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Syrian War Report – October 11, 2019: Turkish Forces Storming Tell Abyad, Ras Al-Ayn


Syrian War Report – October 11, 2019: Turkish Forces Storming Tell Abyad, Ras Al-Ayn

Since October 9, the Turkish Armed Forces and Turkish-backed militants have been developing a ground phase of their operation against Kurdish armed groups in northeastern Syria.

The main Turkish efforts were focused on the towns of Ras al-Ayn and Tell Abyad. Turkey-led forces captured several villages surrounding the towns and event entered Tell Abyad. Nonetheless, the situation in the area remains unstable. It is expected that the Syrian Democratic Forces, a brand used by mainstream media to describe the YPG and the YPJ, will be able to defend fortified urban areas until they are not encircled.

According to pro-Turkish sources, over 100 YPG/YPJ members were neutralized since the start of the operation. This number remains unconfirmed. Pro-Kurdish sources claim that the YPG was able to eliminate several pieces of Turkish military equipment and kill two dozens of Turkish proxies. These claims were also barely confirmed by any evidence. However, at least 17 civilians were injured in a mortar shelling that targeted the Turkish town of Ceylanpınar.

Syria’s state-run news agency SANA reported on October 10 that about 100 US troops had left northeastern Syria through the Semalka border crossing with Iraq. Taking into account that US President Donald Trump called Turkey’s operation a “bad idea”, but distanced himself from Kurdish forces because they did not help the US in World War II, it becomes more and more clear that the Turkish military action in the region is in fact coordinated with the US.

By this move, the Trump administration makes an important step to return confidence of its key ally in the eastern Mediterranean and, at the same time, delivers a blow to efforts of the Obama administration and the CIA that had contributed notable efforts in supporting the Kurdish project in northern Syria.

The possible rapprochement of the US and Turkey over the conflict in Syria will allow Washington to strengthen its campaign to limit influence of Iran and the Assad government in the war-torn country, as well as open additional opportunities for a revanche of the US military industrial complex on the Turkish market. This is a logical step in the framework of the national-oriented policy provided by the Trump administration.

The key question is how deep into Syria the Turkish military is planning to expand its Operation Peace Spring. Currently, pro-Turkish sources speculate about the possible creation of a 30km-deep corridor. If the US allows Turkey and Turkey appears to be capable of reaching this goal, Anakra will boost its role in the conflict even further and gain a wide range of options to influence its possible settlement. In this event, the Assad government will lost all the remaining chances to restore the territorial integrity and the Trump administration will get additional leverages of pressure on Iran, the Assad government and Russia in Syria.



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  • BlueHeadLizard

    Turkey has a bad trade deficit, government deficit and weak currency. For how long could Turkey financially support an occupation of a 30km corridor or the whole of Eastern Syria?

    • TruthSeeker

      They will pull thier “Moderate” terrorists out of idlib and place them along the border once the Turkish army clears out the buffer zone and returns home, then the SAA can kill all HTS and retake idlib. Syria is almost hopeless in getting all of its land back, the only land it could possibly take would be from the kurds now the US is gone. Let the kurds live peacefully in northern syria but the kurdish militias will have to join as a branch of the Syrian army, they will have to let all Arabs return to thier homelands, they will have to let the syrian army/Russian police set control posts along the 30km buffer zone, return all economic institutions and strategic locations to the syrian government and live by the Syrian constitution. Syria can get back up and start rebuilding, the US has left (Trumps campaign promises) Turkey has annexed a buffer along northern Syria (slight protection from kurdish guerilla warfare and good for Erdoğans popularity from Turkish nationalists) Russia has two new military bases, Iran is building bases quietly, Israel can keep blowing empty buildings up for political gains LOL, ISIS has pretty much evaporated (unless sleeper cells activated for western political purpose, or just a pissed of Jihadi that wants to become a firework) and will probably never return again. Problem solved. 👍✌️

      • PZIVJ

        That is one hopeful scenario.Question is: how to get US coalition to vacate all of NE Syria? I am hoping for an accident to occur between Turk and US forces, which would speed up the process of “Trumps withdrawal” from Syria.

        • TruthSeeker

          As time is going by your question is being answered my friend. I am not sure where US troops will go maybe home, Iraq maybe KSA or even Yeman but the quicker they get out the quicker one war can be solved.

