Erdogan: Turkey’s Operation In Idlib Largely Finished, Afrin Is Next

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Erdogan: Turkey's Operation In Idlib Largely Finished, Afrin Is Next

FILE IMAGE: AFP Photo/Nazeer al-Khatib

The Turkish military operation in Syria’s Idlib province is almost finished, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.

“The operation in Idlib was largely completed,” Erdogan told his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s parliamentary group.

The president added that “the Afrin issue is ahead of us.”

“We can come suddenly at night. We can suddenly hit at night,” Erdogan said.

The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) entered the province of Idlib within the framework of agreements reached at peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan.

The TAF was set to monitor a cease-fire and to establsih observation posts along the line between the Syrian areas of Idlib and Afrin.

Turksih forces were deployed south of an area of Afrin controlled by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military formations known as YPG and YPJ. The US-led coalition describes the Kurdish forces and few Arab units joined them as “the Syrian Democratic Forces”.

In turn, Ankara says that the PYD/YPG/YPJ are a branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that is a designated terrorist gorup in many countries including Turkey, the US and EU member states.

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  • Dmitry Lunyov

    What will kurds do ? Give Syria oil and save Afrin, or take oil and lose Afrin ?

    • Keep it Real

      they will run away, when SAA is finished with ISIS they come for the Kurds with full force !

      • mancius

        they don’t even have who’m to sell it it’s enemies borders all around how they will transfer that oil by air? :) Turks are not going to buy it especially from kerds

    • George King

      If not by design? Appears to be a counter to SDF resources grab (which was nothing more than grabbing the tiger by the tail). How do you negotiate gain/s (letting go of the tail) when the grabber has fangs at its throat? You can’t, it has never been a realistic plan by the Kurds who has had a free reign in their criminal collusion with ISIS in selling stolen oil and resources until Russian air forces destroyed the oil convoys.

      Now the land locked Kurds have brought on the wrath of the encircling (land locked) nations on any kind of barter and freedom of movement from or to their fledgling fiefdom of criminal clans dealings even against the common Kurd’s interest.

    • Kennethllindsy

      Kurds never wanted the oil at Dez anyway, but will definitely fight to save Efrin.
      Question is, do Kurds have enough advanced weapons to stop Turk Armored Assault on Efrin?
      **If Turks go Full Scale, Kurds can’t stop them.

      • dutchnational

        Erdogan has been threatening “any” time now for over 6 months.

        He has been concentrating his forces to some extent, but because of infighting cannot trust his Euphrates Shield mercenaries anymore. So he will have to do it himself.

        Tactically, Erdogan is already too late. Several thousand MMC fighters have already returned from Raqqah.

        Likely, the JAT and YPG fighters from Afrin too.

        Erdogan will have to gamble, all or nothing. A partial assault will not work.

        Just in Afrin YPG/YPJ and JAT have some 35k fighters, well entrenched in fortified position on the high ground. I think Erdogan is thinking he can do another Kirkuk and I think, if he thinks that, he will be surprised.

        MMC will get involved too. They know if they let Afrin go down, they will be next, so they will not sit it out.

        • Kennethllindsy

          Won’t matter; because the Turks are almost certainly going to attack through Nubl, and those Iranian mercenaries will definitely break & run, allowing Turks to take Tel Rifaat from the backside.

        • Jonathan Cohen

          ABORTION RIGHTS FOR AFRIN AND OMAR!!! This may make annexation by turkey ok, but turk proxy rule probably isn’t.

        • Vitex

          What did you have for breakfast Dutch? It’s done you a power of good :)

          • dutchnational

            It is the prospect of going to be a first time granddad very soon.

      • Bob

        Germany has been arming Syrian YPG with Milan ATGM’s for several years now. However, should NATO member Turkey’s armor ever be hit by weapons supplied to YPG by fellow NATO member Germany, with whom relations are already fairly strained, the fallout between them would very interesting to say the least.

        • Kennethllindsy

          German Milan supplies to KRG have been overstated; recent videos from battle at Pirde are evidence that many of KRG atgms are HJ-8 and not Milans.

          • Bob
          • Kennethllindsy

            Thanks Bob for confirming that KRG only has about 30 Milan Launchers. And a few hundred missiles.

            **Given the widespread usage of the Pakistani made version of the Chinese ATGM HJ-8 in Syria & Iraq over the past few years, it is likely that KRG has hundreds of HJ-8 Launchers and thousands of HJ-8 missiles.
            ***See clip of an HJ-8 mounted on a Hummer being fired by KRG at Iraqis last weekend at Pirde, where 2 tanks & 20 other vehicles were taken out by KRG.

          • Bob

            The launchers are declared – but the resupply of missiles is the real question and Bundeswehr far less publicly forthcoming about that.

          • Kennethllindsy

            Bob, I agree there are some Milans, but Pakistan & Sudan etc have been making enormous amounts of Chinese atgms at much cheaper prices than the Milans; PAK admits to making over 23,000 but it may be much more than that.

