Thursday 25 January 2018

Tensions Mount in Syria

If you are confused by the geopolitics of the region or new to all this this commentary by Jake Morphonius is pretty spot-on

WAR DRUMS: Trump Slams Turkey As Tensions Mount in Syria


On January 24, an unnamed Kurdish official from Afrin area told the Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV that Kurdish forces will welcome the entry of the Syrian Arab Army to Afrin and said that the Syrian Kurds took up arms “to defend themselves and not to fight the Syrian regime”.

The source allegedly denied that Syrian Kurds are planning to build their own state within Syria and stressed that they are part of the Syrian community, according to al-Mayadeen.

The Kurds [in Afrin] have never been part of the American coalition and have not received any kind of support from it … we do not have a separatist agenda, but most of what we aspire is some of our rights at home,” the unnamed Kurdish official told al-Mayadeen

Only few hours later, Bahjat Abdo, head of the Defense Committee in the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin area denied that the YPG agreed to allow the SAA to enter Afrin and stressed that Kurdish forces there are the one that will stop the Turkish Army attack on the area, according to the Iranian al-Alam TV.

The YPG commander also said that any agreement with the Damascus government will be announced through the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). This confirms that the YPG in Afrin area is indeed backed and commanded by the US-led coalition, as many Turkish and Syrian activists claimed previously.

Abdo’s statement confirms that Kurdish forces in Syria are still not ready to reach any agreement with the Damascus government, although that they are currently facing a major threat from Turkey.


On January 24, the Turkish Army and its proxies from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) launched a new attack on positions of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Qastal Hill east of the city of Afrin in the northern Aleppo countryside. However, the YPG repelled the attack, according to Kurdish sources.

Meanwhile, warplanes of the Turkish Air Force (TAF) carried out a series of airstrikes on several positions of the YPG north and east of Afrin, according to Turkish sources. Furthermore, a source in the Turkish Army told Anadolu Agency that new Turkish T-129 attack helicopters made its debut military run on January 24 and targeted numerous YPG targets with its guided air-to-ground CIRIT rockets.

From its side, the Kurdish Hawar News Agency (ANHA) reported that 34 civilians were killed and 106 others were injured so far in the Turkish bombardment on the Afrin area.

Earlier, the Turkish General Staff claimed that at least 260 Kurdish militiamen have been killed since the start of Operation Olive Branch. On the other hand, the YPG claimed that at least 203 fighters of the Turkish-backed FSA and the Turkish Army have been killed during clashes in Afrin area since January 21.

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