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War Against ISIS

Discussion in 'Geostrategic Issues' started by spikehades, Jun 1, 2013.

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  1. gazzzwp

    gazzzwp Member

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    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  2. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    They want regional power status with a recognized sphere of influence. I guess "end game" is a fungible term, but that's what Turkey is currently aiming at.

    How is now different from before? Assad has conducted offensives against rebels before, including the battle for Aleppo. Russia has been pounding the rebels from Khmeimeem for quite some time. In fact Russia's initial entry into the war was mainly aimed at the non-ISIS rebels. Only after a series of victories against the rebels, while holding ISIS at bay, did Russia and Syria shift their focus to ISIS. And even then it had more to do with the opportunity to take large swathes of territory from ISIS, as well as lay claim to the "we beat ISIS" crown.

    The war is "far from over" but there is not much question left to Assad's political survival, nor to who has gained the most, and who has gained very little.
     
  3. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Update.

    It looks like the Turks are getting ready for a move on the Afrin pocket. If the Turks make their move unopposed, it's likely this indicates that a deal was struck. In the past the US showing the flag around Manbij and Russia showing the flag around Afrin stopped the Turks. So far the US has stated that they will not defend Afrin, while continuing support for the SDF in north-eastern Syria, even going so far as to hand over MANPADS to the Kurds by some reports. It remains to be seen whether the Turks can actually defeat the Kurds, as in the past they did not do well in battles around Azaz.

    This is pure speculation on my part, but it's possible that the Turks green-lighted the SAA offensive into Idlib in exchange for Russia allowing him to move against the Afrin.

    Авиабаза Дахур. 11.01.2018

    In the meantime, the US will train a new group of Kurdish fighters to guard the borders of the new Kurdish quasi-state in north-eastern Syria.

    О планах вторжения в Африн
    США не будут поддерживать курдов в Африне
    Источник: США тайно передали сирийским курдам ПЗРК
    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/3931696.html
    http://classic.newsru.com/world/14jan2018/us30borderguards.html
    http://classic.newsru.com/russia/14jan2018/reanimacia.html

    Syrian forces continue to the push to close the pocket around Western Idlib surrounding both various rebel groups and ISIS. A counter-attack was attempted by the rebels on the flanks of the advancing Syrian force, but it appears to have failed.

    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/3925467.html
    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/3925823.html

    A Russian Searcher Mk2 was downed in Syria by the rebels.

    Also information has appeared that a Russian PMC was killed in battles around Idlib.

    https://bmpd.livejournal.com/3045849.html
    http://classic.newsru.com/world/16jan2018/syria.html

    Russian MoD has released footage of a guided arty strike against the rebels who allegedly attempted to bombKhmeimeem with drones. Allegations have surfaced, however, that the footage was edited.

    http://classic.newsru.com/russia/13jan2018/montazh.html
    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/3927582.html
    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/3926285.html

    An OSINT look at the drones used against Russia in the recent attack.

    https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/01/12/the_poor_mans_airforce/

    A Syrian L-39 was shot down in northern Hama province.

    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/3896428.html

    Like others before it, the Beit Jinn pocket has capitulated to the SAA. This follows a pattern of pockets of rebel resistance that are cut off from

    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/3894731.html
     
  4. STURM

    STURM Active Member

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    Now that IS has largely been defeated it remains to be seen what Russia will do, apart from maintaining its bases in Syria and ensuring its hard worn victories are not squandered. Yes it has achieved all or most of its objectives [unlike the U.S] but how will Russia ensure that things don't take a turn for the worse in the coming year? As for the U.S. it's priority now seems to be the Kurds and having a go at Iran. Unless of course it comes up with another plan, with Saudi, UAE and Israeli backing to look at ways to undermine Assad; which of course would include weakening or isolating Iran.

    Moscow-based think tank director: Russia’s unexpected military victory in Syria

    Donald Trump still doesn’t understand Iran after a year in power
     
  5. gazzzwp

    gazzzwp Member

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    Also the US have declared that they will be in the region for the long term. This is significant.

    Tillerson's Syria wish list means US is in it for longer haul - CNNPolitics
     
  6. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The clouds are gathering around the Afrin enclave. Turkish artillery has begun shelling the Kurds, the Kurds returned fire towards Azaz. Meanwhile it appears Russian MPs are leaving the enclave, essentially green-lighting the operation. I think this answers our questions regarding the Turkish stance on Idlib.
     
  7. gazzzwp

    gazzzwp Member

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    Feanor do you know if there are any US forces inside the Afrin pocket?

    upload_2018-1-19_17-2-49.png
     
  8. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    There are not and iirc the US has stated in a roundabout way that it does not intent to protect the Afrin pocket. It was something like "the Afrin enclave is outside the coalition area of responsibility".
     
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  9. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Erdogan announced the beginning of the operation against the Afrin enclave. However the Russian flag still flies over a small outpost inside the enclave and apparently Russian military police, albeit in token numbers, are still present. Artillery shellings continue, and 4 Turkish soldiers are reported killed in a minor clash at the outskirts.

