First Moscow air strikes in Idlib after two months. The target is the pro-Ankara militias. Meanwhile, the SAA attacks in the north of the province.
The Turkey-US announcement of the imminent Ankara operation in the north-east of Syria arouses great fear, even at the international level. In theory the maneuvers should only create a security buffer near the border, but there is a risk of genocide of the Kurds
There is great fear in Syria and not only due to the imminent start of the Turkish offensive in the north east of the country. A violent conflict and a possible genocide of the Kurds is shaping up to be. This, despite the Ankara maneuvers should only concern the area along the borders. Apparently, they could be a photocopy of those that took place in Idlib and Afrin. And that is aimed at creating a buffer zone against possible infiltrations of the PKK or Isis. In fact, however, they target the local inhabitants. No coincidence that the SDF are sending numerous reinforcements from Raqqa and Deir Ezzor, saying they are ready for the total war. Especially following the fact that the United States called itself out of the game. White House announced that US will not be involved in the operation and that their military will leave the dial in advance. As a result, the maneuvers should begin once they departed.
The United States announces that military will leave the area in advance. However, there is no mention of a total abandonment of Syria. Therefore they could intervene in support of the SDF if the Ankara offensive were to escalate
However, US disengagement could reserve some surprise. In fact, Washington has announced that the US military will leave the area where the Turkish operation is to be carried out. Not that they will come out of Syria. This means that in all probability they will line up in other bases in the East of the Middle Eastern country. Thus, they would be ready to intervene if the Ankara offensive were to escalate and descend further south than expected. On the other hand, however, the Kurds no longer trust the United States and have been shocked by what happened. The SDF spokesman, Mustefa Bali, has in fact defined the position as “a stab in the back”. Moreover, Jazeera Storm denounces that the Ankara maneuvers will reverse the success obtained in the fight against Isis, rendering vain the sacrifice of 11,000 martyrs.
There are strong risks of a mass return of ISIS. During the conflict, in fact, the prisons where 12,000 thousand militiamen of the Islamic State and 70,000 members of their families are imprisoned will be little unguarded
The fear is that the militants of the Islamic State will take advantage of the conflict between Turkey and the SDF to return in force in the East of Syria. In Jazeera Storm prisons, in fact, about 12 thousand local Daesh jihadists and foreign fighters are detained, as well as 70 thousand members of their families (especially in the Al-Hol camp in Hasaka). It is a real army, which if released could become a very serious security threat. Not only in the country, but also internationally. Signs in this sense, moreover, have already been with the recent acceleration of radicalization within the camps, especially among women, and with increasing episodes of violence. These are kept under control, but already with difficulty today. Therefore, if the Arab-Kurdish forces were to be sent elsewhere, the structures would be heavily exposed to IS attacks. Both from outside and from inside.
Will Damascus intervene in defense of its territorial integrity or will it remain to watch? In Assad, the crisis is worthwhile, as he can send the SAA to the east of the Euphrates with the excuse of protecting the population. Actually he wants to take back oil wells and gas fields
Finally, the position of Damascus also remains ambiguous. Theoretically, the Syrian government should intervene to protect its territorial sovereignty. But there is a good chance that it will be limited to proclamations, such as when Turkey conquered Afrin, Idlib, Azaz and Al-Rai with Olive Branch and Euphrates Shield operations. This essentially for a reason. Bashar Assad wants to take back the energy resources in the East of the country, a territory inhabited by Kurds for only a third. Consequently, it is not excluded that Damascus will send in the region contingents of the Syrian Army (SAA). Formally for the protection of the population or in anti-ISIS function, since SDF are committed to the north. In reality, in order to approach the oil wells and gas deposits, gradually taking control in a “soft” way or with limited resistance. Kurdish military, in fact, can’t sustain attacks on two fronts.