The completion of the operation “shield of the Euphrates” | Colonel Cassad

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The National Security Council of Turkey announced https://www.rt.com/news/382732-turkey-euphrates-shield-operation–syria-ends/ completion of the operation “shield of the Euphrates” in connection “with its successful completion”.

The operation began on 24 August 2016 and the time of its inception, the situation in Northern Syria were as follows:

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Turkey at the beginning of the operation said the following strategic objectives:

1. To take control of part of the Syrian-Turkish border controlled by the Caliphate.
2. To ensure the safety of refugees in the territories that were supposed to control the “Free Syrian Army”.
3. To strike at “Kurdish terrorists”.

Other purposes not officially announced, but they were:

1. To prevent connection of the Kurds Afrin Rojava by driving a wedge between them.
2. To ensure the safety of the “green enclave” of Azaz Mare.
3. To return to the big Syrian game, of which Turkey is almost had by the summer of 2016.
4. To distract the army from the consequences of the elimination of the failed coup and due to the “small victorious war” to strengthen the shaken positions of Erdogan.

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Officially, the main enemy of Turkey in Northern Syria is “Caliphate”, but in fact, behind the external trappings of war with the Islamic State, lurks a fundamental Kurdish-Turkish conflict that smolders in Syria, Iraq and Turkey.

During the operation was scheduled to take a key city controlled by the Caliphate in Northern Syria – al-Rai, Dzharablus, Dabic, al-Bab, as well as Kurdish-controlled Manbij, and then come to Raqqa.

The most heavy fighting during the operation unfolded in the district of al-Baba where the militants were able to repel 2 attempted assault, where in addition to controlled by the FSA militants and “Ahrar al-sham”, were directly involved in the Turkish army, which suffered there are significant losses in men and materiel.

The result of the operation, to March 29, 2017, we have the following situation:

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we Can say that at the time of Declaration of the end of the operation “shield of the Euphrates”, its objectives were only partially achieved.

Was taken al-Rai, Dzharablus, Dabic, al-Bab and eliminated the threat to the enclave of Azaz Mare, in may-June 2016, was under threat of complete destruction of the Caliphate.

Manbij could not take the Kurds despite strong pressure, refused to give it, and when Erdogan tried to move him by force, in his way there, Russian and American military, after which he was forced to swallow his pride and forget about Manbij, at least for now. He also had to abandon ambitious plans related to the attack on Raqqa – despite the fact that Turkey has offered itself as a partner for the assault on Raqqa, the US has chosen the Kurds, which is also not pleased Ankara.

Tactical failures, it is worth noting the large losses controlled by militants and the Turkish armored vehicles in the battle of al-Bab, which hit the prestige of the Turkish army as one of the strongest armies of NATO. Several dozen destroyed tanks and armored combat vehicles, including about 20 “Leopard” pointed to the fact that the Turkish army was not fully prepared for the realities of the Syrian war and she had to get the necessary experience during the siege of al-Bab.

On the other hand, was solved two strategic tasks – Turkey has driven a wedge between the Kurds Afrin and Rojava, preventing the establishment of full control of the Kurds over the Syrian-Turkish border, and moved the Caliphate from its borders, within the framework of changing course, when the Caliphate became a full-fledged enemy of Turkey.Through control of several important towns and the solution to the above strategic objectives, Turkey was able to return to most of the Syrian game, having crossed from the camp of the enemies of Assad to the Russian-Iranian coalition, for which Turkey is a very useful companion, which ultimately allowed us successfully to win a major battle of the war for Aleppo. Now, Turkey having control of the green, closely involved in the negotiations on the Syrian settlement and due to this significantly improved their relations with Russia and Iran.

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Turkey is the one that kept the forces of militants in Northern Syria throw by Aleppo, yet Assad is finished surrounded by the city of militants.

In General, the operation “shield of the Euphrates” despite some understatement, was a success in Turkey that the price is acceptable military and political losses, were able in practice to make a serious reversal of its policy and start correcting the mistakes that have produced Erdogan, in 2011-2016 years when persisting in their attempts to overthrow Assad at any cost, he put the Turkey and his own regime on the brink of disaster. Of course, this operation was coordinated with Russia and Iran – Turkey has allowed to achieve the above objectives, in exchange for the correction of its foreign policy in the region and the services needed for the capture of Aleppo and the release of a number of enclaves. In the current environment, to develop the offensive, the Turkish army can only against the Kurds Afrin or Rojava, but if it happens, it will be another surgery and a very different war.

It should also be noted that the operation of Turks allowed to throw away the Caliphate from Northern Syria and helped Assad significantly expand the control zone to the North and East of Aleppo.

According to the results of the “Euphrates shield” you can say that this operation won Erdogan and Assad, the Kurds from the point of view of the territory remained in General at his, but lost the opportunity to connect with Afrin, so you can record them victims, but the main loser is obviously the Caliphate, which has suffered a complete military defeat in the province of Aleppo. For Russia and Iran, this turn of the Turkish police was very useful and helped to swing the balance of the Syrian war in their favor. The US having failed with the plans of unification of the Kurdish territories were forced to adjust their plans and preparations in Raqqa.

Thus, the “Euphrates the shield” changed the strategic situation in Northern Syria, becoming its significance and its consequences the second most important event of 2016 in the Syrian war, after the battle for Aleppo.

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