, US made fire-and-forget missiles blow them up.)
The Syrian Kurds in Afrin are negotiating terms ceding control to Damascus. A spokesman told Izvestiya on the 29th, "We are ready to give up the city and the areas surrounding it, but we must receive guarantees that our interests will not suffer by doing so."
Since 22 January, the Russians have been advising the Syrian Kurds to transfer control of the city and its environs to Damascus in order to limit the Turkish invasion. Russia has been negotiating the terms of a compromise on behalf of the Syrian government.

The Syrian defense ministry spokesman said the Syrian army is prepared to march into Afrin if ordered. That would present the Turks with another complication to President Erdogan’s quick operation against "terrorists" in northern Syria.

The Russians are engaged in a balancing act with the Kurds, similar to the US, but on a smaller scale. The Russians oppose Kurdish autonomy, but also protected them the Kurds against the Turks during Operation Euphrates Shield. The Russian solution is for the Kurds to work with the Syrian government and under its protection, rather than try to negotiate a separate status.

Comment:

Killing Kurds for fun and profit (a Turkish national pastime that runs back well over a century) has proved to be much more difficult than the Turks anticipated in Syria primarily because the Kurds were trained and armed by the US. The US provided DEFENSIVE weapons that are effective against the combined arm mix that the Turks are throwing at them.


16 comments:

  1. Excellent update and summary. Far better than we are getting from the professional journalists.

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    1. In the US the elite media talks about how much they hate President Trump and Fox is fair and balanced, but the coverage of news outside of Presidential politics or the salacious gossip clickbait seems not to exist.

      Thank you for your comment.

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  2. I second CW- very interesting. I had no idea that the anti tank missiles and manpads were so effective in leveling the battlefield.

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    1. Recall the Yom Kippur (1973) War and the Israeli counterattack at the seam between the two Egyptian armies. The Israelis crossed the Suez Canal into Egypt, and began slowly advancing southward and westward towards the city of Suez. The Israelis were at that point in an area dominated by effective Russian made surface to air missiles and their air force took losses. Their armor also took losses from Russian-made Sagger anti-tank missiles. To take ground, they had to run the gauntlet. After a week of attrition on both sides, they came to a peace arrangement.

      The Turks placed themselves into the same situation here. The rolling hills around Afrin are perfect for the Kurdish defense in depth and their air force dare not engage in close support for fear of MANPADS.

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  3. Simple (and comparatively cheap) weapons can be very effective. Witness how IEDs have forced the redesign of nearly all US combat vehicles. Even the Abrams tank has been redesigned.

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  4. Seeing how the Kurds are kicking the Turks butts, again, how in the hell does Erdogan even think he can attack our troops?

    His forces would be slaughtered!

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    1. The US has capabilities that the Turks don't have and we have been continually at war for the past seventeen years. Our war machine is tuned and capable. One reason that the Russians invaded Syria was to give their army some trigger time and work out the kinks. The Turks conspire with Iran and at the same time are fighting with Iranian proxies at Idib. They make common cause with the Russians, but the Russians neither trust nor like them and they neither trust or like the Russians. Syria could decide that Afrin is inside Syria and send their army (supported by the Russians) in to oppose the Turks and ally with the Kurds.

      It's a can of worms and the LAST thing that the Turks need is to run headlong into a US combined arms force heavy with Apache helicopters that were designed to destroy Russian tanks (in the Fulda Gap).

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  5. Sultan Erdogan seems far better at killing his own people than he does the Kurds. Of course the latter fight back, not that you'd know it from our salacious, lying, clickbait media.

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    1. Erdogan's people are disarmed... There's a lesson there.

      Free men and women have the right to bear arms. Slaves do not.

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  6. Curious as to your thoughts on Saudi Arabia. It seems some of the princes that were arrested have now been released.

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    1. It is the magic kingdom and everything is subject to negotiation. The Royal Family are best envisaged as a room full of chameleons making love.

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  7. Ah yes, those 'pesky' Kurds... Now better armed than the Turks, quelle surprise that the Turks can't get it done.

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    1. The fire-and-forget weapons have reached a higher art than when we were younger. There is no more wire guidance system where you can shoot at the source of the TOW missile and the Stingers are quite refined against countermeasures.

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