The great Syrian confusion!

The official end of hostilities between the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Turkish Forces, recorded through Russia which obtained from the Kurdish YPG the withdrawal of a 32 km strip along the Turkish-Syrian border, now gives rise to a immense confusion, each actor no longer knowing who is who, and how to react. Recent days have seen Turkish forces carry out artillery fire less than a kilometer from a support point of American forces, as well as a Turkish air strike on Iraqi soil, against identified terrorists from PKK according to the Ankara press release. On the American side, the redeployment of special forces to “protect oil infrastructure”, ordered by President Trump, was carried out without any real action plan. The situation artificially created in northern Syria by Russia is likely, in the more or less short term, to transform into indescribable chaos with significant risks of escalation.

For Turkey, the success of the military operation seems to have given wings to President Erdogan, who does not hesitate to defy the coalition's no fly zone above Iraqi territory, to hitting identified members of the PKK. Furthermore, it seems that despite the withdrawal of the YPG Kurds from the 32 km strip demanded by Ankara, Turkish forces continue to carry out drone attacks in depth of the Syrian Democratic Forces. The pro-Turkish militias are also much talked about, with numerous reports of abuses, and a serious clash with the forces of Damascus, leading to the capture of prisoners. The second artillery strike near the American forces, although there were no casualties there either, appears as a demonstration of force to clearly indicate who holds the cards in the region.

T129 Turkish APC vehicle Syria Defense News | Syrian Conflict | Deployment of forces - Reinsurance
The Turkish armed forces have deployed very significant armored, artillery and air assets to gain the upper hand over the Kurdish YPG forces.

Russia, and its Syrian ally Damascus, have had a surprisingly low profile in recent days. Moscow negotiated with the Syrian authorities the rental ofa new air base in the north east of the country, a critical point for reaching out to the entire region. Reports also indicate that the Russian General Staff is carrying out a significant reinforcement of the forces deployed in the area, with the deployment of several hundred additional soldiers. These various announcements indicate that the Kremlin anticipates a tightening of tensions to come, and is preparing to defend, as it has done since 2015, the Damascus regime, and the strategic positions in the Eastern Mediterranean provided by the Syrian bases.

The position of the United States is, without context, the most confused, both on the ground and at the diplomatic level. Thus, the armored forces deployed last week from Iraq to, officially, protect Syrian oil infrastructures and prevent them from falling into the hands of Islamist radicals, were without a real action plan, and without rules of engagement. The rules of engagement define the operational framework within which U.S. forces are authorized to use force. Without this framework, American forces are significantly handicapped.

US armored to oil field Syria Defense News | Syrian Conflict | Deployment of forces - Reinsurance
The deployment of US forces to protect Syrian oil infrastructure was ordered without an action plan and rules of engagement

In Europe, and in France in particular, discretion is essential. Despite some symbolic measures concerning the ban on arms exports to Turkey pronounced by certain countries of the European Union to respond to the emotion of public opinion, the daily seems to have erased the crisis from public debate Syrian crisis, its security implications, and the dramatic absence of weight in this issue.

In any case, and despite the apparent lull in tensions which is reflected in the media, the situation is still far from being stabilized in Syria. Turkey seems increasingly determined to use its military power to extend its local domination, relying on the argument of the Kurdish terrorist threat. Russia, and Syria's Damascus, seem to anticipate the resurgence of tensions, and are consolidating their defensive positions. The Kurds of the YPG, after having turned their backs to avoid the massacre, still represent a significant military force, which could rely on the Iraqi Peshmerga, much more powerful militarily with more than 650.000 men, if the Turkish attacks in Iraq came to repeat themselves. As for the Westerners, if they are still present, they have considerably reduced their credits, whether by the decisions of D. Trump, or by European inconsistency. One thing is certain, far from resolving anything, the Turkish territorial annexation of northern Syria endorsed by Russia creates, in fact, a crucible which concentrates in one point very significant military forces, and marked antagonistic desires. .

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