Elijah J. Magnier Key words: ISIS, al-Qaeda, Turkey, Russia, US, Iran, Israel, Hezbollah Published here: http://alrai.li/h225f92 via @AlraiMediaGroup Elijah J. Magnier – @EjmAlrai Who is losing in Syria? The immediate answer […]
Capt. Jeff Davis, a Defense Department spokesman, told reporters Tuesday that preparations activity has been seen at the Al Shayrat airfield in west-central Syria — and that it’s possibly a sign that President Bashar Assad is planning a chemical strike.
Davis said the information has been collected over the last few days, but has gotten “more compelling” in the past 24 hours.
“We have observed activities at Shayrat Air Base that suggest possible intent by the Syrian regime to use chemical weapons again,” another Pentagon spokesman, Adrian Rankine-Galloway, told Voice of America. “These activities are similar to what we observed prior to the regime[‘s] chemical weapons attack against Khan Sheikhoun in April.”
It is also worth noting that according to social networks, information is spread that Turkey is starting an offensive against the Afrin Kurds. Probably there are in view of the attack of pro-Turkish militants on the front at Tal-Rifat, which will be supported by Turkish artillery, tanks and automatic control systems, as well as shelling of the territory of Afrin.
Whether the Turks will decide on a full-scale attack of the Afrin Kurds, or everything as usual will be reduced to numerous petty provocations, we will see in the coming days.
During his trip around the country, after visiting Latakia and Hama, Assad dropped into the airbase Khmeimim, where he had a meeting with the head of the General staff Gerasimov, visited the Russian military equipment and sat in the cockpit of su-35.
Photos of Russian and American specialists in Syria.
In this case, their hypocrisy has practical reasons. The rate of advance of the SAA in Central and southern Syria is frankly not pleased with the Washington, as Damascus will not only greatly extends the controlled areas and helps to cut off the southern group of the United States from Central Syria, but also helps to build a Shia Crescent from Iran to Palestine.
What lies ahead? For some time, Turkey has been moving troops and weapons to Kilis, which is located just north of Azaz-Mare – which is east of the YPG-controlled area of Afrin. Meanwhile, Idlib, where Turks and Russians are planning to enforce the de-conflicting zone, is south of Afrin. In other words, Turkey will have to prevent YPG attacks against Azaz-Mare and protect its troops stationed in Idlib by pacifying the YPG elements in Afrin. It remains to be seen whether the military build-up in Kilis is limited to the de-conflicting zone in Idlib or part of a broader plan involving Afrin.