Battle with tanks. Screenshot video trt haber
Kurdish guerrilla resistance holds; syria condemns militant action; religious extremists in alliance with turkic armed forces make disgraceful headlines
For exactly two weeks, the turkish joint operation olive branch has been running in northern syria. Even before that, there had been sporadic attacks on afrin; the presence of the pyd "terrorists" to clean – regardless of the fact that the region is located on the territory of another state. But here the turkic president thinks in lines from old ottoman maps. Contemporary borders interest him less.
A strategy for the ruler mirror
The attack on afrin, which took place on saturday, 20. January, and had been announced loud and clear beforehand, is a military operation with a lot of prestige attached to it. It was in response to the u.S. Announcement that, together with the sdf, where the ypg play a key role, they would form a 30.000 soldiers will form a strong border force. This was unacceptable for the turkic government. Many observers consider the u.S. Announcement to be the straw that broke the camel’s back "the straw that broke the camel’s back".
However, as indicated at the beginning of this article, even before the current operation "olive branch" attacks on afrin, and the current operation was not simply launched from "out of the ground", but needed preparation. It is part of a strategy in which turkey under erdogan plays a grossly historical role in the middle east and the president gets a prominent place in the hall of fame – and before that an expansion of powers the likes of which turkey has not seen since sultanic times.
Glory and honor?
The record of the turkish military operation so far, however, does not really keep pace with the full-bodied announcements and crude ambitions. There have been no spectacular military conquests or successes that have brought glory and honor to the turkish operation in northern syria.
A successful advance is not clearly visible even in the turkish media; conquered territories fall back to kurdish militias.
What is reaching the international public in the u.S., france, britain, italy and other eu countries and media in the middle east are things that do not do credit to the turkish government: turkic airstrikes hitting civilians and images showing the public the brutality of the more primitive fighters in league with the turkic army: jihadist fanatics desecrating women’s corpses, for example.
In turkey, the government uses harsh methods against critics who point to the dirty side of the attack in afrin (see medical doctors arrested for terror propaganda because of call for peace). It is powerless against the coarser international public opinion, which kurdish publications know how to serve well.
The treatment of war critics in turkey shows that erdogan is far from indifferent to public reaction. However, it is difficult to assess the influence of international public opinion on the actions of the government in ankara.
What is important is what russia allows
The efficiency was probably not allowed to be too rough. Now when the web page for "logging" airwars, a website for logging airstrikes in war zones, announces that it is now also documenting the turkish air force’s attacks in northern syria, this is an important source for observers of the events.
Civilian casualties from turkish airstrikes will also play a role in protests against the turkish military operation in northern syria – along with accusations of firebombing and the arms deals of nato allies like germany with turkey. But exactly what political effect this will have remains to be seen.
More important for the turkish government will be the attitude of russia towards the turkish operation. It is highly likely that the turkish air strikes will stop immediately if russia no longer agrees with them.
According to the – in part controversial – testimonies of sdf opponents, a well-known supporter of operation olive branch in azaz and a kurdish militiaman who is close to the turkish government, the "long leash", which turkey has been given for its actions in afrin, by the fact that no one else but turkey has such influence on the jihadist or radical islamist militias in northern syria, including aleppo.
For russia, the interest in an agreement with turkey thus lies in the fact that turkey, in return for the range of action of its air force, ensures that the extremist militias in the north of syria remain under control and that the syrian army, in its military advances to recapture its territory, is as far as possible spared any problems from them.