Turkish armed forces pressed the button for the start active actions in relation to Afrin, which is under occupation of the Party “Democratic Union” (PYD) / people’s protection Units (YPG), the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan workers party (PKK).
Turkey, along with Russia’s withdrawal from the region continues to inflict artillery strikes on the occupied YPG Afrino. Sources say that up to a large-scale military operations remained a matter of days. The role this operation will play Russia and Iran, our partners in the settlement of the Syrian issue within the framework of the Astana process? Whether Turkey is cooperating with the Syrian army? In parallel with the Afrin to control the operation in Manbij? The answers to these questions commented to Aydınlık strategic expert, Brigadier General retired Biberoglu Naim (Naim Babüroğlu).
The destruction of the corridor
YPG, the Syrian wing of the PKK, occupied Afrin in 2012 and announced the creation of the so-called Canton. Then in 2016 was occupied and Manbij. These two regions are under the occupation of the YPG are in the West of the Euphrates. Have Afrin have this feature, it borders with our Kilisa, and with our Hateem. This is where the PKK insurgents in the mountains of Amanos, receives the greatest support. Consequently, Afrin is one of the Syrian areas, which mostly supported the PKK, ensure its human resources and from the point of view of Turkey, this poses a important threat element.
Now, as you know, there are plans to create a so-called corridor of the PKK in Northern Syria. Thanks to the operation “shield of the Euphrates” this corridor was divided, but at the same time, the corridor was also Manbij and Afrin. For items located in these areas, Turkey could not carry out the operation in respect of these areas. Now the same operation in raqqa, which the United States conducted jointly with YPG can be seen as an opportunity for Turkey. It is now the elimination of the Eastern region, the so-called corridor to the West of the Euphrates.
Why Russia out of Afrin?
Russia’s withdrawal due to several reasons. Russia has noticed that with the operation in raqqa, YPG gets too close to US. On the other hand, it is known that after Raqqa objective of the US / YPG is Deir ez-Zor. It is a region that is trying to get the Syrian army along with Russia. For Russia, which also sees threats to the United States “if it used chemical weapons, we will strike”, is now even more cleared US goals in the region. However, the subject of Idlib — also on the agenda. Who is in Idlib? Ultrarightists such radical organizations as the “al-Nusra” (banned in Russia — approx. ed.), “Ahrar al-sham”… in addition, there are groups that arrived from the East and joined ISIS (banned in Russia — approx. ed.) as, for example, so-called “Khorasan Group”, committed mass murder in a night club “Reina”. Russia wants to neutralize these groups gilowska wing, consisting of persons of Chechen, Kyrgyz nationality, and so forth, before they return to their countries. Therefore, has paved the way to cooperation. Turkey, Russia and Iran will begin cleaning in Idlib. This will become clear at the talks on July 4-5 in Astana. Following this, Russia agreed to postpone this cooperation and Afrin.
Afrin can be brought under control, as El-Bab?
In relation to Afrin will be conducted this operation, as in al Bab. That is not the whole city can be brought under control. There are a number of settlements, which are located between Idlib and Afrin. In particular, tel Rifat Afrin and South of the military airport Minnigh. When Turkey will be in control of some settlements here, there is a security strip, due to which YPG and ISIS will not be able to resist you. This is the purpose of Turkey.
Thus, in ‘ afrīn the Turkey will take YPG into the ring and cut off their communication with the outside regions. The environment will provide the weakening and disappearance of the YPG themselves. If you ask, when operation starts, I think that after the meeting in Astana.
To kill two birds with one stone
At the request of Russia, the Syrian army blocked the path of the Afrin — Aleppo and secured its safety. Apart from economic reasons, there is another special reason. For possible operations in Turkey Manbij it is necessary to prevent assistance that can come from Afrin. By doing this, the Syrian army is working indirectly with Turkey. While Turkey receives such a historic opportunity, in parallel with the operation in ‘ afrīn the Tomb of Suleyman Shah, which was located 37 kilometers South of the border, must take its place. Thus, it will be largely taken control of the path used for entry in Manbij and the outskirts of the city. The threat is largely prevented. Therefore, the so-called corridor of the PKK will be destroyed and in Afrin, and in Manbij. If Turkey does that, she’ll kill two birds with one stone.