    • Mustafa Mehmet

      Why you so worry about our economy. we doing fine

      • BlueHeadLizard

        More a technical question. Wars are expensive and sooner or later ruin a country economically, as there is no return in investment; just money going into a crater. Funded by Turkey taxpayer; mainly on salary withholding tax and indirect taxes VAT.

        e.g. https://www.zdnet.com/article/how-much-do-smart-weapons-cost-the-military/
        “……..A single medium to long-range subsonic Tomahawk cruise missile costs roughly $1.5 million, and 50kg air-to-ground Hellfire rockets cost an eye-watering $115,000 each. Another member of the family, a shoulder-rocket called the Javelin — at $147,000 — can be used to kill individual soldiers that are hiding in bolt-holes……”

        • Mehmet Karaca

          Of course war is costly, but you have any idea how much money have Turks spent conflict against PKK in years: More than 700 billion dollars. 80 millions of nation may suffer some economic problem, but that doesnt mean they will die

  • Icarus Tanović

    This is indeed bad idea for Turkey, but great opportunity for SAA to consolidate Syria’s territorial integrity. SDF is ALREADY very keen to integrate into SAA.
    This could turn into southern Lebanon, Turks didn’t learned lessons from Saudis.

    • PZIVJ

      Unfortunately for the SDF, most of NE Syria is not good defensive terrain. :(
      This is why they will try to hold the urban areas.

      • Mehmet Karaca

        Which they cannot. They simply dont know how to defend, all they do against ISIS is hit and run or designate targets to Americans. We saw it before, in Afarin, so called ‘trench war’ in Turkey. Btw, i see some underestimation of TAF. Turkish army may be the most experienced army in the world in terms of urban warfare

        • RichardD

          In Afrin the Kurds were cut off from support by the US and Iraqi Kurds. They’ll get plenty of that in the NE. Right now the Turks are going after mostly Kurdish minority areas that are less heavily defended than Kurdish majority areas. The Turks have a long slog ahead of them if they don’t partner with the Syrian government coalition and get a second front opened on the east side of the river south of the M4 all of the way to Abu Kamal to split the SDF defenses.

        • AJ

          No buddy, Syrian Arab Army is the most experienced in Urban Warfare, then Iran & Russian (and Hezbollah if you want to count them), THEN Turkey…

    • Mehmet Karaca

      Believe me it wont, Afarin was much more difficult terrain than NE Syria and result? Beside that Kurds are not Yemeni’ s and Turkish army is not Saudi army. SDF will lose badly and it will be well deserved. As long as they accept to be puppet of other nations, that is what they have been doing in decades, they will lose

    • BlueHeadLizard

      Good prediction Icarus! looks like that is how it is playing out. We will see if SAA has fire power, vs Turkey, to take and hold towns and land in NE Syria.

  • Hide Behind

    While is quite easy to see the why of a Turkish 30 kilometer buffer zone, but if the Kurds do not willingly give it up Turkey will never be able to have any stability in it.
    Kurds if smart will adopt the methods of the Yemen Houthi fighters hit and run tactics, Turkey will be in for years of hurt.
    When Turkey calls Kurds terrorist where the heck is evidence Kurds are terrorizing Turkey’s people.
    In Truth of matter it has been Turkey genocidal tactics against Kurds that cause conflicts in Turkey.

    • jim crowland

      Noble Kurds: give the ottomans a lesson with guerilla warfare, free Isis terrorists and send the towards the ottomans

      • Guibus Guib

        Kurds, led by Barzani talmudist mafia gang, have served the interests of Israel in this war against the sovereign people of Syria, with the help of the israeli mercenaries aka the US military. The’ll get what they deserve.

  • Jay Lindberg

    Turkey has over 3.5 million refugees from the attempted US coup in Syria. I seriously doubt the costs associated with the invasoin will exceed the costs of hosting these refugees.

    • antoun

      yes on vas pouvoir violer ces salopes de boches!!

    • Justin

      the invasion is a national security issue for Turkey! The Syrian Kurds will now be under the control of Turkey! Therefore the Turks wont have the problem of Kurds from other nations any more! Remember the Kurds live in the areas of Turkey for which much of the caspian sea oil travels through! This is a weak point for Turkey and the Kurds know it!
      There is no dollar value in this! its a land grab to control Syrian Kurds and erase a threat!
      (this is the Turkish point of view)
      (i am not Turkish and i hate Erdogan)

  • smertzakrov

    the Kurds now reap what they sowed by serving as proxies for US imperialism

  • jim crowland

    Please Dictator Putin: NUKE the OTTOMANS NOW!!, partition of the ottoman country NOW!

