More Russian Troops And Vehicles Enter YPG-held Area In Northern Syria (Photos, Video)

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More Russian Troops And Vehicles Enter YPG-held Area In Northern Syria (Photos, Video)

Source: @abdullahawez/Twitter

More Russian troops and vehicles entered the area of the Afrin Canton controlled by Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) fighters, according to photos and videos released by pro-Kurdish sources.

Pro-Kurdish media activists speculate that the Russian military is going to set up a military base or even a “joint military base” in the YPG-held area near the border with Turkey.

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  • Barba_Papa

    We should do well to keep in mind that there are basically two Kurdish factions in Syria, the SDF in Rojava, which is deep in the pockets of the US but cordial to Assad, and Afrin, which is basically completely dependent on Assad and the Russians. And if the main SDF were to declare against Assad, this will have dire consequences for the Afrin Kurds. I do suspect that a lot of the cordiality between the SDF and the Assad regime is based on this.

    That and I hope that the SDF Kurds realize that their usefulness to and current protection against Turkey from the US is based on the age old principle of the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Once ISIS is defeated all bets are off. Similarly any future relation between them and the Assad regime will also be based on mutual self interest, but whoever ends up in charge in Damascus will be with them a lot longer then any US presence and interest.

    • Nigel Maund

      Excellent commentary!

    • Jonathan Cohen

      They won’t need anti-abortion Assad as long as they get on well with Abortion rights defending Russia OR US OR Turkey. They will need one of them unless the US stockpiles them really well to last a long time alone. But I think they can keep one of them and am very hopeful they can get along with Russia significantly better than with Assad, as they are not the same thing. SDF can just keep selling their alliance to the highest bidder like India; I would.

    • John Whitehot

      xcept that having two distinct kurds factions with the possibility of them going to war against each other is something that exists only in Turkey’s wettest dreams. It’s pretty clear that the Kurds 1- won’t declare war on Assad 2- they will declare war on the US, before they declare it on other Kurds.
      In short: Kurds are united even if their territories are not, and neither Turkey or the US are going to divide them (I don’t think the US will even try that anyway). Of course their enemies, would love to see them fight each other.

      • dutchnational

        There are no two factions, that is all rubbish. There is one SDF and especially the YPG and YPJ have a sound internal command structure.

        There is just the difference in the tactical situation where SDF Afrin has to deal with Assad and Russians and SDF Kobane and Jazira have to deal with the US and Assad ,

        Both parts of the SDF share the PYD phliophies, have the Rebels, Islamists, IS and Turkey as enemies and Assad as a frenemy.

        • John Whitehot

          exactly what i said – ‘two factions” is a turkish dream in order to divide and conquer in the ottoman way.
          ALL the kurds are on the same side. That means that all of them will not fight Assad and all of them will fight turkey and its ruffians.

          I don’t follow turkish newspapers but it could also be that at home they try to enforce the “two factions” notion.
          After all, they need to make people believe that there are good kurds and bad kurds (like the PKK and so on), otherwise people could start bitching about the losses they take in fighting them.

          The way I see it, these are the true sides in Syria:

          – Assad, Russia, Iran and their allies
          – Turkey, Saudis, Nusra, “FSA” and other moderates

          The third side, the kurds, are actually fighting a defensive war against Islamists, after all, it’s not Assad that has attacked and genocided them. Hence they’ll likely accept help from both Russia and the US, but they are not going to become their pawns beyond a certain limit.

          The fourth side is not really a side: Israel, the US and some western countries. My impression is that these actually want chaos to endure, because of Israel’s interest in having arabs divided and engaged in “sectarian wars”.

          • CyricRenner

            Don’t forget about the Iranian Kurds. Rarely mentioned.

          • Mikronos

            The US is revving them up as well. Their big opposition were the northern Sunnis – now mostly falling into the ISIS/ISIS sympathizer category in Iraqi and US camps. Other than, perhaps, the Iraqi Shia deciding that northern Iraq is theirs and booting them too, the Iranian Kurds should have a free range of action against Iran – causing enough trouble, it might be hoped, to have them call their RG ‘volunteer’ units back from Syria.

          • dutchnational

            Agreed. Only there are no moderates on the rebel side anymore, they are all islamist or jihadi now.

    • Luigi

      ISIS was created and armed by the US/Israel with money and “volunteers” from Sunni allies with the aim to break the Shiite axis. I think the US also wants to use ISIS as an excuse to arm the Kurds and to push the creation of Kurdistan just after the defeat of ISIS. The Kurdistan will be a client state and serve as a buffer zone, breaking, at same time, both the Sunni and Shiite axis and balkanizing the middle east.

      • boosra

        Precisely correct.

        The pressure the Kurds found themselves under from ISIS was just a “rough wooing”.

