On January 16, the Haberturk Newspaper informs that the Turkish Air Force is ready for a massive air strike targeting 150 Kurdish objects before conducting the ground operation in the canton of Afrin, TASS reports.
Since October 2017, the Turkish military forces have been conducting observation and reconnaissance of the city of Afrin and surrounding territories, which have been occupied by the Kurdish People’s Self-Defense Forces (YPG / SNA). Drones and reports provided by Turkish friendly local intelligent services, are used to determine the positions of Kurdish units and point-defence areas.
The Haberturk source states that currently 149 targets have been located for the first air strikes should the military operation begin. This includes both stationary objects and transport used by Kurds.
The newspaper informant specified that the first phase of the operation might take approximately six days, all this time the Turkish Air Force will be supported by the artillery, which is located on the Syrian-Turkish border. Next, the Kurds will be attacked by Turkish infantry units, strengthened by army special operations forces experienced in urban assault battles.
In the past few days, the Turkish government has been moving military units and artillery to the border of Syria, while cautioning the US against the building of the “border security force of Syria” with the involvement of the Kurdish formations, which was announced by Colonel Thomas Vil, a representative of the US-led coalition’s Public Affairs Office.
The US schedules to train approximately 30,000 individuals “to ensure the security of the Syrian borders“. It is proposed that the unit core personnel structure will be based on militants of the Kurdish-led coalition “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF).
Concerning this US initiative, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag stated that “the United States is playing with fire”. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made an even stronger statement, saying that the Turkish Armed Forces “might launch a military operation in the Syrian district of Afrin at any moment”.
Such an extremely sharp reaction of the Turkish leadership is understandable. By creating the “Border Security Force of Syria“, the United States establishes a viable Kurdish entity on the Turkish-Syrian border. In order to provide the new armed formations with the required stability, The United States will supply them with weapons.
There have already been reports in the media that Kurds of Afrin have received man-portable air-defence systems (anti-aircraft missiles) from the United States.
This situation can blow up Turkish southern regions bordering Syria, where many Kurds live; and therefore, Erdogan seeks by all means to avoid such development.
In this case, Syrian and Russian interests may temporarily coincide with those of Turkey: the territory to the east of the Euphrates River, which was “recaptured” by Kurds from ISIL, was never the area where Kurds would be represented in large numbers. Many Arab tribes living there are not happy with the arrived Kurds. More over, the setting up of the “Border Security Force of Syria” supported by the United States, could entrench the current situation.
The Kurdish conflict with Erdogan shall help the central Syrian government to take a stronger position in negotiations, and to make Kurds more cooperative.
Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency