In General, liberating Jirah is a significant operational success, which creates favorable prerequisites for the development of offensive operations to the East of Aleppo, where using the fact that the Caliphate will be to forced pull the troops for the protection of Raqqa, it is possible to significantly expand the controlled territory.
The story with chemical attack develops quite traditional and expected. After stuffing, the militants and the West rushed to accuse “bloody Assad regime” and called the UN security Council, launched a campaign in the press, and trump even said that he changed his attitude to Assad, simultaneously kicking Obama for a prior policy and recommending Russia to change its attitude toward Assad. Russia of course denies everything, in the UN security Council prospects for any anti-Syrian resolution in the objective investigation as nobody is interested, so that the subject “chemical weapons” will be traditionally another element of the information war.
YPG spokesman Redur Xelil told Reuters the agreement had been concluded on Sunday and that Russian troops had already arrived at the position in the northwestern region of Afrin with troop carriers and armored vehicles. “It is the first (agreement) of its kind,” he said in a written message.
Kafr Jina – the area where the Russian deployment is being set up – has previously been shelled by Turkish forces from across the nearby frontier, Xelil said. He declined to say how many Russian troops had arrived in Kafr Jina.
Overall, the strategic situation for the Caliphate continues to deteriorate and the actions of the SAA, Russia, the Kurds and the United States, creating the preconditions for applying a decisive defeat of the Caliphate in Syria during 2017, after which it can cease to exist in the format of the state have lost all the key towns and going to the more traditional strategy of terrorist war.
The so-called Islamic State (IS) has employed a range of decoys in an effort to limit the Coalition’s air power advantage. Wooden mock-ups of HMWWV light tactical vehicles, main battle tanks, and other platforms were recently discovered by the Iraqi Army in Islamic State workshops in northern Mosul. Additionally, in the course of the Battle of Manbij from June-August 2016, the opposition Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) uncovered a factory that had been used by IS to build fake weapons in an effort to fool aerial reconnaissance.
The Syrian army said in a statement Thursday that the Turkish artillery fire targeted Syrian military positions near the city of Manbij in Aleppo province in northern Syria, state news agency SANA reported.
The Turkish shelling targeted the Syrian border corps, recently been deployed in the western countryside of Manbij to be a separation line between the Turkish forces and the Kurdish-led groups, which are in control of the city.
Russia in this situation, advocates of Assad, bargaining for a new territorial gains in Northern Syria and striving to achieve interaction between Assad and the Kurds to pull the Kurds out of a too strong alliance with the United States. At this stage, the Kurds have already passed the Syrian army three villages to the southwest of Manbij, but fully buffer zone is still not formed. While to the West of Manbij fighting continues between the Kurds and the FSA, where both parties bear the loss in killed, wounded and prisoners. There are losses in clashes between the SAA and FSA.
Winners and losers are emerging in what may be the final phase of the Syrian civil war as anti-Isis forces prepare for an attack aimed at capturing Raqqa, the de facto Isis capital in Syria. Kurdish-led Syrian fighters say they have seized part of the road south of Raqqa, cutting Isis off from other its territory further east.
Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoy, Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff, has confirmed a deal between Russia, the Syrian government and the Kurds in Manbij against Turkey and Turkish-backed rebels.
“The detachments of the Syrian army approached the south-west areas of the city of Menbij, which is under control of Kurdish militia groups,” he said.
“Today, the Russian Centre for reconciliation of the opposing sides sent the first humanitarian convoy with food, medicines and items of the first necessity to Menbij,” he added.
The United States also is not interested in Erdogan taking Manbij, so a few SOF units crossed the Euphrates and moved to the North from Manija to indicate where borders that Erdogan should not go.
Erdogan, however, has not left hopes to take Manbij, but the current situation puts him in a difficult position, as the active actions against Manbij can lead to clashes with SAA and Russian and American military. Certainly, the theme Manbij will be one of the most important in the discussion of the Syrian issue between Putin and Erdogan on March 9-10. Russia will certainly try to convince Erdogan that Manbij he does not need. Erdogan will listen to reason? We will see in a week.
Erdogan was not impressed by the demonstration of us special forces in the area Manbij. As a consequence, the Kurds played a different card. The representatives of the SDF invited the SAA to take a large piece of territory between Turks and Manbij, forming a kind of buffer zone, which will cover Manbij from the West, as Erdogan obviously does not want to go to war with Syria and its allies.
In General, we are seeing the active phase of the process of redistribution of spheres of influence in Northern Syria.
The maps clearly demonstrate that the issue of the expulsion of the Caliphate from Northern Syria was dependent on the good will of Turkey, which after they stop their dalliances with the Caliphate and ran across to the camp of the Russian-Iranian coalition, helped to push the “black” from the Syrian-Turkish border. Of course, this was not done out of altruistic reasons, and in the framework of countering the threat of establishing an independent Kurdistan.
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.
After a US volunteer in the ranks of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) was killed by a Turkish airstrikes west of Manbij, the US State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said that all the focus should be on destroying and eliminating ISIS.
The Kurdish-led military command in the northern Syrian town of Manbij on Thursday announced they destroyed four Turkish army tanks in the western countryside of the township.
“We have now reached al-Bab; we have also encircled and besieged al-Bab from the west. This is not enough. From there we will also head to Manbij,” Erdogan said on Tuesday.
On the 6th day of operation “shield of the Euphrates” the Turks decided on the next task – having cleared the surrounding area of Jarablus from the “black” and the Kurds from the bank of the Euphrates to the North of Manbij, while South of Amarinah, forward detachments of “Fallah al-sham” crossed the river and entrenched on the South Bank, creating a springboard for further advance to the South, with the aim of cutting the road running in Manbij. It should be noted that the resistance from both the Caliphate and the Kurds is rather a weak character that facilitates the rapid development of the Turkish operation.The Kurds of the YPG claim that Turkey is making use of sporadic clashes, in order that under the pretext of “combating terrorism” to put forward their mechanized formations as far to the South.
On the third day of the operation “Euphrates shield” continued to increase tension on the contact line of Pro-Turkish militants supported by Turkish troops and YPG forces/SDF.
1. During the day continued air strikes by the Turkish F-16 at an advanced position of the Kurds and the Turkish armored vehicles supported advancing troops “green”.
2. In fact, we are now seeing the formation of new lines, where as pulling forces, should be deployed sufficiently serious fights, if the Kurds are completely inferior.
3. Despite American demands for the abandonment Manbij, the radical part of the YPG is opposed to meeting the American demands and prefers a war with Turkey. It is highly likely that everything is going to this option.
Despite the triumphant reports about the complete capture Manbij (remember the premature reports about the liberation of Ramadi), the resistance of the Caliphate in Central areas of the city still failed and the fighting continues.
The Kurds control more than 90% of the city, but full control it is not yet established.
In the area Manbij the Kurds continue to slowly but steadily to compress the ring around the city center. Attacks of the Caliphate on Manbij from the outside has not lead to the desired unblockading of the city. For small tactical successes DAESH pays a lot of blood. Until the end of July, the Kurds will certainly not overcome the enemy, but in the first half of August it is highly likely the operation will be finished, thanks to the U.S. aircraft very intensively bombing positions of the DAESH in the city.