        The point was to force them to accept US support, so as to detach them from their amicable relationship with Damascus. By then offering them patronage as an independent state, a huge part of the original plan for Syrias dismemberment will be complete.

        • dutchnational

          More or less like the Germans had a “rough wooing”of jews?

          Absurd conspiracy thinking.

          • boosra

            If basic techniques such as using your influence with one group in order to violently pressure another to take a position you’d like them to is “absurd conspiracy thinking” to you, then I am afraid you are out of your depth dealing with high level geopolitics.

      • Jens Holm

        Well, what do You compare with is worse for kurds being a client state. They have been divided killed and deported around wirth smal or none human rigsht since WW2.

        Many states in the world are doing fine like that for centuries. I cant see any Kurdistan there, but I might see some has pointed out some kind of loose state incl. Eufrat river from Tabqa to the Iraqian border.

        Not much to fight about if all inhabitants get a paycheck pr person in all Syria for the oil and gas income.

      • Bob

        Even worse a US sponsored client Kurdistan state would essentially be a giant US military base in perpetuity – like Kosovo in the actual Balkans. Whether the Kurd’s would go with this structural reality is up to their leadership, but it is a deeply compromised form of ‘independence’.
        That form of US controlled Kurdistan would have serious consequences for the non US-Israeli compliant middle east. As Syria, Iraq and, the as yet unmolested, Iran would all have a huge US-Israeli operational military base located right in their midst, with an ethnic Kurdish population that sprawls across all three states with ethnic allegiances that could be exploited for potential destructive purposes in each state.
        This is exactly the same ethnic based strategy the US has been exploiting in the actual Balkans with ethnic Albanians. Who are sprawled across Serbia – and NATO backing has successfully already cleaved off Kosovo – Montenegro and Macedonia. The latter two are both experiencing serious political attempts by NATO to assume control of their state leaderships as vassals, against significant popular will, and exploitation of the Albanian minorities in each state’s domestic politics are key part of that strategy.
        There is no reason to assume the US wouldn’t strive to use a client Kurdistan in same manner, to achieve their Geo-strategic dominance goals in middle east region over non compliant states.

        • CyricRenner

          You sir have tremendous insight. I cannot agree with you more.

      • CyricRenner

        This seem likely. Most of the Syrian Kurds would seem to be content with Federalized system within Syria and are not really pushing for their own state. Assad is willing to grant this. Having their own State undoubtedly means war with Turkey. Either now or in the Future.

        • dutchnational

          If SDF has autonomy within Syria with their own armed militia (they do trust neither Assad nor Erdogan), they will be willing to go for this.

          If either Syria or Turkey becomes a failed state, they can always reconsider.

    • Jens Holm

      Arrh Turk again having their complete unike historybook for the future as well as the past. Hardly recogniceble for the rest of the world. “The anti Wikipedia tinfoil hat”.

      Many other scenaries are possible fx Assads hasnt taken rest of the rebellions and russia started help and limited until Assads could stay but not to take back the rest in east and north.

      An important facts more seems clear too. Kurds are not that wild savages which the might once has been. They have CHANGED. So are the relations to the arabs in north. Today they are not a threat for arabs and seen as liberators compared to abandonned and spendable for Assads and still the most lousy army in Middle East.

    • Mikronos

      Spot on.

  • TuDeu

    I dont get it, Russia knows that I stronger bond with YPG will lead to further confrontation with Turkey, do they really choose them over Turkey?

    • Pavel Pavlovich

      Use your neurons a bit more.
      Just a bit.

      This is not a game for two.
      Precautions must be made.
      It would be IDIOTIC to choose
      one side over the other.

      • Jens Holm

        I agree. Kurds has by traditions no friends there. Taking some refugees from EU or Turkey soon might make a kind of friend too.

    • Wally

      Trusting backstabber turks is not wise.

      • Thegr8rambino

        True but the Kurds aren’t very friendly with Iran I dont think (I heard they attacked them once or twice) so how can they be friends with one of their Ally’s enemies?

        • Dustil schmit

          You talking about PJAK backed by Barzani who is backed by Turkey so go figure. You think All Kurds are the same is thee issue.

          • Thegr8rambino

            So it was the PJAK Kurds that attacked Iran? Who is barzani? And why would they do that?

      • CyricRenner

        They were applauding the US strike on the Syrian airbase and calling for more. A little reminder to Russia where they stand.

    • Jonathan Cohen

      If Russia can use it’s presence to suppress PKK ammo smuggling across the border, then they can get on with both.

    • John Whitehot

      Does it really sound that surprising?