        • dutchnational

          As a dutchnational, I would be very pleased to see Turkey falling out with Nato. They do not belong there anymore.

          • Bob

            As an ethnic Kurdish Dutch national?

  • Brother Ma

    Well it wasn’t very hard anyway. All they did was roll in guided by their flagwaving rose petal-throwing fsa, al ,nusra,isis combrades -in-arms!

    • Kennethllindsy

      Right, both Persians and Russians were dumbfounded by Turks friendly terms with AL Queda.
      Well played by Turks, who just grabbed hundreds of square miles of Syria (again) at no cost.

      • dutchnational

        And never to return them.

        • Kennethllindsy

          I don’t know, Turks have been saying they will return Cyprus “when it is safe” for only 42 years.
          (Russians and Syrians think they are smarter than the Turks).

          • dutchnational

            I guess it will be save the moment the Greek Cypriots promise to “give”‘ half their gas reserves to Turkey.

  • χρηστος

    finished?when did they start?did they get to fire even a single shot?laughing stock

    • FlorianGeyer

      Arguably a campaign won without violence is the best victory possible. Sun Tzu .

  • Wagner schmit

    I heard offesnive shelling the airbase turks were suppose to take, Turks won’t be taking abu duhar then.

    • Kennethllindsy

      Turks have 40,000 to 80,000 troops in the Gazientep & Hatay region.
      If they attack in force, Kurds will have a tough time.

      • dutchnational

        In a modern army, only some 25% will be able to get involved in the fighting. Besides,, there will remain many not involved as they are border guards, military police, etc etc.

        I would be surprised if they have a force of over 25k that is deployable.

        • Kennethllindsy

          There is a major Turk Army base at Islahaye where 40,000 turks are stationed.
          And there are also about 40,000 Turks stationed South of city of Gazientep.

          • dutchnational

            One can station as much as one wants in cosy barracks. That does not say anything about how much of a fighting force they can deploy on the fields in another country.

            Iraq also had 80k stationed in Mosul in 2014, including two armoured divisions. We all know how that ended.

            It is well known Turkey had logistical problems for their 3k army around Al Bab, operating on almost flat lands. What will happen once they have to supply 20 to 40k in the Afrin mountains? In winter? With not 3k IS fighters but 35k opposing fighters and an armed population?

            Has anybody taken that into account? Winter is coming and Afrin is the high ground. Cold, snowwy and muddy. Not tank country.

          • Kennethllindsy

            Which explains why Turks are making preparations such as building at least 8 bases in Idlib which support not only their attack on the the Tel Rifaat Coridor but also can support their attack on Idlib City.

          • Vitex

            You’re making so much sense I’m almost beginning to like you. Sounds a bit like the US in North Korea the last time.

          • dutchnational

            Thank you.

  • Kennethllindsy

    Erdogan again testing the waters to see if US & Russia will allow him to attack Kurds like Abadi just did in Syria.

    Not sure if Trump/Tillerson cares; but it might matter to Putin since Russia has sponsored PKK since 1979. Or not.

    Erdogan is willing to gamble that Turks can breakthrough and cut the Tel Rifaat Corridor before Russia reacts. If he succeeds, the Turks will own Aleppo & Idlib for decades.
    Russia has gotten bogged down in the Dez Ezzor CS; so Erdogan may get away with it.

    Turks have quickly amassed hundreds of tanks and thousands of troops along Idlib – Efrin border already. Expect action very soon, maybe tonight.

  • Langaniso Mhlobo

    Negotiations and relocating terrorist to Idlib were started by Lavrov with Kerry.This tactics were used by USA and allies in the dying moments of the war to defeat Russia while their hoping.
    Russia never attacks Kurds only Turkey attacks Kurds so let him go and fight them.Turkey has be her chance it’s terrorist will never negotiate with SDF.

  • Langaniso Mhlobo

    Re-integration in the Syrian society and abandoning weapons is the answer to Kurds.

    • dutchnational

      They can lie down too and let the ladies strip so the sectarian forces can loot, rape and kill.

      Will not happen.

  • Weldon Cheek

    All this talk about turkey attacking and taking aleppo etc is nonsense,they came to idlib on the back of negotiations and as part of the astana agreements,its pure speculation to say they are grabbing this area that area,if there hadnt been an agreement then they wouldnt be where they are,until theres reports of the russians and co of breaches of the agreement or if fsa/nusra whoever start attacking out of idlib with turkish backing then your all making it up as you go along!!or am i missing a huge elephant in the room?

    • Kennethllindsy

      You raise some points, but when analysing the Astana Agreements, you should start by asking yourself, “how does Turkey benefit?”
      Turks don’t benefit from Astana so they will not aide by it.

  • SUB-CIPHER

    Seems to me like Idlib is full of a pro Islamist/Al-Queda population anyway, so If I was dictator my solution would be: Just wall them out! Let them starve, or become Turkey’s problem. Their kind are not welcome or desired.