A group of tanks of the Turkish army on the border with Syria
Photo: Bulent Cilic/AFP
Turkey has achieved initial success in its operations in Syria — helped by the opposition to exempt from prohibited IG Jerablus and does not intend to cease operation. The outcome depends on whether a serious resistance to the Kurds
Operation Turkey in Syria, the beginning of which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday, continues. According to Reuters, Ankara dispatched to the area of operations for more tanks and has brought the Kurds an ultimatum in a week they should move to the Eastern Bank of the Euphrates, and to withdraw from the border between the two countries, to the Turkish forces had the opportunity to take control of the border.
The operation began on Wednesday it used aircraft, artillery and special forces on the ground the operation is performed in the main forces of the Syrian opposition. Her goal, Erdogan declared the fight against banned in Russia to ISIS, which controlled the town of Jerablus on the border with Turkey, and struggle with the Kurdish “people’s protection Units”, which Istanbul accused of organizing terrorist attacks in Turkey.
Preparations for operation “shield of the Euphrates” began on August 20. About 50 cars with armed men crossed the border and were preparing an attack on the border town of Jerablus. The attack began on August 24 after two days of artillery fire. About 5 thousand people, more than 20 tanks with the support of at least two aircraft of the Turkish air force attacked the city from the North.
The Syrian opposition took the town on Thursday morning. About this on air of NTV said the Minister of defence of Turkey Fikri Işık, reports Reuters. The militants banned IG left the border areas after massive shelling. Loss of opposition is minimal — one of the fighters “Free Syrian army” (FSA) were killed and ten militants were wounded. The Turkish newspaper Hürriyet Daily News reported that during the operation killed 46 militants of the outlawed ISIS. Kurdish party “Democratic Union”, “people’s protection Units” which are fighting in the region, reported that the city was withdrawn 3 thousand civilians, another 29 were killed.
After taking the city, opposition groups headed South. According to sources Reuters, they moved 10 km South of Jerablus. Supporters of the “Free Syrian army” in social networks published information that the rebels captured the small town of al-Amrani.
On the map the attack looks like a Crescent around the forbidden positions of the IG.
The Kurdish question
Against the Turkish invasion are the Kurdish people’s protection Units and several groups. The representative of “people’s protection Units” Redur Xelil said that Kurdish forces to the West of the Euphrates are in the country and will not go away due to the fact that Turkey wants.
According to the orientalist and political scientist Gregory Melamedov in open battle the forces of opposition and Kurdish groups may face very soon. “It all depends on what tasks the Turkish troops, where is the line on which they plan to stay,” — said the expert. According to him, quickly grab the border of the territory of the Turks allows banned IG. “The Islamists simply concede the territory,” concluded Melamed.
According to experts, the Turkish troops plan to walk South to the town of al-Bab and captured by ISIS in November 2013. “In the West, Turkish territory can achieve a separate Kurdish Canton in the province of Aleppo,” — said Melamed.
In the West Bank, the Kurds were with US — they liberated from the ISIS town of Manbij. The Kurds in the future throughout the conflict was maintained with Washington, differences over the Kurdish issue was one of the most important in Turkish-American relations. “The Americans agreed that Turkey’s border is a very sensitive issue, and they don’t want to call this conflict”, — said agencies, the former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Robert Ford.
But now that USA have full support for the action of Turkey. Wednesday, while in Ankara, the Vice-President of the USA Joseph Biden said that the Kurds should move to the Eastern Bank of the Euphrates, and if do not, will not receive aid from the United States.
As long linger Turkey
The exact timing of the end of the operation the Turkish side did not call. Turkey will continue operation as long as the “Free Syrian army” will not take Jerablus under control, said defence Minister Işık on Thursday. “Islamic state” must be completely stripped. But that’s not enough. [Kurdish] Party “Democratic Union” (PDS) and the people’s protection Units” (armed wing of the PDS) should not replace the IG there,” said Işık Turkish NTV channel. “The biggest dream of PDS is to combine Western and Eastern areas. We should not give this to happen,” he explained.
Turkey has consistently opposed the establishment of any Kurdish entity on the territories of Syria. “Because of good government in Syria is not, we are compelled to protect its borders. And while the FSA fully take control of the situation in the area, to stay there, is our right,” said Işık at the TV channel NTV.
Damascus Turkey’s actions in its territory called the illegal intrusion.
Given the fact that the operation of the Turkish army rapidly, obviously, it will be completed in the near future, as promised the army command, said the political scientist Togrul Ismail, Professor of TOBB University in Ankara.
The duration of the operation depends on whether Syrian forces to take [full] control Jerablus or maybe the city of al-Bab and South of Jerablus. If Syrian forces entrenched there will not be any way to operate with ISIS, Turkish forces would not make sense to stay in Syria,” suggests Hasan Selim Ozertem, Director of the Center for security studies and energy Organization for international strategic studies (USAK), expert of the International discussion club “Valdai”.