The US has sent a group of US Marines armed with eight-wheeled Stryker armored carriers to northern Syria as a buffer between Syrian Kurds and Turkish forces, after Turkish air strikes killed 20 members of the US-backed Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units) militia, injured 18 and destroyed the local Kurdish command headquarters. Clashes broke out between Turkish and Kurdish forces after the air strikes.
It was the second time American armored troops had stepped in to separate Turkish and the Kurdish YPG militia that leads the Syrian Democratic Force (SDF), to which the Americans assign a major role in the offensive to capture Raqqa from ISIS. On March 17, US Marines advanced towards the northern Syrian town of Manbij when the Turkish army was on the point of fighting the Kurdish militia for control of the town. Continue reading
The US-Russian plan, approved by the UN Security Council as the lever for activating a political process towards ending the five-year Syrian war, can only go so far towards its objectives. The process is not capable of halting the fighting or removing Bashar Assad from power; just the reverse: progress in the talks is heavily dependent on the state of play on the battlefields of the north while the Syrian dictator’s ouster is a fading issue.
The limitations and obstacles facing the UN-endorsed US-Russian plan are summed up here by debkafile’s analysts:
1. The understanding reached by the Obama administration and the Kremlin in the past month was first conceived as a stopgap measure. It was never intended to bring the calamitous Syrian war to an end or remove Assad, but rather to provide a pretext to account for the expansion of Russia’s ground operation and gloss over America’s military deficiencies in the Syrian conflict. Taking it as carte blanche from Washington, President Vladimir Putin felt able to announce Saturday, Dec. 19, that “the Russian armed forces have not employed all of their capability in Syria and may use more military means there if necessary.” Continue reading
The head of Iraq’s parliamentary committee on security and defense, Hakim al-Zamili, in an interview with Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, said that Baghdad could turn to Moscow for help after Turkey had allegedly breached Iraq’s sovereignty.
Numerous reports suggest that on Friday Turkey sent approximately 130 soldiers to norther Iraq. Turkish forces, deployed near the city of Mosul, are allegedly tasked with training Peshmerga, which has been involved in the fight against Daesh, also known as ISIL. Continue reading
If proven to be true, it means the possibility of WWIII was just put to the test. Russia is provoking and testing for a response.
A Russian retaliation means an attack on Turkey. An attack on Turkey means an attack on all NATO members according to Article 5. An attack on NATO essentially means an attack on the United States which essentially is the backbone of the organization. You get the picture…
Ironically, the last American aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf is now leaving, leaving a perfect opportunity for adversaries to launch an attack.
A RUSSIAN jet has been shot down by Turkish forces after it flew into the country’s airspace, according to as yet unconfirmed reports circulating on social media.
According to reports, eyewitnesses saw a large explosion in Huraytan, northern Syria, while three fighter jets were hovering above.
One journalist tweeted that three Turkish planes were responding to “mysterious” lock-ons from Mig-29 jets, which are used by Putin’s forces.