Rudaw with a very good game explanation of how the Syrian-Turkish border is being handled, Turkey’s plan(s?) for Kurdish withdrawal from and resettlement of the area with Syrian refugees, and possible extent of the operations both in terms of geography and demographic intervention.
Meanwhile, Assad’s government issuing something to the effect of, “Hey, I’m right fucking here. This is my fucking country, y’know,” response. Insists that any resettlement of Syrian refugees must be voluntary and coordinated through them.
I dunno what went down with their respective meetings with Russia, but even having to say that strikes me as a sign of serious weakness.
One way or another, it looks like the next phase will be negotiating how many refugees will be resettled and what will be the geographical extent and specific locations; the specifics of this will be relevant for determining how far into ethnic cleansing territory this process becomes.
The 10 ton elephant in the room is still the fact that Turkey has been and may still be supporting ISIS in the region. Europe’s made some noises about concerns that ISIS might rebound or who will fight ISIS without the US there, but most if not all of the more official types manage to studiously avoid stating: 1) that ISIS is there and it’s not a hypothetical return being discussed; and 2) the nature of their operations in the region.
Of course, such rudeness could open the Gates to Europe.