Analysis: Turkish invasion in Syria leads to new development

Turkish and Syrian forces have clashed following the Turkish invasion of northern Syria.

Yochanan Visser,

Erdoğan
Erdoğan
Reuters

On Monday, Israel’s UN ambassador Danny Danon harshly criticized Turkey’s autocratic leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan for invading Syria again and said Turkey had become a “regional hub for terror” under Erdogan.

Erdogan “has been destabilizing the region through violence and supporting terror organizations,” Danon told the members of the UN Security Council.

“Erdogan has turned Turkey into a safe haven for Hamas terrorists and a financial center for funneling money to subsidize terror attacks,” Danon added while accusing the Turkish leader of showing “no human or moral restraint toward the Kurdish people.”

Danon made his comments during the UNSC’s yearly meeting about the Palestinian Israeli conflict and blasted the council for focusing on Israel while the Turkish dictator expands his terror campaign in Syria.

Feridun Sinirlioglu, the Turkish UN ambassador dismissed Danon’s statement as a “daily dosage of lies” from “the representative of a government of terror.”

“Those who want to advance their political careers over the dead bodies of children cannot lecture us about international law and human rights,” he said.

Sinirlioglu, furthermore, accused Israel of “crimes against humanity” and said Israel was trampling “Palestinian basic rights on a daily basis.”

Sinirlioglu’s comments came as Turkey’s second intervention in Syria is threatening to plunge Syria even into a deeper crisis after 9 years of war and this crisis could now turn into a much larger conflict despite American and Russian efforts to prevent this via ceasefire agreements.

US President Donald J. Trump is largely responsible for the exacerbating crisis in north and eastern Syria after he suddenly decided to pull out US Special Forces from the war-torn country in a move nobody expected.

Trump later partly walked back his decision when he announced that a small contingent of US soldiers would remain in eastern Syria to protect the oilfields there but now he seems again to have made a u-turn after a domestic and international outcry about the betrayal of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The SDF was the main force responsible for the demise of the ISIS Caliphate in Syria losing roughly 11.000 fighters in five years of intensive battle which was coordinated with CENTCOM, the US Central Command in the Middle East.

The Kurdish leadership in Syria accused the US of stabbing the Kurds in the back and was forced to close a deal with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad who together with the Russian air force tried to use the opportunity to regain new territory this time along the Turkish border.

And that’s where things started to spin out of control.

While the SDF had until Tuesday to vacate a 30 kilometers wide so-called ‘safe-zone’ along the Turkish border Assad’s army advanced in the direction of this border while Erdogan claimed the Kurds were breaching the cease-fire agreements and had not retreated as was agreed.

The Turkish hot-headed leader also threatened the use of new force in case the SDF didn’t meet his demands while the SDF announced that after “extensive discussions” with the Russians, it was withdrawing from the 120 kilometer-long ‘safe-zone’.

Shortly afterward reports came in about armed clashes between the Turkish army who together with their Islamist proxies in Syria confronted the pro-Assad coalition.

While Assad’s mouthpiece SANA welcomed the SDF withdrawal from the ‘safe-zone’ France 24 as well as other media reported heavy fighting between the Turkish coalition and Assad’s forces in the area of the border city of Ras al-Ain.

Turkey later announced it had captured 18 Syrian soldiers including two wounded and that it was discussing their release with Russia.

Unknown assailants also staged a car bomb attack on a market in Afrin the Kurdish canton in northern Syria which was seized by Erdogan’s forces last year. Eight people were killed and another 30 were injured in the blast.

The Independent and other media are now reporting that US Special Forces are returning to the area along the Turkish border where they resumed joint patrols with the SDF.

Five armored vehicles of the US army were spotted near the Kurdish city of Qamishli while Col. Myles Caggins, a spokesman for the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition in Syria said the US operations in the area “are de-conflicted with other forces operating in the region.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Right, meanwhile, said the return of US Forces to the Kurdish autonomous region Rojava was meant to “prevent Russia and the pro-regime forces from reaching the lands to the east of the Kurdish de-facto capital of Qamishli.”

At about the same time, warplanes of the US-led coalition against ISIS were bombing artillery of Assad’s army near Deir Ez-Zur in eastern Syria where the Syrian army and Iranian proxies were preparing for an attack on the SDF.

The aerial bombardment came after the SDF destroyed a Syrian tank and the shelling of a SDF position by the pro-Assad coalition near the town of Al-Husseiniyah in eastern Syria.

Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen, an Israeli researcher at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies now says that Israel should change its defense policy and should also become an active player in the Syrian fray

“Israel needs to reconsider the underlying strategic rationale not only of its covert activities in neighboring countries but also its more overt conduct (in Syria),” Hacohen wrote in a research paper published by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.




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