    • Barba_Papa

      Russia and Assad probably love Turkey so much they prefer to have a Kurdish held bufferzone between them. Also abandoning the Afrin Kurds would net the Assad regime very little, only more Turkish proxy headchoppers to their north causing problems, while having the Afrin Kurds dependent on Assad and the Russians means the Rojava Kurds have to play nice towards Assad as well and serves as a counterweight to US influence with them.

      Of course if the Rojava Kurds get too uppity or chummy with the US, the Afrin Kurds might suddenly find themselves on their own against Turkey again. With the Russians moving to greener pastures.

      • Dustil schmit

        Then you would have turkish head chopper and illbid head choppers connecting and trying to isolate Aleppo.

      • dutchnational

        There is a sort of mutual stranglehold as SDF has the same hold on Hassakah and Qamishli and Assad needs, ultimately, electricity, water, oil, gas and wheat from Kobane and Jazira cantons.

        A buffer is very advantageous to Assad. He gets a free motivated army guarding his back and doing that well. He can finish the northern rebels with Turkey hardly able to do anything, except to smuggle arms and personnel towards Idlib.

    • Ronald

      Turkey has invaded Syria , Russia’s ally . Turkey is still supplying jihadists , they need to stop .

    • Jens Holm

      No Russia dont know that at all, even the Turkish version of Ghandi says so.

      More likely Turks has to make a higher fence for keeping turks in.

  • Terence Silvestre Jr.

    The Kurds are playing on two sides. With which of the two will Kurdish loyalty be at the end of the day? With their treacherous American owners or their kind Russian helpers?

    • Jonathan Cohen

      With any luck they will never have to choose because US-Russia relations will improve. I expect Russia is closer and will become the primary partner unless Russia backs SAA suppression of Rojava abortion rights!

      • Terence Silvestre Jr.

        I see it very difficult what you comment and much more with a guy as childish as Trump but I dream with an objective and sincere approach between those two giants.
        The world would be a better safer place with such an approach.

        • Jonathan Cohen

          If Trump was in control we would have peace with Russia. Pence/McCain are the warmongers controlling Trump on an impeachment leash. If US Dems can impeach Pence first, like Agnew, then we can all have peace.

          • Terence Silvestre Jr.

            Whether Trump is in control or not is and will remain as just conjecture.
            The only thing that we all know is that Trump is the president-elect number number 45 in charge of the United States and neither Pence nor anyone else will account for his action.
            And if there is anyone capable of improving or not a good relationship with Russia is only Trump and only him.
            All others possibility are mere hypothesis without proof and any logical and real foundation my friend.

          • Jonathan Cohen

            we have enough information to make it wise for us to keep Pence/McCain at the top of our denunciations and not Trump.

          • Terence Silvestre Jr.

            Pure conjeture my friend, pure conjecture will be at the moment of providing sustainable proof and reliable facts that confirms it.

          • Jonathan Cohen

            Trump is probably being blackmailed by threat of impeachment, so the power is probably NOT his. And probably is good enough for me.

          • Terence Silvestre Jr.

            Assuming you have the reason, hopefully soon they reconsider his attidude, those who are against good relations of the United States with Russia.
            Because a world without so much stress and suspense for a possible nuclear conflagration would benefit everyone.

          • Rodney Loder

            Cain has reversed his North Kotea agendas to be complimentary to China’s interests, just as I prophesied the war is coming to Syria via Trump’s egotistical compulsive behaviour, the Kurds are issuing him his invitation, Afrin Kurds are still the same as they were when Brazani broke the seige of Kobani they will go in mass to support Trump’s grandstanding in Syria, Assad and Putin are becoming equal to Erdogan, Assad turned the tide of history and now is turning it back on Syria by supporting the reactionary Kurds, as if Trump is going to walk away from a juicy carcass, only my Salafist Brothers can be depended on to oppose him.

    • Luigi

      Russians are neither kind nor helpers. They act, like all the others, based solely on self interest. And Kurds and Syrians cannot fight the Sunnis and against each other at same time.

      • Terence Silvestre Jr.

        Although I do not share the opinion expressed in your comment, I think that only the time will give reason to one of us.
        Because in what diplomacy concerns, nothing is what it seems until the day is illuminated enough to discern the final result of each act or intention.

        • goingbrokes

          The Russians have been, and are traditionally, good at sticking to the dictates of international law. The Americans have ridden roughshod over it for several decades now. (And the less about Israel the better.)

          • Terence Silvestre Jr.

            Unfortunately I fear that Americans blindly obey the natural law of animals, namely the law of the strongest in the animal jungle, acting without rule doing what they please in perjury of all others.
            And my beloved Russia occasionally gets humiliated by them in its eagerness to not act like the American madmen.

      • Jens Holm

        Haha. Kurds and arabs in SDF & asssociated are not sunnis ? Most soldiers in SAA are Sunnis. Most of the 8-10 mio. refugees are Sunni as well as the dead and handicapped.

