January 21, 2018 – Fort Russ News – Paul Antonopoulos via @EHSANI22.
AFRIN, Syria – The following article it a series of Tweets made by @EHSANI22
1-On #Afrin: Critical to recall that Turkish military officials flew to Moscow few days ago and met their Russian counterpart. When the plan to invade Afrin was presented, all the Russians had to do was inform Turks that The Kurds are now America’s & not Russia ‘s boys.
2-Lets be clear: Had the Syrian Kurds not jumped off the Russian ship, it would be hard to imagine today’s attack on Afrin taking place. The ball is now in Washington’s court. The US convinced the Kurds to become their partners. The test of this commitment started today =>
3-Judging by the start of the operation, it seems that The Turks mean business. More than 10 aircrafts conducted the first bombing campaign. It’s likely that Tanks will be deployed as well. Tillerson already called his Turkish counterpart ==>
4- Important to stress again that Turkish planes used Syrian airspace. Russia & it’s radars had to have been fully aware of the operation. The Kurds are now tne allies of @realDonaldTrump @brett_mcgurk and a member of NATO is bombing them. Welcome to the Middle East
5-Erdogan’s anger at American decision to arm & pick the Kurds as partners in the fight against ISIS had to come to a boiling point. During last speech by Tillerson, an attempt was made to appease Erdogan through offering complimentary lip service. Ankara bought none of it
6-Note that Erdogan had watched Kurdish developments closely in Iraq and saw how the Iraqi Army crushed that independence attempt with little if any reaction by the US. Erdogan has now dared Washington to do more than offer their Kurdish allies verbal support
7-Observers of the region have long debated how strong was the US support of Syrian Kurds. Those who believed in this newly consummated marriage thought that America not only will protect their partner but will also help them achieve their long held dream of nationhood
8-In a previous thread, it was noted how this Kurdish dream of nationhood was likely to face significant challenges. The role/importance of Turkey in NATO was one of them. Was America ready to compromise NATO’s southern theater with Russia now so near & ready to fill that void?
9-Tillerson’s speech on Syria was met with different reactions. The hawks & interventionists liked it but paid little attention to the inconsistencies of the policy. This morning, Erdogan exposed those inconsistencies and threw the ball back at the White House/Mar-a-Lago
10-While the US govt is in the middle of a shutdown & merely 48 hours after the unavailing of the so-called Syria policy, F 16 planes of a NATO member are bombing our partners in the war against ISIS. Russia had been quiet of late. Their very silence is now the news
11- Where does all this leave Damascus? It’s too early to tell. As previous threads have highlighted, Assad had patiently waited for the Kurds to better understand the landscape. His disappointment was evident when he referred to them as “traitors”.
12-Damascus is likely to tread & proceed carefully here. Both Assad and Russia were very disappointed & angry when the Kurds threw themselves at the US. Russia showed its hand today by sitting back and watching the fireworks. For Damascus, it’s more tricky & complicated
13-On the one hand, Damascus is seeing the Kurds getting punished for making the wrong call & alliances. But on the other hand, Assad is not pleased to see his number one adversary in charge of a bombing campaign deep inside Syrian territory.
14-In typical fashion, Syrian leadership is likely to avoid an overreaction & instead decide to proceed cautiously & deliberately. One has to believe Moscow will act as an ally offering Assad enough assurances that Ankara’s current operation has “limited goals”. Let’s wait & see
15- Possible things to look for: Kurds opening a front in Eastern Syria (where the US Army is present) to lure the Turks to attack from there. Other potential unrest of course is the Kurdish-dominated Southern part of Turkey itself. Yes, things may have just started
16-IMPORTANT: Nearly a week ago, meeting between Russian officials and Kurdish leaders took place. Moscow suggested Syrian State becomes only entity in charge of the northern border. The Kurds refused. It was immediately after that that the Turkish Generals were invited to Moscow
17- Having the Syrian State in control of its Northern Border wasn’t the only Russian demand. The other was that the Kurds hand back the oil fields in Deir al Zor. The kurds refused suggesting that the US won’t allow that anyway. The meeting was not exactly a success
18-Current Syrian theater was best described to me as a chess board with a game of ping pong taking place over it. World & regional powers have tried to take part in this game. Damascus is convinced that it will see out all the parties play what will turn out to be zero sum game