ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey is fully abiding by the agreements it reached with Russia and the United States regarding northeast Syria and is not resuming its military offensive, a security source said on Monday.
Ankara reached separate agreements with Moscow and Washington last month to remove the Kurdish YPG militia from a swathe of land in northeast Syria bordering Turkey, which in return stopped its military offensive against the militia.
But Ankara has previously said neither Russia nor the United States had kept up their side of the deal, and threatened to launch a new operation. The security source said on Monday that Turkey was responding to attacks by the YPG in the region within the scope of self defense.
Oh, OK… Reuters is reporting that Turkey said they weren’t operating in northern Syria except on the rare occasion that they had to defend themselves from YPG terrorization.
It was wicked nice of Reuters to report to us that Turkey said that.
Well, whatever it is that is or is not happening, there is some aggressive state level trolling going on.
For a refresher, that’s the Russian S-400 surface to air system that got Turkey got kicked out of the F-35 program over buying. And they’re testing it again American built F-16s.
This isn’t the only saber rattling that Erdogan is doing though.
A deadline, huh? Is that like an ultimatum. Sounds bad, but that one guy seems to be taking it with good humor.
So is everyone else.
Although some people are still doing some serious thinking about the Turkish backed militia.
So that’s our basic geo-political update on the Turkish position.
And a strongly stated position it is. I think they made their point.
Counter-Point: Air strikes.
So this is a significant new ground development on two levels.
- We’re looking at the al Bab — Jarablus region (map below; Jarablus is nnorthof al Bab)
- They were night time air strikes near the eastern theater
So first, you can see from the map that this is the area between the fighting west of Aleppo and the war in the east. There was talk awhile back of the TSFA taking this connective area, but now it seems like some people may have different ideas, as those were almost certainly not Turkish air strikes.
Mostly, with some exceptions, TFSA don’t operate at night. The obvious reason is Turkish drone support is better during the day, but I would imagine fighting at night against an opponent that’s on their own home turf is unattractive to them as well.
But with these night strikes, nobody is sure who it was. It was dark. There are rumors of (US led) coalition, Russia, Turkey, and any other combination thereof, though notably nobody thinks it was SAA.
Also, as per the posts about legal destinations, one of two things largely understood about the attack by those on the ground is this: The attack must have been against ISIS or al Qaeda for the attack to have occurred as it did, since that’s who such things are supposed to be directed against—everyone else is in a cease fire, dontchaknow!
The other thing they think they know is kinda amazing, impressive, and perhaps not a little awesome.
It appears that the strikes hit some oil tankers that ISIS was using to smuggle oil. Also, they were robbing grain silos near Ayn Issa too. They really take this bad guy thing super seriously.
So anyway it was night, and there were heavy air strikes. Lots of uncertainty, but those two facts point to Russia or coalition. The gap between the differing ramifications of each possibility are obviously enormous.
But here’s the kicker, here’s what else they think they know:
- Trump and his stated oil policy are absurd.
- Even given that, there is no fucking way they will believe US troops are working with the Turkish forces in any way, shape, or form.
That blows me away. Even after all I’ve seen from these people. All the information and disinformation and sense of betrayal, and they take one look at the idea that their old friends in the US military would do that and—