While reality is obstructed by the fog of war I am willing to listen to all sorts of competing opinions.
Erdogan Betrays Putin with Staged Coup to Invade Syria
The US Master Plan; stage a coup in against Erdogan to gain the trust of President Putin so that later Turkey could invade Syria before Putin realizes the nature of betrayal. NATO has orchestrated a master plan to bring Russia down. The prophet Daniel saw these events and spoke about the King of the North troubled by tidings from the North and East: Russia and China's involvement in Syria has stirred him up
Syria - Who Wins In The Turkish-Russian Deal?
5 September, 2016
Two headlines today support the claim that "western" media reporting often defies the observable reality.
- Washington Post: For the first time since 2013, ISIS has no border with NATO
- From the last one:
Isis has lost control of its last territories on the border with Turkey, monitoring groups say, in a major blow to the group's ability to receive foreign fighters from the rest of the world.
Neither is ISIS cut of from the world, nor from NATO. Fighters as well as goods can still cross to and from Turkey like they did throughout the last years.
Just take a look at the map:
The Turkish-Syrian border between Azaz, Al-Ra'i and Jarablus, with ISIS (grey) on the southern side, was always open for traffic between the two areas. Now the Turkish army and Turkish proxy forces of "moderate rebels" moved into the green strip of land on the Syrian side. This did not seal or close the border, as other countries had demanded. It simply moved the border south. Crossing between the ISIS held area and the Turkish controlled area will now be easier because media will have no access to the area. Deals will be made out of sight and money will flow as well as traffic.
There was no fighting at all about the strip between ISIS and the Turkish forces. The Turks told ISIS to move south and it did so before the Turks and its mercenaries moved in. There was not even one Turkish casualty from fighting ISIS over the area. The change of the territorial borderline was obviously done in mutual agreement.
It is ridiculous that some media try to sell that as a closing of the border or as a cut off. It is the opposite.
Turkey's main intention with this move was to prevent a connection of the (yellow) Kurdish areas in the east and the west. Such a Kurdish controlled connecting strip along the border would indeed have sealed it. ISIS traffic would not have been allowed to pass Kurdish checkpoints.
Turkey will probably try to annex the area it has taken. There are plans to build new cities on the Syrian side to house refugees currently in Turkish camps. Turkey could thereby offload a major burden its war on Syria has brought onto it.
Russia and Iran had agreed to the Turkish move into the area after Turkey promised to end its support for attacks on Aleppo city. It has yet to be seen if Turkey will stick to this promise. Some of the Turkish proxy fighters involved in the attack on Aleppo were pulled back and moved to the now occupied border strip. But material support for the attack in form of ammunition and other supplies seems to continue.
Two decent analyst argue that the agreement, while not entirely preferred, is still in Russia's and Syria's advantage.
Elijah Magnier says (Arabic) (English, unedited) that Russian policy in Syria is like a Matryoshka doll with one item placed inside the other. The most elaborate of these dolls has 50 levels of nesting with a total of 51 dolls. Says Magnier:
Putin seems have pulled out his first Matryushka doll by bombing the enemies of Damascus last September. He pulled out the second smaller doll when accepting a cease-fire. Then he pulled out a third doll by helping to besiege Aleppo the first time. The fourth was skilfully brought out when he supported Erdogan and approved –Putin before Obama – a safe passage for the Turkish troops into Syria.
Should Turkey move away from the agreement, or the U.S. try something nasty, another outer doll of the 47 left will be removed and a new Russian plan will become visible.
Raphaël Lebrujah of the French Mediapart giving his view (French) (English, machine translated) the Turkish-Russian deal:
Putin has just played a masterstroke. Indeed, in addition to having obtained many benefits from Erdogan, he just throw Turkey, an old adversary in the Syrian hell. Erdogan was carried away by his obsession, the fight against Kurdish.
Russia achieved the feat with one stone three hits against three opponents of the regime: the Kurds, the Syrian Islamists and Turkey. By destabilizing relations within these three actors and one against throwing in others it is a masterstroke. Better, the US appear to be divided between pro-Turkish and pro-Kurdish. Indeed, the CIA and US policies appear closer to the Turkish interests and the pentagon, that of the Kurds.
Economically Russia wins by again opening trade with Turkey. The "moderate" Islamist in the new Turkish zone are now separated from the al-Qaeda groups around Aleppo. Turks and Kurds in Syria will stay busy with fighting each other. Indeed Russia can use the Kurds against Turkey should Erdogan try to play foul.
A few anti-tank or anti-air weapons smuggled into Turkey's east from Armenia will hurt the Turkish army in its fight against the local PKK. The Turkish conscript army, already weakened through purges after the recent coup, can not absorb high casualties without alarming the Turkish public.
ISIS will still be connected to Turkey. But its fighting power is severely diminished and it is already falling back into guerrilla mode. It now mostly avoids open battles. It will be ground down over time.
Surprises may still come from ISIS as it has some very well trained personnel. Its new military commander is Gulmurod Khalimov, a special forces officer from Tajikistan, long trained in counterterrorism by U.S. advisors and special forces. He replaces the dead Abu Omar al-Shishani, a Chechen special force officer from Georgia, long trained in counterterrorism by U.S. advisors and special forces. Look there! The Russians just dropped a barrel bomb! Nothing to see here, Nothing at all ...