RAKKA, Syria – The US military established its first observation post on the Syrian-Turkish border. The first US post in the region appeared near the Syrian city of Tel-Abyad in the northern province of Rakka. It is planned to establish at least five more such military facilities between the cities of Kobani (Ain El Arab, Aleppo Province) and Tel Abyad.
But this daring move can be read two ways, and is the case with Turkey-U.S relations, it is often unclear which way events are progressing.
On the one hand, the United States military explains the installation of observation posts “using Turkey.” Pentagon chief James Mattis said earlier that the goal is to provide Turkish military intelligence with data on “any terrorist elements moving to Turkey from Syria.”
The representative of the American coalition in Syria and Iraq, Colonel US Armed Forces Sean Ryan noted that this is about cutting off “the paths of retreat for ISIS terrorists”.
Meanwhile, the Turkish side has subjected the actions of the American military in the north of Syria to sharp criticism. According to the command of the Armed Forces of Turkey, the real reason for the Americans placing observation posts is to protect the “Kurdish terrorists” from the cross-border operation of the Turkish army. But is Turkey’s ‘criticism’ convenient cover for an agreement?
After all, just as there is the Turkish-backed FSA (TFSA), there is also the Turkish-backed ISIS, of which Erdogan’s own son, Bilal, was embedded with Turkish-backed ISIS as they were involved in the theft of Syrian oil by using large oil tanker caravans.
Therefore we can see, if the U.S-Turkey rift is at all a reality, then we understand certainly that just as the U.S protects and supports ISIS in Syria’s south-east, Turkey does so in Syria’s north – in the latter’s conflict with U.S backed Kurds.
The U.S has rebranded significant Kurdish YPG groups as ‘SDF’, and embeds former ‘FSA’ into them, who in turn also include former ISIS. These, then, engage in apparently staged battles where in the SDF ‘takes’ a central Syrian town from ‘ISIS’, with minimal, if any, losses on either side.
This is what 4GW, or Fourth Generation Warfare, looks like on the ground. Fighting units engage under false flags, and are ostensibly part of one side, when they are in fact part of another. Multiple groups appear to be fighting on the ground against each other, other times with each other, but these groups in turn also fight amongst themselves. North ISIS and South ISIS are different organizations at this time, in reality.
According to military experts, the Pentagon’s decision on the deployment of observation posts is dictated by considerations of deterring the Turkish Armed Forces from conducting the next operation in northern Syria, which were carried out there in 2016–2018. At this stage, taking into account the US intervention, the Turkish military-political leadership did not dare to launch an invasion of the northern province of Rakka (Tel Abyad) and the northern province of Hasake (Ras el Ain).