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Operation Delayed, But Not Canceled: Turkey Massing Forces North Of SDF-held Part Of Syria

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Operation Delayed, But Not Canceled: Turkey Massing Forces North Of SDF-held Part Of Syria

Turkish army tanks and military personal are stationed in Karkamis on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern Gaziantep province, Turkey, August 25, 2016. © Umit Bektas / Reuterskish

The Turkish military deployed large reinforcements in the southern province of Kilis along the border with Syria, the Syrian Enab Baladi news outlet reported on December 23 citing Turkish sources.

According to the pro-opposition news outlet, the reinforcements included several commando units and more than 100 armored vehicles of different types.

The deployment of these forces is clearly a part of Turkey’s plan to launch an operation against US-backed proxies in northeastern Syria. The Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the Euphrates Shield (ES) area, south of Kilis, is expected to support the operation with more than 15,000 fighters.

Earlier this week, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that his military will delay the operation as a result of the U.S. decision to withdraw its troops from Syria. However, he noted that this halt will not be an “open ended waiting process.”

“The phone call we made with [US President] Trump, as well as the contacts of our diplomatic and security units, and the statements made by the American side led us to wait for a while [for an operation],” said Erdogan

The continues military buildup on the border with Syria reflects Turkey’s strict stand against US-backed forces in northern Syria, which will be defenseless within a few months.

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  • Promitheas Apollonious

    defenseless why? They have I am sure man pads and anti tank weapons. Turks can only fight same as the americans if the army against them is civilian or defenseless and I dont see the kurds to be defenseless. Cowards more than likely, if they dont fight what they them selves bring on them with their actions against syria and its people, defenseless no.

    • Empire’s Frontiers

      With that, we’ve seen at least a 100 reports here and elsewhere of ‘Turks delivering hardware’ to this region or another.

      But I’ve been convinced they’re driving a few trucks around for photo opportunities.

      For all the bluster, Turkey, among other actors, seems to have been put on ice since the brief September offensive against Idlib.

      Between the Russians and SAA dropping bombs left and right of Turkish observation posts in Idlib, and the Americans abusing the Lira at will, I don’t see Turkey doing more than talking, or as you often put it, farting.

      • Promitheas Apollonious

        let us hope we are both wrong.

        • Empire’s Frontiers

          Wishful thinking doesn’t get us too far, but what is it you think would be a positive outcome from the present arrangement?

          • Tudor Miron

            Let me add my 2 cents.
            IMHO, the positive outcome will be that Kurds become less stupid and return those lands that they grabbed to Syria. With USA gone and Turkey threatening their existance that is the only way for them. Remembering their stupid and arrogant behavoir I suspect that it will take some time and some butt kicking. Their probem is that their bargaining pisition is becoming weaker with each passing day. Some may remember my “predictions” that I posted before Afrin operations.

          • Promitheas Apollonious

            what I always said syrian people get back their country. anything else is a compromise of their national interest.

          • jorge

            The Kurds will have to side along the SAA, if not, the SAA, to protect their land against the Turks, would have to destroy the kurd unities on their way.

          • Promitheas Apollonious

            the land is syrian land, not kurdish land, so correct this into your mind and then you know what SAA will do.

          • jorge

            SAA’s land, Syrian land, not kurds land, any way now is explicit.

  • Brother Ma

    Fsa ? Ha! You mean Erdogan/Turco-allied al qaida /alnusra headchoppers! Cruel Sadists that need a good killing ,everyone of them if only to punish them for cuting off the head off that 10 year old boy! Remember the Americans saying the unit responsible will be punished? Yeh. Right! When??

    • Ken Nonickname Nonecknom Under

      That was the al Zinki gang.

      • Brother Ma

        Maybe. Yet all areTurco/Saud alphabets. All were part of Erdogan’s bashibazouks at the time. Blaming one faction or other simply dilutes responsibility. Edogan did not punish them at the time and they were his lapdogs.

      • nonicknamenonecknomunderwood I agree

  • Barba_Papa

    >>According to the pro-opposition news outlet, the reinforcements included several commando units and more than 100 armored vehicles of different types.<<

    Only a 100 armored vehicles? That's barely a mechanized brigade. Hardly the reincarnation of Operation Barbarossa. If that's all the Turks got along the border I'm inclined to agree with Empire's Frontiers, it seems more a case of the Turks driving a few trucks around for photo shoots.

    Now if a zero were to be added to that number…….

  • jorge

    Turks, give up of any territorial conquest on Syria, if not, there is a little premonitory song for you, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY0WxgSXdEE

  • Ken Nonickname Nonecknom Under

    Turkey won’t find the Kurds defenceless. Already KSA and Hezbollah are offering their services.

    • PZIVJ

      That’s an odd mix!
      KSA only offering some financial aid ?

      • Ken Nonickname Nonecknom Under

        They won’t take it. Assad will look after them. They are Syrians after all.
        Backstabbing cowardly opportunistic dogs true, but Syrians. :)

  • Rob

    With SDF the time is running out so fast.

  • Willing Conscience (The Truths

    Only the Russians, the SAA and the French will be helping the Kurds, they’ve already told Putin they don’t want Hezbollah forces in the area because of how badly it ended last time, they don’t want another repeat of that fiasco, they would prefer not to antagonize the Israelis right now as they have enough on their plate dealing with Erdogan, why complicate things.

    • PZIVJ

      I think Hezbollah just making statements to be in the news.
      Are Iraqi units part of PMU, and need permission from Iraqi govt to cross border?

      • Willing Conscience (The Truths

        Iraqi PMU are Shia militias mainly but also have some Sunni and Christian militias, they’re a part of the Iraqi government forces and I don’t think they’ll be allowed to join in the fight, even though they would want to. The only group of Iraqis that will definitely help are the PUK Peshmerga, they keep saying they will and are very anti Turkish and pro YPG. The only problem is they have to travel through KDP Peshmerga territory to get there, and the KDP Peshmerga are pro Turkish. Very complicated.