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22 October 2019


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86 km from latakia to tartus.with the n.east secure it is one front.m4 and m1.


You are an optimist TTG. I hope you are correct. I've always been a skeptic myself.

How can the third point be good for Assad when it preserves the Turkish gains in Syrian territory at Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn? Seems to be just another Erdogan mouthful of the Syrian homeland. Erdo will be establishing Turkish mayors, functionaries, and police in those areas, plus the Turkish postal system, schools, etc like he did in Afrin, al-Bab, Azaz, and Jarablus. And those areas under Turkish control have been known as 'Syria's breadbasket' because of wheat and barley farmlands. Where will those crops go now?


Big question unresolved: will USA go along with this agreement?
Or will USA continue to restrict Syrian access to oil fields east of Deir Ezzor? Does anyone know of any USA commitment or refusal?

The Twisted Genius

Oldman22, right now the US doesn't know whether to shit or go blind. There is absolutely nothing we can do about this agreement. The agreement actually pulls our cookies out of the fire by preventing a widespread slaughter of the Kurds. We remain in the oilfields southeast of Deir Ezzor and at the jihadi base at al Tanf for no good reason other than to pander to Israel and the ziocon lobby. Trump just approved more money for the white helmets and is pimping out thousands of our troops to Mohammed "Bone Saw" bin Salman. To top it off, Iraq has told us those troops we're pulling out of northeast Syria cannot stay in Iraq. Oh bother, what to do, what to do.

The Twisted Genius

Leith, the Turks can only patrol up to 10 km south of the border. Those Turkish sponsored jihadis in the area now occupied cannot act as jihadis in that area or they will be dealt with as terrorists by Russian troop and the SAA. Turkey will move Syrian refugees into that area. The demographics of that area will change, but it will remain Syria.

Dao Gen

In a related matter, according to the link below the US has now sanctioned oil deliveries to Russian troops in Syria, so that might be one motive for wanting to illegally grab Syrian oil fields. Several sources also claim that the oil in those fields is now being shipped by the Kurds through Turkey and sold to Israel. However, after signing a ten-point agreement with Damascus, it's difficult to see how the Kurds could go on stealing Syrian oil with impunity.


Did anyone in the USA hear about German Defense Minister (and Merkel's hand-picked designated successor) Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer's "international security zone" proposal in Syria and take it seriously? https://www.dw.com/en/german-defense-chief-recommends-international-security-zone-in-syria/a-50924304

I have no idea what she specifically expects to achieve with it and see no realistic way to do it in a way that is not in violation of international law, which is usually a very important consideration for German military policy.

That woman also seems to be quite confused about the regional geography, when she presented her own security zone proposal in a government TV interview, she started talking about "northern Iraq" until the interviewer corrected her and pointed out that she ought to be talking about northern Syria, of course...


TTG, not sure I am following. Point three as you quote above says: "In this framework, the established status quo in the current Operation Peace Spring area covering Tel Abyad and Ras Al Ayn with a depth of 32 km will be preserved."

Your point five states the "joint Russian-Turkish patrols will start in the west and the east of the area of Operation Peace Spring with a depth of 10 km." To me that means NOT within the Peace Spring zone. Which would give the Turks free reign within another 4000 square kilometer chunk of Syria. Add that to what they already have stolen in Operations Olive Branch and Euphrates Shield and it is damn near the size of your home state of Connecticut.

What am I missing? And in any case, when do the Turks go home. Not stated in the agreement, so this could end up as another permanent landgrab like Hatay?


BTW, here is another map from a Turkish reporter Ragip Soylu:


Peter AU 1

Win win win, including thinning the Idlib jihadist population. Similar to Erdogan pulling Jihadists from Aleppo for the Jarabulus operation.

Trump has some consistencies. Libya "We should have taken the oil". Iraq "We should have taken the oil, who knows, perhaps we will get another chance". Syria "We should take the oil".
But still Syria have recovered a lot of country plus assets like the cement factory, full control of the dam for power and irrigation, and a good chunk of Syria's wheat growing breadbasket.


Ah ha.the cry of whatodo bird.like the african fakawi bird.cries out where the fakawi


I hope you are right, TTG, but I am also skeptical. Frequently the unintended consequences replace the intended ones. There are just too many actors trying to get their slice of the pie. Of course, it may be very good news that the US involvement is reduced. But that leaves a vacuum that can turn out badly.


Assuming all this comes to pass, and I think it will, then most the Northern Boarder will become secure. The SAG, Russia, Iraq and the Kurds will be on the same side & the US and a few Sunni tribes will be the only occupying force left. Once Idlib is reclaimed the whole SAA will be to park themselves around the oil fields and the At Tanf pocket and besiege them. Absent resupply and vastly out numbered and out gunned Trump can negotiate a pull out and real withdrawal which be loved by his base and enrage the Borg. Nicely done Russia. The two tiny salient the Turks have just acquire can then be part of a separate deal with Russia as guarantor they are not to be used as Kurdish jumping off points against Turkey and Ergodan can claim 'Mission Accomplished' we have stopped the Kurdish threat from Syria and Syria can start the process of rebuilding. Syria is whole again.


You sound like SAA made the deal and Turkey is following up on what SAA has ordered. It is the other way around. YPG and SAA will keep to the agreement that Turkey and Russia and if they don't they will be dealt with. No SDF 30 km near the border, also not in SAA uniform. If SAA doesn't listen Turkey has the right to march up to the 30 km parameter.

