Turkish Operation Peace Spring In Northeastern Syria, Explained

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Turkish Operation Peace Spring In Northeastern Syria, Explained

Turkey officially announced that it had launched a military operation in northeastern Syria. Over the past years, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other representatives of the country’s leadership have repeatedly announced this idea. However, this time promises were turned into reality.

On October 6, the administration of US President Donald Trump released a statement saying that Turkey will soon carry out its “long-planned operation” into northern Syria. According to the statement, US forces will not “support or be involved in the operation” and “will no longer be in the immediate area”. The announcement came following a phone conversation between the US and Turkish presidents.

On October 7, US forces started withdrawing from their positons along a large chunk of the Syrian-Turkish border. US military garrisons in Tel Abyad, Tel Musa, Tel Hinzir and Tel Arqam were abandoned. US patrols in the border area were halted. The Pentagon provided no details regarding the number of troops withdrawn from the border. US mainstream media outlets mention the numbers from 50 to 100.

This US decision caused a kind of panic among leaders and members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). They simultaneously called the US decision a backstab, asked the US-led coalition to establish a no-fly zone ‘like in Iraq’ and declared their readiness to resume negotiations with Russia and the Assad government, which they just a few weeks ago were calling a ‘bloody regime’.

Kurdish armed groups, mainly the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), are the core of the SDF. The Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) dominates in the self-proclaimed administration of northeastern Syria. Ankara names the YPG, the YPJ and the PYD terrorist groups because of their links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). This separatist group is engaged in a long-standing guerrilla war against the Turkish state in an attempt to establish an independent Kurdish state on territory of southeastern Turkey. The PYD and its military wings pursue similar goals in northeastern Syria.

Ankara has reasonable concerns that funds, weapons, equipment and training provided by the US to Kurdish armed groups in northern Syria will later be used by the PKK in its fight against the Turkish government. The US-Turkish ‘safe zone’ agreement on northern Syria was designed to remove these concerns. Turkey insisted that Kurdish armed groups should be removed from the border and disarmed, or, at least, the US should stop supplying them with weapons and equipment. However, this did not happen. The peak of the US-Turkish coordination over this question was several joint patrols along the border.

By evening of October 9, Turkey had put its proxy forces on a high alert and the Turkish Air Force had bombed SDF positions near Tell Abyad, Ras al-Ayn, Kobane and al-Qamishli. The Operation Peace Spring started.

President Erdogan says that its goals are to neutralize “terror threats” along the border, establish a real safe zone and facilitate return of Syrian refugees to their homes. Besides the anti-terror declarations, one of the main points of the Turkish public rhetoric is the oppression of Arab locals by Kurdish militias.

If the Operation Peace Spring develops like Turkish operations in al-Bab and Afrin, Ankara will use its proxy groups as a first line of the ground advance and a shield for Turkish personnel deployed on the ground. Artillery, warplanes and special forces of the Turkish military will be the main striking power. Pro-Turkish sources say that about 15,000-20,000 members of pro-Turkish groups have already been mobilized. If this is true, the total number of personnel, including Turkish servicemembers, involved in the operation may reach 30,000.

At the first phase of the advance, Turkey will likely to get control of the area of the non-implemented US-Turkish safe zone. Some Turkish sources speculate that in the event of success the Turkish Army may push even towards Deir Ezzor. However, this remains unlikely in the current military and diplomatic situation in the region.

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  • Uwe

    Turkish shitty operation. I really think we will see Syria reunited again because of this invasion!

    • Rhodium 10

      Sadly we will see another Idlib province capital Raqqa…thats why Trump gives green light!…Kurds only were useful fools to defeat ISIS…USA will keep oil fields east of Eufrates and few troops to watch Shia militia ( IRGC)…

      • Tommy Jensen

        We won, and we win again. Exactly as I said, and I were the first one who said that.

        • Rhodium 10

          No so sure!…Russia also won because Turkey will have to buy Russian weapons due to next sanctions beside 2 US allies are fighting themselves!…Russia had no influence on SDF( they were strong US ally)..but has influence on Turkish as we have seen in North Hama were Russian&Syrian forces have expelled FSA from there in spite of Turkish outpost!

        • Boxman

          Yay! The same people that did 9/11 win again! If you’re American, you’re a traitorous piece of sh*t.

          • Ronald

            Actually Tommy is a satirical piece of BS.

