In a phone call, Russian president Putin urges Turkish president Erdogan to “assess the situation carefully” so that the Turkish operation does not hurt “peace efforts” in Syria (the Astana process).
For now, the attack is almost entirely from the air.
#Trump probably surprised even Turkey with his approval of the operation.
The operation will be concentrated first in Arab-majority areas, hoping Kurds will flee. Judging from Turkey's previous operations in northwestern Syria.
Also because they didn't attempt to make it bloodless & protect civilians.
Every time they mess up, they emerge as in charge of managing the mess they had created. And media applaud them, and give them the platforms to re-write history. It's a systemic mess.
Fools cheering for fools.
Turkey has just started the ground operation inside Syria, after a string of bombings across northern Syria:
It’s almost exactly 2 years since the Trump administration abandoned their longstanding Kurdish allies in #Iraq and blessed a takeover of Kirkuk by pro-Iran forces+militias.
That was one of the defining moments of today’s Iraqi politics.
And if you think this will stop in those northern areas, or in Syria, you're mistaken.
Russia too, as one knowledgeable friend says, has no endgame either.
The US, forget it.
Damascus & Tehran had no say in this, since Russia coordinated it with Turkey. Russia, as said above, has no endgame there:
What’s happening today is the beginning of something big, no seems to have any idea what that might be. This could be akin to Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait, or something like that. It could shift Turkey’s plan for Syria entirely, against Assad for example.
Things look fragile/precarious, fragmentation is expanding, aggressiveness is increasing, and various problems are expounding.
In Syria, conditions could dramatically change in 1-2 years. After a period of quiet and apparent equilibrium.
Iraqis, same thing.
Assertions about new and lasting trends are proving short-sighted.
Trump did this impulsively without his team.
Putin decided this on his own without allies in Tehran & Damascus
Erdogan knows exactly why he had to invade, but beyond that he got no plan.
Reports of clashes between the Kurdish-dominated SDF and an Arab tribe in Ras al-Ayn (Sere Kaniyê), and several Turkish-backed fighters were reportedly killed in the first clashes of this operation:
The Turkish operation marks the absolute & indisputable end of anything that used to identify as the Free Syrian Army or the mainstream opposition.
Syria is now fully under foreign control, and forces have extremist ideologies or mercenaries.
They wisely and rightly dropped the words 'Free' and 'Syrian'. But they're not nearly "national" or "army".
Abdullah Ocalan (eastern Syria)
Recept Tayyip Erdogan (northern Syria)
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (western & southern Syria)
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (ISIS)
Ayman al-Zawahiri (some in Idlib)
Jihadists and Islamists (Idlib)
That doesn’t happen every day
Trump asks US diplomats to broker Turkey-Kurds ceasefire in Syria — AFP.
The two countries are coordinating on air & efforts on the ground like ISIS detainees.
(This will likely mean the US will try to ensure Turkey’s intervention is limited.)
You'll find parallels in this book that @ImaraWaTijara recommended a while back