Christian J Chuba

It's good news but the U.S. will try to play the spoiler.

The only card we can play is to divide the Kurds and SAR as much as possible. We will tell the Kurds that if they share oil with the rest of Syria (Iran and the Russians in Neocon speak) that it will be embargoed but if they don't they can keep all of it for themselves. This is what Graham and Keane are pushing. Of course it's unreasonable to ask the SAA to protect the border and have U.S. oil companies develop Syrian oil fields while depriving 15M Syrians any benefit. Some people are rotten to the core.


This is a great deal for Putin but not-so-good for Erdogan. How is Turkey going to resettle 3 million refugees in a 10 km strip along the border? It can't be done.

Erdogan must have something else up his sleeve.

Besides, I cannot see Erdogan accepting this lousy deal (for Turkey) after 7 years of fighting a bitter proxy war in Syria. How does he explain this to his constituency in Ankara?

IMO, Erdogan has not given up his ambition to control the entire area down to the M=4 highway, in fact, an editorial just two days ago in the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, said as much.

Frankly, I think Putin knows that erdogan is not being honest, but Putin wants a political solution in order to end the war and withdrawal his airforce.

I can't blame him.


This is basically the deal the Kurds should have made a year ago when they had more leverage and a better hold on the ground. It doesn't matter much what the US wants because we have shown that we are not willing to commit anything to it. Whatever their faults, the Russians have demonstrated a willingness to back up their stands with men and resources. I see an odd parallel with the reasoning that led us to ally with the Kurds rather than the the Turks in the first place. The Turks had much greater strength, but they were uninterested and worthless in the actual fight. The US has now placed itself in that category. US desires are relevant only to the extent that we are willing to commit strength to back them. Nobody now believes that the US has that will.


must read all for yourself, a few highlights:
The Turkish advance eastwards along the Syrian Highway M4 to the Iraqi border has been stopped. The Syrian Army will reoccupy the eastern zone to the Yarubiya crossing, with Russian military police on the ground; that also means the Russian Air Force in the air.
The Russians believe this concession is worth making to the Turks so long as the Americans are forced out; this is the message Putin has relayed to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

According to a statement by Lavrov, the paper which Erdogan agreed last Thursday (October 17) in Ankara with US Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been dismissed. “We do not particularly look at the United States and its stance. That stance is quite variable and contradictory, and of course, the coalition led by the United States is in Syria illegally, this is well known,” Lavrov said after the talks ended in Sochi [5].
Taken together, the terms amount to a joint ultimatum to the Kurds – either make peace with Damascus, or fight alone against the Turks, and also against the Russian military patrols scheduled to appear at noon today (October 23), according to Point 5.
Putin has demonstrated, again, that the Turks can force his hand with faits accomplis on the battlefield. The Stavka – the combination of the Russian battlefield and General Staff commands, plus Foreign Ministry experts like Lavrentiev – have tried to mitigate the losses Putin is willing to concede.
Russian military analysts and Middle Eastern specialists in Moscow are fearful of commenting, even off the record, particularly since Lavrov and Shoigu remain reticent. Many believe that Putin has failed to secure Erdogan’s agreement to end his war for regime change in Damascus. He has also failed, the sources think, to enforce the repatriation of Turkish troops from the Syrian territory they occupy.

Worse, Putin’s paper does not prevent the Turks from sharing their occupation with the Pentagon;


"This is a great deal for Putin but not-so-good for Erdogan."

True. Erdogan's plan has been checked. The relative value of the deal for each simply reflects the strength each is prepared to apply to the situation. Nothing mysterious about that. It doesn't mean that "Erdogan must have something else up his sleeve." Erdogan has plenty of other schemes in his head. He is just not going to be allowed to implement them. The balance of strength is not in his favor.


Golly, this piece by Helmer is delusional--

He says: "Putin has demonstrated, again, that the Turks can force his hand with faits accomplis on the battlefield."

What "faits accomplis"??
The Russians have given up nothing, they've merely shown that they are both reasonable and realistic about the final settlement.

"The Foreign Ministry experts like Lavrentiev – have tried to mitigate the losses Putin is willing to concede."

Once again, total hogwash. Putin has given up nothing just a 10 km strip that will be jointly patrolled.

Here's more--"Many believe that Putin has failed to secure Erdogan’s agreement to end his war for regime change in Damascus."

Erdogan has agreed to participate in the rewriting of the constitution which will include future elections. In other words, Helmer is mistaken again.

Here's more--"Worse, Putin’s paper does not prevent the Turks from sharing their occupation with the Pentagon."

Yeah, sure. Erdogan just spent the last 2 years trying to get the US out of east syria but now he's going to invite them back in.

Boy, this is really poor analysis.

Barbara Ann

That was the brilliance of the plan - a power vacuum was avoided with the 5 day ceasefire. SAA & Russia moved in more or less seamlessly. No massacre of Kurds and plenty of troops around to fight ISIS - just not American ones. McConnell can demand a return of troops all he likes, but he'd better have a plan for removing the Russians first. Best of all Trump can now demonstrate that anarchy does not reign when the US World Police give way to other parties. Template for the future - you bet.


Professor Daniel Larison has said much the same.

Barbara Ann

This is my favorite map:



The problem is - now that the Kurds are no longer facing an existential threat, their American friends will be using every means at their disposal to induce them to break their agreement with Damascus.

Barbara Ann

I'd like to see anyone try and smuggle oil across the Turkish border now.

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