  • Tommy Jensen

    I for my part must urge Turkey and Kurdistan to refrain from any violence, and I warn everybody that this could develop into something far worse than the situation appears to be today and it could set the whole region and the Amazonas forests, which is the worlds lungs, on fire.
    Both parties must enter into a dialogue about their personal problems and talk it over peacefully before EU can give any support, lifting of sanctions or Visa free access to those who meet EUs demands!

    • Barba_Papa

      I like your trolling. It’s very intelligent. Please keep it up, it gives me great entertainment..

    • Mustafa Mehmet

      you fu… ck. stupid mad idiot. where is urdistan?

  • MADE MAKER

    Do not trust Turkey

  • smertzakrov

    the Kurds r despised by everyone—they ethnic cleans Arabs, Persians, Christians….their alliance w USA reveals their evil nature

    • Davki

      That’s utter bull. And it’s a cheap excuse for the utterly hypocritical stance the ‘Syrian government’ is taking. On the one hand, they affirm that “we’re here for our Kurdish brothers and sister”, we fight for all Syrians etc. Yet, they won’t move a finger for their compatriotes. The ‘government’ will let Turkey kill as much as they want, and later move in.

      • smertzakrov

        u deny reality–Kurds ethnically cleanse, Arabs, Yasidi, Turks and Christians from their fake rojava

  • Boxman

    It should be obvious that Putin and Erdogan came to an agreement: Turkey annexes a big chunk of Syrian territory in exchange for a guarantee that Russian bases will remain. This was their devil’s bargain to wind down this war.

    • bytetracer

      You got it very wrong. Syria is providing soil for bases, not Turkey. Russia will not allow annexation of allied territory under any circumstances or it will loose it’s only foothold in ME.
      Agreement is most certainly in effect, but it’s goals are different.

    • Paul

      That’s incorrect. Turkey cannot do anything about the Russian presence in Syria.

    • David Doumèche

      Turkey has no means to stop Russia, and vice versa. Except by starting a conventional war which is a bad policy.
      Kurks serve no purpose in Kremlin politics and it’s more profitable to let them crushed as it discredit uncle Sam who look weak and untrustworthy.

    • acc_

      I believe they came to an agreement, but not what you suggested

      Turks would get:
      1. secured border on the South with Syria. Kurds will have to cede its territory to SAA and get disarmed and eventually absorbed/disbanded. PKK would be easier to be dealt with that way

      2. Big money and leverage over Europe: eventually with the north eastern region back under Syrian’s control, gas pipe from Iran planned by Russian and Iran can now pass through to Turkey and supplying Europe. Erdogan would love a big leverage over Europe with its gas pipe. He can force EU to kneel and follow his wishes.

      Russian & Syrian & Iran (+China) would get:

      1. integral territory of Syria: secured navy base for Russian, and security for the Syrians
      2. Reconstruction: BRI projects rebuilding Syria can proceed with China and Iran as financier and builder
      3. Big money and trade (+ leverage over Europe): gas pipes + oil pipes entering Europe as the above

      Money plays a big role here

      On the other hand, US Senators Propose Resolution Blocking US Withdrawal From Northeastern Syria. They knows that if Syria situation gets resolved, it will accellerate the sunset of US dollar as world reserve currency, and no more free credit card for them!!

  • jm74

    In the last few months hundreds of US trucks were reported to have entered Syria; Turkey may have entered into a trap.

  • martin clarke

    It seems the Kurds have backed the wrong horse once again.They should have remained neutral instead of backing the illegal incursion by the USA to seize Syrian Oil Wells. Their only way out now is to reach some compromise with Assad. I realise that they want some form of independence but it is never going to happen with Europe and the USAs indifference to their plight. Once again a lot of peaceable Kurdish families are suffering attacks and ethnic cleansing at the hands of Turkey who were renowned for being merciless in the Armenian Genocide and comparable to the genocidal policies that have been continuous in the Jewish theft of Palestine to date.I hope with the continued pressure on Iran and the threat of attack from the increased USA forces in Saudi coupled with the continuing unfounded castigation of Russia by the West that Mr Putin will consider supplying the S400 to Iran, this is a necessary game changer needed to thwart possible USA / Israeli attacks. The Yanks excel in attacks on poorly defended folk. Oh! how I would love to see their planes tumbling out of the Middle Eastern sky’s.

  • JohnSmith

    Could you please overlap the oil & gas reservoirs on the map? thank you