« Turkey Double Talks Its Way Into Northeastern Syria by Willy B | Main | Heresy? Or new dogma? »

09 October 2019


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JP Billen


I had neglected to mention that there is already a large TKK contingent in northern Cyprus. Wiki mentions somewhere between 17.500 and slightly less than 30.000. Their equipment is older though, i.e. M48 tanks and M113 APCs. So you are right that these may be the 10% not ready for duty elsewhere.


Although several of wiki's links to outside sources appear to be dead links.

The Beaver

@JP Billen

Surprised to see that the Ministère des Armées spoke up. LeDrian ( currently FM but Minister of Def under Hollande) refused to say whether France has soldiers in NE Syria when he was interviewed on France 2 on Thursday evening.

Gabriel Uriarte

*Brilliant* find (not that you need a random commenter's praise). Fabrice Balanche always worth reading.


JP Billen & Le Renard Subtil, My bad for grossly under estimating U.S.troops deployed to Saudi Arabia & I'm guessing your numbers don't include the sailors in the area of conflict.

TTG, Some Pentagon spokesman was on tv standing next to an Army General (whose rack
covered 1/2 of his chest) basically apologizing & telling the viewers the military
did everything legally possible to resist Trump's command. I found this very unusual &

The Twisted Genius

Elaine, I don't know exactly what that general said, but he was wrong to say anything like what you said. He should have had the discipline to keep his opinions to himself. I would expect him to face a reprimand at the very least.

JP Billen

Elaine, I did not mean to argue against your numbers. Although it seems the Subtle Fox is correct based on news stories. I only intended to point out that as far as we know 1000 US troops are still in Syria, and some were under attack by Turkey whether accident or intended. Best I think if they did leave. That would maybe give the Kurds some support by Assad to fight off the Turkish invasion. Although Putin might hold Assad back from attacking Turkish troops in the NE. He still wants Turkey out of NATO.

TTG, the general in question I believe was CJCS General Milley. But I think it was the civilian spokesman next to him that did the apologies.


Yep, the civilian spokesman did all the talking. The General just stood
there silent & stoic looking straight into the camera.

Gabriel Uriarte

Very late but, re Mashtenour Hill, my guess would be a partly an accidentally-on-purpose warning, partly a handy way to draw attention away from what appears to be their point of main effort further east between Tel Abyad and Ras el-Ain. There is plenty of evidence that both American SF teams on the ground and a good portion of their chain of command were dismayed by Trump's decision, so it wouldn't surprise me if it turned out that they were "slow-walking" an order to withdraw.

To be a bit more useful, Al-Monitor had a nice piece yesterday about the domestic political context within which Erdogan has launched this offensive.

Ankara is greatly concerned over the prospect of a new refugee influx from Idlib that would further entangle Turkey’s Syrian refugee problem. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had warned in September that Turkey cannot tolerate another refugee wave atop the 3.6 million Syrians it is already hosting. Besides putting strains on Turkey’s financial resources and social stamina, the Syrian refugee problem has proved increasingly costly for the AKP in terms of domestic politics. It is no coincidence that since the party’s rout in the June 23 rerun in Istanbul, government spokesmen have constantly touted the safe zone plan inside Syria as a way to expedite the return of Syrian refugees. Across Turkey and in big cities in particular, most of the Syrian refugees live in close proximity to AKP voters, either in the same neighborhoods or adjoining ones. Under the impact of the economic crisis, tensions between locals and refugees have grown, contributing to a gradual disenchantment with the government among AKP voters. In Istanbul — the heartbeat, the spirit and the mirror of the country — 73% of some 479,000 registered Syrians live in districts where local administrations are controlled by the AKP. Out of the 10 districts with the largest refugee numbers, seven are held by the AKP. Similarly, eight of the 10 districts with the biggest refugee populations in proportion to the locals are run by the AKP. . . . For Erdogan, Operation Peace Spring offers also an opportunity to stop or contain the unraveling within his party. Ali Babacan, the AKP’s former economy czar who has already quit the party, is expected to create a new party and join the opposition ranks by the end of the year. Ahmet Davutoglu — the former premier and foreign minister who, together with Erdogan, designed and implemented the failed policies that spawned the grave “Syria crisis” that Turkey is experiencing today, both domestically and in its foreign policy — is gearing up to get ahead of Babacan and announce his own party in November. These political dynamics have already triggered a spate of resignations from the AKP, and the formal establishment of the new parties could further accelerate the unraveling. Hence, the government will seek to capitalize on Operation Peace Spring to curb the centrifugal forces pressuring the AKP since its defeats in the local polls. The intensive employment of a nationalist narrative, in which the operation is depicted as a struggle of “national survival” against terrorism and quitting the AKP is equated to treason, would not be a surprise.
JP Billen

TTG - I'm hoping you'll post another update soon considering the SDF deal with Assad.

They released a statement announcing that an an agreement has been reached for protecting the country's borders and preserve Syrian sovereignty.

“The self-administration of northern and eastern Syria, through its military forces, the Syrian Democratic Forces formed out of all the components of the Syrian self-management areas, fought terrorism starting from Kobani in 2014 and then continued the battles of liberation against this terrorist group in northern and eastern Syria, as it managed to liberate Manbij west of the Euphrates, Tal Abyad, Tabqa until it reached the alleged capital of ISIS “al-Raqqa” and then to Deir ez-Zor and declared victory over this group after five years of fighting on March 23, 2019.

This liberated geographical area is equivalent to one third of the total territories of ​​Syria. The SDF lost 11 thousand martyrs and 24 thousand wounded, including permanent disabilities during these battles.

This was a high price to liberate the Syrians and all the components from the oppression and brutality of these terrorist organizations and to preserve the territorial integrity of Syria.

Our political project in northern and eastern Syria did not call for secession, but we have been calling for dialogue and resolving the Syrian crisis peacefully. We did not attack any country, especially Turkey, though it persists to call us terrorists while it played an important role in supporting terrorism in Syria. Today, Turkey is invading the Syrian territory liberated by the SDF with the blood and sacrifices of its children.

During the past five days, the most heinous crimes against unarmed civilians have been committed. The SDF has responded with dignity and courage resulting in the death and injury of its fighters, in order to save the Syrian integrity, however Turkey is continuing its assault. As a result, we had to deal with the Syrian government that has the duty of protecting the country's borders and preserve Syrian sovereignty, so that the Syrian army can enter and deploy along the Syrian-Turkish border to support the SDF to repel this aggression and liberate the areas entered by the Turkish army and its hired mercenaries. This agreement offers an opportunity to liberate the rest of the Syrian territories and cities occupied by the Turkish army as Afrin and other Syrian cities and towns.

Therefore, we call on all our people and all components in northern and eastern Syria, especially the border areas, that this deployment came through coordination and compatibility with the self-administration of the North and East Syria and the Syrian Democratic Forces.”

Barbara Ann

So it seems an invading horde combined with "you're fired!" has finally got the Kurds to make the smart decision and reconcile with Damascus. Big map changes coming up very shortly by all accounts. By the time Congress gets its act together to try and reverse the withdrawal, the SAA & Russia will be protecting the Kurds - game over. The Borg must be losing their minds.


.....extended quotes to a journalist from an un-named, deployed SF soldier.... Reporter says "It is one of the hardest phone calls I have ever taken." clearly implying that the soldier called her.......Is that not unusual?.......someone wants that quote to make the press..... and to form part of the dialogue of betrayal

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