Syria Podcast: US Gamble, Turkish Threat Over a Kurdish-Led “Border Force”

US officer with fighters of the Kurdish YPG militia, April 2017

I joined Georgina Godwin of Monocle 24’s The Globalist on Wednesday morning to discuss the US plan for a 30,000-strong, Kurdish-led border force in Syria.

The conversation explains the US motives while asking if Washington has made a serious miscalculation. Then we look at Turkey, with its hostility to both the Kurdish militia YPG and an autonomous Syria Kurdistan, to ask if Ankara will launch a ground offensive against Kurdish areas in Syria. And what about the position of the Assad regime’s key backers Russia and Iran?

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  1. It seems the Turks & YPG are now going at each full pelt according to this link:
    #Observation: I find it strange that having successfully launched a ‘swarm drone’ attack on Hmeimm airbase (destroying 7 Russian jets) that rebels don’t attempt something similar on both Hama airbase and Aleppo airbase? Posts 2 to 6 in the below link shows a possible way this could be done to knock out Assad’s jets just like rebels did with Russian jets:
    #Question: Are the Turks going to go for a short, sharp operation against Tel Rifaat only or a long back/forth attritional battle inside Afrin itself?

  2. I don’t want to be a conspiracy theorist like Babar but this little blurb does give a probable reason why Tillerson (a former oil company executive) has decided to build a US military base in Syria:
    “Reports that the US is building a military base near Omar oil feld (biggest in Syria), Deir ez-Zor province. – @fuadhud”
    I can see why not only Erdogan but Putin & the mullahs of Tehran be irate about American military presence in northern Syria.

  3. “A lot of talk about Turkey needing a special deal with Russia to attack Afrin. Somehow I doubt Moscow is going to send in Spesnatz to save the YPG if that leads to direct confrontations with the Turkish Army. It has its hands full keeping Assad afloat as it is.” – @APHClarkson
    This is why Turkey needs the rebels to maintain their Idlib offensive because the minute Idlib front quite down is the minute the Russian airforce can stop a Turkish offensive on Afrin hence why I think the Turks started provided arms to Syrian rebels 2 weeks ago though what the rebels need right now is not more armoured vehicles but ATGMs to stop Assad’s army moving closer to Abu Duhor (sp?) airbase.

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