    • Mustafa Mehmet

      take it easy on tequila now pimping jim

  • David Parker

    I do not understand how Erdogan operates with impunity inside Syria.
    Why doesn’t the SAA attack the invading Turks?
    Does Assad have no Air Force to incinerate the advancing Turk convoys? If the Houti’s have eyes in the sky and missiles supplied by the Iranians, why doesn’t Assad have eyes in the sky and missiles supplied by the Iranians?

    • John

      The focus is on Latakia and Idlib for the moment.

    • BlueHeadLizard

      Syria does not have the fire power bandwidth, especially not to take on Turkey head to head in what would be a full blown conventional country vs. country war. That would play into Erdogan’s hands to fully invade and take over Syria. Furthermore if Syria attacks Turkey, theoretically NATO would have to come to defend Turkey. I’m not sure of the technicalities of the NATO pact on this point; is Turkey attacking, or is it attacked if say its air force hit by a Syria SAM. Whatever Syria has to factor in Turkey is a NATO ally.

      So as John says SAA focus is on Latakia and Idlib. In the meantime the belligerents fighting in East Syria weaken other, so Syria watch what happens, then strike later either militarily and/or diplomatically.

      With the limited resources Syria has, it has to play a long low intensity game. Not great as it means other forces violating your sovereignty, but Syria swallows its pride and only picks a fight WHEN it can win it. You have to give credit for the strategic thinking approach Syria and its allies takes, in the face of overwhelming opposition: NATO airforce, NATO navy cruise missiles, NATO financial backing for rebels, NATO air force, diplomatic, media, etc.

      • AJ

        Sooo True

      • David Parker

        Uh oh, look what happened now – I read the damned Turks shelled the SAA and captured an SAA tank and that means they probably killed several SAA soldiers.

        • BlueHeadLizard

          Yep things heating up with SAA coming into it. Right now looks like a formula1 race for NE Syria. But it’s not formula1 cars but tanks and heavily armed Toyotas.

          Turks desperate for NE Syria to resettle their Syria refugees. Syria desperate to reconquer their country. This could get very nasty.

          Methinks SAA are too late to dig in defensive positions and I still believe they do not have the firepower v Turks, Amorphis says same below. But SAA has masses of experience now, these guys are battle hardened and wise so not to be underestimated. It will come down to if Syria can/will deploy its SAMs to neutralise Turkey air force, that will even things out.

          Western Media say Russia are calling the shots since the USA pull out, so Russia will oversee an orderly partition of NE Syria. I think that is naively simple. Turkey and Syria can independently pursue their own agendas resulting in conflict. Russia is not going to fully back one or the other, only verbally ask them to stop with little effect, as they both pursue their critical conflicting objectives.

          • David Parker

            All the oil and gas is in the northeast – where the US attacked everyone who tried to cross the Euphrates, including the SAA chasing Daesch. I wonder who has been selling Syrian oil and gas for the last seven years of this war to destroy the legitimate government of Syria?

    • That would mean a war with Turkey. I detest Erdoğan alot but credit is where its due; they have a powerful military and a somewhat decent local military industrial complex. It’s not a war SAA can win.

      Also, as @blueheadlizard:disqus mentions; it could play into the hands of Israel/US, whom may invade Syria under the pretext of “Protecting a NATO ally”.

    • Attrition47

      It’s a ploy, attack the Sultan’s forces and you attack Nato, attack the Sultan’s forces and you give the Seppoes a pretext.

  • RichardD

    The way to avoid the Turkish operation in the NE turning into a Yinon plan quagmire for everyone involved. Is for Turkey to partner with the Syrian government on removing the US, decommissioning the SDF, and ending the war. So that the Turks can withdraw most of their forces and have the Syrians keep the Kurd problem in check so that Turkey’s border is secure.

    And then to work on getting the Israel and Jew problem corrected. Which is the root cause of most of the trouble in the region. This doesn’t require a war with Israel. Unless they start it. But it does require adequate military force in theater to support negotiated UN and other resolution implementation.

  • Justin

    This video is half true!
    Yes Trump keeps Turkey within NATO but Turkey would never really leave NATO! Remember Turkey is now a double player! One foot with Russia and one foot with NATO! Lets not forget (Russia wont) that turkey shot down a Russian aircraft (maybe even 2 if u include the manpad one as well)! Almost certainly turkey helps HTS and the drone strikes upon the Russian bases! Turkey has long considered Idlib and Latakia Turkish land!