        So what do You mean.

        • PZIVJ

          He is referring to the Sunni Jihadist no doubt.
          You are correct to say most Sunnis are just people, not extremists.
          Many Jihadist have been imported into Syria to keep the pot boiling.

        • dutchnational

          It seems I stole your comment. Sorry.

      • dutchnational

        There seems to be some misunderstandig on your side of whom fights whom.

        Most kurds and arabs within the SDF are sunnis too and in the Assad camp many are also sunnis.

        All islamists and jihadis are sunnis. Not all sunnis are Islamists and jihadis. It is like all KKK are white, but not all whites are KKK.

      • Ronald

        60 % of the SAA is Sunni , 99 % of Al Nusra and ISIS are Wahhabi Sunni .
        Big difference .

      • CyricRenner

        That’s true. I wish I understood what their long term interests were. It is hard to understand. Again I seem them calling for co-operation with the US. You may say this is all theater, but I am not so certain. Merkel was dispatched to likely sweeten the bribe.

    • Jens Holm

      No, they are not playing at both side. They has all the 5 years showed they are as neutral as possible and has kept it. They has not even participated in the uprise against Assads even having many good reasons for it.

      If they had, Assads wasnt there today in his russian parambulator.

      Im so tired of reading things about kurdish loyalty. Its as if its a mobbing tradition and mainly tell more, that You are like my honnybees. The can find left and right, but not count to 3.

      Russians has been their some kind of friend for many, many years. Why do You think they liked communism in the forst place. Until a few Years ago Assads actually supported the ones, we today name as PKK.

      So doint make things as primitive as they are. If anything, You can see Russians more active and USA as well. USA actually has supported Iraqi Kurdistan and the no fly zone there and protect the 111 peshmergas with the heavy stuff.

      You are museum.

      • Terence Silvestre Jr.

        I capture a lot of simplicity in your innocent vision of seeing the geopolitical movements of the great players in the world arena, my friend.
        By the way there are only two sides worldwide:
        NATO (USA + Puppets) vs RUSSIA (China best friend)
        Involved both sides, believe me that the word ”neutral” is not part of the geopolitical vocabulary.
        Then if the Americans are with the Kurds It’s because there were full Kurdish acceptance of all conditions in favor of American interests of course.
        So if the Kurds being with the Americans, Russia natural enemy, and at the same time they ask for help from Russia, Americans natural enemy, is more than obvious that the Kurds are playing on both sides seeking for their own interests, protecting themselves from the Turks, Americans natural ally.
        For all that, I fear that I’m quite right in the reasoning of my last comment.
        Because nothing in Syria is as simple as it seems my dear friend.

        • Jens Holm

          “Then if the Americans are with the Kurds It’s because there were full Kurdish acceptance of all conditions in favor of American interests of course.”

          And the alternative was what: All 400.000 being killed or refugees in Turkey.

          A very good example of, why You are so wrong too often. And the russians would have helped them in stead. I dont think so.

          • Terence Silvestre Jr.

            ” And the alternative was what: All 400.000 being killed or refugees in Turkey. ”
            Are you sure we are on the same wave, my friend?
            I’m afraid that the fact you mention here has nothing to do with any of our previous arguments.
            On the contrary, I explained my previous arguments so simply that the least gifted of all of us commenting here could easily understand all the logic and common sense of it.
            Unless you have a better explanation of course, which was not the case in your previous comment, you should share it and we will all be happy to analyze and take advantage of it dear friend.

  • Solomon Krupacek
  • Stephen

    The nation of Syria cannot be divided because whole Syrian nation is united and fighting proxies and spies of foreign countries. Kurdish whether they are SDF or YPG etc. they are Syrian and proud to be Syrian.

    • Jens Holm

      You most have Your eys in Your socks and they need to be cleaned.

      • Basu Deb

        Would you kindly give a list? Not from the MSM, of course.

        • Jens Holm

          Certainly not. Things are well descriebed at the internet as long as it has existed and incl. longer back incl. Old Assad.

          Its not to be unkind, but I dont collect proofs as well as indications. Its common knowledge during many years.

          I wont dispute You about the last amnesty, where its said assads kills 50 a day in a jail or the latest gas attacks.

  • More

    There needs to be official confirmation from Russia regarding this move.

  • Pete

    I think everybody is focusing on solving the radicalism, and there will be zones. In a federal state i think there wouldn’t be any problem, but the reality is against Turkey Afrin has no chance, or even SDF without US. But i think Kurd area would be a new Israel. It can be long term thing. Strategiclly kurds might be quite good, not really waited in Manjib also.

  • Mikronos

    The Russians look more like a peacekeeping mission. The US forces, on the other hand, look like they’re there for a fight.