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24 August 2016

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johnf

Assad and Putin most probably got something out of all the whirlwind of diplomacy that preceded the whirlwind of alliance changing and fighting.

Turkish newspapers are reporting the number of FSA rebels as 5,000 (whether that covers just the FSA or all the other jihadi groups I'm not sure) but they must have come from somewhere, and with those numbers quite a few must have come from the Aleppo/Idlib area (I've seen a rumour they were offered higher wages).

That must weaken the terrorists in the West to Assad and Russia's advantage. They did get something out of the diplomacy. And in the East, as they had little or no control, they lost little or nothing.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/timeline-of-euphrates-shield-operation-in-jarablus.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103175&NewsCa
tID=352

alba etie

TTG
Thanks for being our guest author in Col Lang's away time.
I would wonder if the Syrian Government might not be open to a deal with the YPG that would set the KURDS up as a federated state - in return for blocking Erdogan obvious designs on expanding Turkish sphere of influence ?

The Twisted Genius

alba etie,

I think the Syrian government and the Rojava Kurds are fully capable of federated arrangement in a united Syria. It would involve tough and contentious negotiations, but as long as the Turks and the Borg buzzards circle overhead, it is in their best interests to do so. How the Kurds, the SAA and Russia respond to the Turkish invasion will definitely shape these negotiations.

johnf

In addition, Latakis is especially close to Russian interests.

From memory, Turkmen, Chechen, and Uighur jihadis have been especially associated with that province, but some at least of these groups have been mentioned as being deployed in Jarablus.

turcopolier

TTG

Wedding anniversary today. 53 years. That is actually un-American. That is a great piece you wrote. Yes, the message from Baghdad must have been classic. And so we have AMTRAK Joe stepping in to deliver yet one more betrayal of a native ally. It makes you sick to think of it, just sick. Who are the "rebels" who are cooperating with the Turks at Jarabulus? pl

Matthew

Col: Congratulations. 53 years. Many more to come!

Col and TTG: Why did the Kurds attack the NDF in Hasakah? If this was not some long-range "strategery," then are the Kurds as rife with factions as the Palestinians? If so, then their Rojava project might be doomed.

The Twisted Genius

Happy anniversary to you both. Don't know how you're going to celebrate, but a quiet day/evening centered around your outdoor kitchen would be wondrous.

I think the Turks pulled a lot of fighters out of the Idlib area for this Jarabulus offensive. I've seen uncorroborated reports that the YPG/SDF has engaged the invaders and are holding their own and even pushing them back.

Barish

Liwa (or Fouj now) Sultan al-Murad, Faylaq al-Sham and - of all things - Harakat Nurideen al-Zinki, going by the logos attached to photos shot of the bunch advancing in camo gear and walking through abandoned Jarablus.
Armor accompanying this "moderate" bunch appear to be operated by TSK themselves. Further, skirmishes have been reported between SDF and "rebels" to Jarablus's south.

The Twisted Genius

Matthew,

There have been tensions and skirmishes between the Kurds and NDF for years. I have no idea what the origins of these particular tensions are.

alba etie

TTG
One interesting marker to measure the viability of a Syrian /Rojava Federation will be if the YPG actually withdraws back across the Euphrates . I wonder how much the USG is really committed to forcing the Rojava Kurds to back down from Erdogan . Its pretty clear to me that the Russians can & will take up whatever support the USG withholds from the YPG . There seem to be preyy consistent reports that the YPG /SDF have even integrated CAS capabilities with the Russian Air Force now yes ?

alba etie

Col Lang
Congratulation to you and Mrs Lang ! Happy Anniversary .

The Beaver

Colonel,

According to different sources on twitter ( the usual suspects on that topic)

FSA and the so-called moderated al-Zinki (the same one that beheaded a 12 y.o Palestinian boy), Sultan Murad Division, Jaish al-Tahrir & Turkmen Martyrs Battalion plus some jihadist mercenaries abandoning Aleppo fronts & heading to join Jarablus because they were tempted with higher wages.

The Beaver

Meanwhile Barzani in Ankara:
"Big changes coming to the region"

http://rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/240820164

Balint Somkuti

Congratulations Sir!

Thomas

Happy Anniversary.

