Remarkable news from Northern Syria.
1. SAA made in the first half of the day, a decisive push to the North, overcame a 10 kilometers separating the Syrian positions from the villages controlled by the Kurds Rozhava and established contact with the forces SDF/YPG. Thus, Turkey and the FSA has lost even a theoretical possibility to advance to the Euphrates, in the gap between SAA and Kurds. Judging by the rapid promotion, the Caliphate had taken the main force in the South-East and serious resistance to the Syrians is not provided.In the formal boiler between the Syrian, Turkish and Kurdish positions I don’t think there is very much of fighters, but rather there may be only separated from their units, wounded, suicide bombers and members of cells that will operate in these areas after completing the Stripping and filtration activities. In General, you can watch the final agony of a Caliphate in Northern Syria. Areas that are almost 2 years I was a firm bulwark of the regime in raqqa, now became the object of the division of the other participants in the war.After a mini-boiler to be cleaned and set the line of demarcation between the SAA and the FSA to the East of al-Baba, the Syrians will be able in good conscience to advance to the Euphrates, and dodavlivat Deir Hafir.
2. But how much more remarkable it was not a compound of the SAA with the Kurds, and the statements of the Turkish leadership. Assistant Erdogan Ilnur Cevik said http://www.vladtime.ru/siriya/547957 that Turkey will stop military operation in Syria only after take Manbij. About Raqqa Turkey already does not remember, but it’s an aggressive statement reminds us of the main reason for the emergence of Turkey in Northern Syria. In the fall, despite the exhortations of the United States, SDF/YPG refused to give in Manbij the Turks on the grounds that they were there for several months, the blood shed, now for nothing to give it to the Turks.The Turks for some time postponed his ambitions associated with Manbij, focusing on the war with the Caliphate, and problems with the storming of the al-Bab and even pushed the issue Manbij for an indefinite term. But, al-Bab and taken Turkey decides what to do next. In Raqqa it is not allowed, and attack the SAA is not an option – not for Erdogan came to the Russian-Iranian coalition. So Turkey in fact has announced the beginning of military campaign against the Kurds Rozhava to capture Manbij that will allow you to achieve long-stated goals and at the same time to take something under the control of militants, who are unhappy that the Turks did not give them an active fight with the SAA. In fact, the “freedom fighters of Syria” Turks plan to use as a tool of its anti-Kurdish policy.
3. The main motivation of the Turks – district Manbij take the PKK militants, but from the point of view of the Turks are terrorists, and that means all of this “anti-terrorist operation”. Although it is quite crafty position, as between the PKK and the YPG is a significant difference that Washington has repeatedly pointed out to the Turks, refusing to accept the YPG as a terrorist organization. Of course, all this will be provided so that the Kurds can decide to leave Manbij and the surrounding area without a fight, “showing good will”.It is possible that the Kurds of this will be to persuade the US that are hardly interested to finally break the pots with Turkey over Manbij. Otherwise, we are likely to see a new series of wars in Northern Syria, where the Turkish army and controlled her fighters clash with Kurds in the area Manbij (as well as in other areas of Northern Syria on the borders of the Canton of Afrin, in the district of tal Rifat, in the area of Kobane).The Americans in this case are likely to be neutral, pretending that what is happening on the West Bank of the Euphrates does not concern them, but warned Turks against encroachments in the area of Kobani on the Northern border of the province of Hasaka. Russia and Iran, this will excite as much as it will interfere with the ongoing operations to the East of Aleppo. Assad these areas does not control, so from the point of view of the official Damascus, the Kurdish separatists here will clash with the Turkish invaders.
4. However, if it comes to direct fighting, the Kurds clearly are not the whipping boys that have already shown fighting in the tal Rifat, where the Kurds beat up FSA militants. Moreover, the capacity of the Turkish group to the West and North of Manbij, the Kurds can meet supply of reserves taken from the front in the area of Raqqa, as well as entering into the new battalions that were actively preparing in the autumn of last year. Plus, of course, Turkey can expect a new wave of bombings authored by the PKK.
Of course, if Turkey seriously decided to invest in the operation to capture Manbij, we are likely to see the entry into Syria of several infantry and armored brigades from the 3rd and 9th armies. Numbers of the Turks are unlikely to significantly exceed the Kurds (and the infantry the Kurds would be stronger “green”), but the armor, artillery and aviation, they certainly will have an overwhelming advantage, especially since the Kurds in this case can hardly count on air support from the USAF, as it is in the area of Raqqa.
Overall, the local TVD one way or another in the near future will have significant changes that need to consolidate a new balance of power after the Caliphate was driven out of Northern Syria. It is unlikely that the attack on the Manbij will start earlier on 9-10 March, when Moscow will host talks between Putin and Erdogan, and where there should be follow-up steps to consolidate the spheres of influence of the parties in Northern Syria and obligations under the Syrian settlement. Though completely to exclude it is impossible, because of the tendency of Erdogan to impulsive and adventurous actions.
Also, it is highly likely that the question of operations against Mabij, the Turks will try to discuss in advance with the Americans to clarify their position and to avoid a situation where operation of the Turkish army may affect areas where there are American units. Theoretically, Moscow and Washington may not be interested in the Turkish assault Manbij and Erdogan will have to explain it.