    Russians dont trust them (nor do you guys and u know it) and neither does America and Europe (hence why their 60 year application into the EU has been rejected)!

    Turkey is in a world of its own now but at the same time holds many aces up its sleeve! Access to the black sea! The most powerful NATO member (yes they are and its admitted). But because Turkey cannot be trusted they have very limited support but their geographical importance cannot be ignored! therefore they wield enormous influence amongst nations who dont like them!

    China hates Turkey because Turkey is supportive of the Slaves in China who so happen to be muslim! EU hates Turkey because they are the flood gate to Europe which the EU is enslaved to Turkey for! USA hates Turkey because they play the USA for their geographical importance to Russia, Asia, the middle east and Europe! Russia hates Turkey because they have been at war with Turkey more than any other nation! The Turks are highly influential of the Russian Muslims in the Caucus regions including the Tatars which just so happen to be the oil rich regions and also the areas around the black sea which so happen to be Russias only warm water naval base!
    Turkey is playing both sides!! So long as Erdogan is in charge this will be the case! Think about it! Turkey is a NATO ally thats holds the key to Asia, Europe and the middle east, the access to the black sea AND so happens to have Russian gas pipes running through it to feed Southern Europe all the while being funded by Qatar! Qatar literally funded isis! Qatar (after the loss of Aleppo) bought 20% shares in Russias Rosneft! Now Turkey allows Russian gas pipes?

    Turkey plays both sides and their only true enemy was the Kurds!
    But guess what, the biggest ally to the kurds throughout history has been the Russians!
    But guess what! The Kurds helped Turkey Slaughter Armenians (genocide) for the false promise of having their own land!

    Its one big bowl of scum that Russia and the USA must deal with!

    If you support Russia and Syria (i do) you should be happy of the outcome! Syria will get most of its land back, its oil back and the kurds will beg for their original land back! But i can assure u that they will get their land back but that land will become apart of Turkey! therefore Turkey will contain the kurdish region so they can control them even more so!
    Russia will take (for syria) Manbij, Raqqa and most of Idlib!
    USA is out (but in iraq)
    Turkey will buy Russian air defences but will never have a Russian stealth aircraft so long as they are a part of NATO! We all know they cant have a US stealth aircraft either! Therefore Turkey will always be stuck between the asshole and the pussy! hahaha!

    This has all worked out well!

    Syria won :)
    Russia won :)
    Turkey was bitch slapped!
    Israel got fucked in the ass!
    Saudi has a war in its south and a threat in its east!
    Russia is much stronger!
    Russia has new pipelines to europe!
    Turkey is Russias BITCH!
    Assad becomes a brave hero!

    Remember those of u who think Trump helps israel dont know the REAL story! The art of war!
    Does Israel want the USA to leave? What was the Kurdish territory to Israel? This has fucked israel big time! Why do u think many nations (especially israel) is calling for Turkey to stop its invasion of Syria? Because Kurdish land was supposed to be Israeli land!

    Turkey and israel are butting heads big time over this! Yet the USA left! Are the USA Israel’s bitch? YES or NO?
    All warfare is based on deception!
    There is an intel war happening! You guys need to know there is much more to the story! Is it normal for a president to cross the border of North Korea and shake hands?
    Why would a president of the USA not take the opportunity to destroy iran after the drone shoot down?

    Look, one day u guys will wake up! Since Trump came into office u all thought that he was Israel’s best friend! WRONG he is israel’s worst enemy! Otherwise Epstein wouldnt have been busted! Otherwise the former PM of Israel and the head of Mossad would not have been arrested!

    YES he was arrested! The head of Mossad! Not for spying but for pedophilia and as a foreign combatant! Arrested by the military! He isnt a US citizen! This man created a honey trap to control US foreign policy on behalf of Israeli ambitions in the middle east!

    So what do u do in the art of war?

    “Keep your friends close but your enemies even closer”
    “The art of war is based on deception”
    “The art of the deal”
    “The art of war”

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    • BlueHeadLizard

      Thanks Justin for loads of info. And I never saw those tweets from Trump before, a more thinking wise side not shown in mainstream media.

      • Feudalism Victory

        No thinking is done in the mainstream media

  • Attrition47

    If you must use the term “neutralised” you really ought to put it in quotation marks and add a description of what the euphemism means such as “killed”.

  • adam77

    Do the Turkish controlled zones like Afrin have abortion rights as in Turkey? or are they under Islamist law of allied militias?