The Beaver

Here is Erdogan's spin Twitter a/c on the operation:

https://twitter.com/EuphratesShield

alba etie

TTG
Another item to think about IMO is how far will Russia be willing to press Turkey for concessions in clearly what Leader Putin has come to see as his Near Abroad in the Levant generally - especially in regards to the Russian jihadis that johnf mentions below . IMO we also should remember recent events in Russia . I recall how the Polite Green Men intercepted the plane load of Turkmen -was it at the Sevastopol Airport a few years back ? Then there is the dead Russian pilot Erdogan's minions murder . I think it could very well be in Russia's interest to see the Rojava Kurds have a federated state inside of Syria.

Lemur

The US is torn between placating Turkey and supporting the Kurds in the same way Turkey is torn between supporting the rebels and supporting Assad (to stop the Kurds).

Few other things i picked up on:

>Apparently Biden was met by a mere deputy governor, not even the governor or a minister. Cold welcome. (Trump will not be pleased)
>Turkish deputy chief of intelligence has been meeting with his counterparts the last few days in Damascus.

The Twisted Genius

alba etie,

In the first comment, johnf hit the nail on the head. The Russians and the SAA benefit from the pullout of the rebels from the Latakia and Aleppo fronts. The Turks are paying them more to join the fight in the north. I think we'll be seeing a series of surprises in the coming days.

CE

According to (YPG-affiliated) Firat News Agency:

[...] They have mobilized the “North Army”, whose main body consists of Jabhat Al Nusra, Ahrar Sham, Nuretting Zengi groups and Sultan Murad, Sultan Abdulhamid, Asifet Şimal groups in complete alliance to them. They put the man called Osman Salih, who is from Turkmen Mountain and had been there before, to lead these groups. Osman Salih set up a headquarters in Havar Kilis village in Kilis. The groups mentioned above have continually sent groups from their forces in Syria to prepare to attack Jarablus. Osman Salih received the coming fighters and equipped these fighters with the weapons, ammunition, uniforms and boots given to him by the Turkish army. These groups didn’t have much in numbers. A reliable source who wishes to remain anonymous has given the information that these groups recruit fighters from AFAD controlled camps and said:

“These groups approached AFAD-controlled refugee camps to recruit more members. They recruited hundreds of boys aged 14 to 16 from these camps to attack Jarablus. They paid 300 dollars cash per person. The most obvious example is the Asifet Şimal group. This group under Ebu Ali Sico’s control doesn’t have a single fighter. But now, hundreds of their fighters are waiting in Karkamış to cross over to Jarablus. He recruited all of those fighters from these camps.”

The gathered gangs had been waiting in Havar Kilis and Karkamış for a week. [...]
(http://www.anfenglish.com/features/turkey-s-jarablus-gamble)

Apparently the Turkish army will have to do any serious fighting.

Ghostship

"Obama cannot risk being labeled as the one who lost Turkey."
Has it floated off into the Black Sea or is it happily chugging round the Indian Ocean? Perhaps it'll pop up off Tierra del Fuego.

turcopolier

ghostship

Yes, just as the "China hands"once lost the Middle Kingdom Turkey is probably just hidden in the mist for a bit. pl

Kooshy

Colonel, congratulations,you have already won the gold( much more valuable than BHO' noble), and on your way to platinum, you are right, in this modern times, is rear to see marriages last that long. Encouraging, and wish you best.

Kooshy

Colonel, I remember back in 1980' election,when Kennedy was running against Carter in primaries ( I still think he was D* head ), the rhetoric coming out of Kennedy camp was "Who lost Iran". In this year' no one to like to vote for, no hold is bared election, anything goes, including who lost Turkey which IMO will not make any difference to the shepherds and the sheep.

VietnamVet

Colonel,

Congratulations

TTG

Thanks for the update. This is too damn interesting. What ever happen to trust and honor?

To preserve the Obama Legacy and avoid a Trump Presidency, this could be the first step of a joint Turkish American incursion on to Raqqa and Mosul by October. The Kurds will stand pat if is forced back across the Euphrates. Turkey will have to supply the troops and tanks to regain a part of its old Ottoman Empire. The Saudis and Israel will have assured that the Shiite ground supply corridor from Beirut to Tehran is severed. The world is at war. If NATO and Russia start shooting at each other for whatever reason, this starts WWIII.

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