Mehmet Acet|Latest news on the Afrin operation

09 Şubat 2018

According to research, 83 percent of the society supports the Olive Branch operation launched in Afrin.

Among the actions of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK) government to date, there was, at the most, a 73 percent support of health investments and services.

This means that in the recent past there is no precedent in which social consensus is as broad as it is this operation.

We can understand the reasons for this.

The society noticed the process that started after 2013 as well as those who were involved with these.

The society is aware of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)’s corridor project trying to be established in the north of Syria and also the risk of the transportation of this project into the country at a time when Turkey is in a turbulent period.

For that reason, people are able to grasp the necessity of this operation, without being deceived by the propaganda of: “What are we doing in the swamp of Syria.”

The challenges of the operation

It’s been about 20 days since the Afrin operation has been launched.

The rugged terrain, the tunnels dug by terrorists of the PKK’s Syrian offshoot, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the fortifications they carry out indicate that the task of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and Free Syrian Army (FSA) is not easy.

However, according to the security units that determine the planning and objectives of the operation, the PKK/YPG do not have the ability to gain the upper hand against the TAF and FSA.

The biggest obstacle to the operation is still the weather conditions in the region. Especially due to fog, there are occasional problems both in determining targets and in preventing infiltration.

For this reason, it is of utmost importance to carry out this operation without giving into “time constraints” and without taking unnecessary risks that will increase losses.

Since the primary goal of the operation is to rescue/save the territory of the Republic of Turkey from terror, it can be said that an important progress has been made in the present situation.

PKK / YPG prepares for urban wars

Yesterday, from a person in charge of security units who planned the Afrin operation, I heard:

“The PKK / YPG is preparing for urban wars.”

 We know that a crowded group came to Afrin from other regions in control of the YPG terror group for support.

The group, although presenting itself as a “civil solidarity” organization, has also been found to constitute of PKK terrorists.

There is even an assessment that with this method, there has been additional arms shipments to Afrin.

If such an assessment was made, a question might arise as to why it was not intervened with.

Along with there being a logical answer to this question, this answer is also one of the difficulties of the operation:

The principle of not harming civilians…

We have another problem regarding the PKK convoy.

Without any intervention, without questioning what they were carrying into Afrin, this convoy was able to get up and go with the permission of the Damascus regime, Iranian militias and Russia. Thus, we can think that this trio is not disturbed by the efforts to fortify the PKK/YPG against Turkey. This leads us to the idea of how volatile the situation on the field is.

Russian logic: Taking its share of the cake and negotiating on the rest

Despite understanding that the Afrin operation began within the framework of the agreement with Moscow; at every opportunity they provide to Turkey, you need to bear in mind that the Russians are trying to gain something new.

Using the words of a Turkish diplomat, Russian logic works like this:

“They take their piece of the pie and then discuss the remaining portion..”

The process we are going through has a suck risk.

Imagine that stones were being thrown at you from behind a hill but that you were not sure of who was throwing them.

Syria, especially its north, is a place like this.

In a place where everyone’s hand gets exceptionally dirty, there unfortunately isn’t a second actor, except Turkey, which makes efforts to create a clear airspace.

For this reason, it is very important not to lose rational ground in the context of both military strategy and political goals.


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