    Африн. 19.01.2018
    Африн. 20.01.2018
    Российский флаг в Африне
    Африн. Промежуточное. 19.01.2018
    http://classic.newsru.com/world/20jan2018/erdosays.html
     
  10. gazzzwp

    gazzzwp Member

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    Just to clarify in my own mind; Turkey are neither respecting Russia or the US in terms of bombarding the enclave?
     
  11. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    There is no US presence there so nothing to respect. There is a small Russian MP detachment (probably something platoon sized, maybe even squad sized) at a known location. That location is not getting hit. They will likely not start a full blown operation until Russian presence is gone, and they're currently holding negotiations and consultations with Russian military officials on the subject. The Turks learned their lesson after the Su-24 downing. They don't want a conflict with Russia, and they can generally get much from Russia in a tit-for-tat trade. I personally suspect that Turkey sold a chunk of their proteges (if not all of them) in Idlib down-river in exchange for a Russian green-light to hit Afrin. The goal of the operation for the Turks might be to establish a corridor from their Syrian gains in the north to their segment of Idlib province.
     
  12. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Update.

    Among other targets, the Turks struck an airfield that the US uses to deliver weapons to the Kurds.

    Турецкая авиация разбомбила аэродром на северо-западе Сирии

    Some footage of Turkish airstrikes.

    https://diana-mihailova.livejournal.com/1506697.html

    The Kurds returned fire, striking the Turkish town of Kilis with rockets.

    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/3943554.html

    The ground operation also begun, and a Leo-2 has already been hit. The Turks seem to once again be relying on proxy fighters while providing the armor, air, and artillery. Last time this cost them dearly in tanks.

    http://gurkhan.blogspot.com/2018/01/24.html
    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/3943850.html

    France has called an emergency Security Council session on account of operation Olive Branch, while the Turks announced that the goal of the operation is a buffer zone against terrorism.

    http://classic.newsru.com/world/21jan2018/frsyria.html
    http://classic.newsru.com/world/21jan2018/trurksays.html

    Meanwhile the SAA has closed the pocket around both ISIS and al-Nusra forces in Eastern Idlib/Western Aleppo.

    https://diana-mihailova.livejournal.com/1507328.html
    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/3943140.html

    And ISIS remnants in Deyr-ez-Zor remind of their existence as they launch attacks on the Kurds.

    https://diana-mihailova.livejournal.com/1509237.html
     
  13. gazzzwp

    gazzzwp Member

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    Looking ahead do people think that Turkey will push ahead and threaten the main Kurdish held region East of the Euphrates? Or is it just the YPG stronghold that they are after?
     
  14. gazzzwp

    gazzzwp Member

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    Just a slight update. Turkey now plan to head for Manbij. Edging closer to the Euphrates. There are US forces in Manbij according to sources.

    upload_2018-1-24_16-20-24.png


    Erdogan says to extend Syria operation despite risk of U.S. confrontation
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
  15. gazzzwp

    gazzzwp Member

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    deleted
     
  16. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Apparently Turkey bombed Kurdish positions around Manbij, and there are unconfirmed rumors of two foreign advisors to the Kurds killed in the airstrike.
     
  17. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Update.

    The Turkish offensive is crawling forward, and they've opened a second front against Kurdish fighters near Manbij. The Turks have also urged the US to pull out of Manbij. This might be related to the redeployment of reinforcements from Rojava to Afrin.

    In the meantime the Kurds are asking Assad to protect "Syrian territory from Turkish aggression". This comes as the Turks have refused to provide a time limit on the operations despite US suggestions.

    On the whole the situation is pretty terrible for the US as they're faced with a geopolitical confrontation with Turkey, while Russia, Assad, and Iran are set to profit from any likely outcome.

    Оливковая ветвь. День третий.
    Оливковая ветвь. День четвертый
    Оливковая ветвь. День пятый
    Оливковая ветвь. День шестой. Асад помоги!
    Объяснения Эрдогана
    http://classic.newsru.com/world/22jan2018/kurdishfighters.html

    A second btln of the S-400 has arrived in Syria.

    https://diana-mihailova.livejournal.com/1518219.html
     
  18. the concerned

    the concerned Member

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    If the unfortunate happens and US forces get caught up in the Turkish offensive. Because they are using US supplied weapons would that trigger a arms embargo.
     
  19. Ranger25

    Ranger25 Member

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    Turkey doesn’t exclusively use US made equipment for their military. They use many suppliers and have a growing domestic production base
     
  20. gazzzwp

    gazzzwp Member

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    If Turkey does proceed with it's threat today of proceeding all the way to the Iraq border they are taking a massive risk surely? They seem to be gambling that the US is prepared to take a the humiliation after declaring themselves that they are 'in Syria for the long term'.

    On the other hand if they try and stop a Turkish advance that put's Turkey's NATO membership in huge doubt (not that they care or NATO cares) and this of course is all bound to keep the Russia, Iran Syria alliance smiling.

    Why is it that the US, Turkey and the Kurds cannot agree a final peace deal to prevent what appears to be an imminent catastrophe with a massive escalation of the conflict into the US held region of eastern Syria?