Turkey is massing troops on the border with Syria, but it still does not cross it. It is assumed that the position of Iran has had a weight. Tehran tries to get Damascus and the SDF to come to an agreement
First hints, even if in slow motion, of the Turkey operation in the north east of Syria. After a targeted bombing, which took place on posts in al-Malikiyah, Ankara is amassing troops and vehicles along the border. The beginning of the maneuvers seems imminent, even if so far no military unit has yet entered the neighboring country. In theory they wait until US troops move out from the area, but this was completed in the past few hours. As a result there are other elements that still hinder the offensive. The most important could be Iran’s tough stance, which said it strongly opposed the operation and reiterated support for the neighboring nation. Furthermore, Tehran is working to reach an agreement with Damascus and the Kurds to prevent Recep Tayyp Erdogan from annexing a piece of Syria to Turkey. Signs in this sense have come from the SDF. It seems that a dialogue has been started and that there are chances of success.
An agreement between Bashar Assad and the Arab-Kurd forces would change the cards on the table. For Ankara the operation would turn into a war of position with uncertain outcomes. Furthermore, Iran would gain greater influence in the region and it would be more difficult to counter it
If the Damascus-SDF agreement were to succeed, it would be a serious blow for Turkey. Ankara has so far expected a medium-level resistance and had not considered the possibility of fighting even against the Syrian army (SAA) of Bashar Assad. Such a hypothesis would risk transforming the offensive into a war of position, with unexpected results, and with a great waste of human lives. Not to mention that it would have heavy repercussions both in the Middle Eastern region and globally. Indeed, Iran would certainly provide its allies with military advisers and weapon systems capable of competing with those of Erdogan. Furthermore, it would be more difficult for countries that criticize Tehran to hinder its moves at the moment, as they serve above all to protect the Kurds, as well as the territorial integrity of the country. There is a risk, therefore, that the Islamic Republic will further extend its influence in the area, when it is instead intended to limit it.
Meanwhile, SDF continue to hunt ISIS in eastern Syria. Captured an Islamic State commander in Deir Ezzor. The goal is to minimize Daesh’s operational capabilities before the conflict breaks out. There is a risk, in fact, that the jihadists will reorganize and grow
Meanwhile, the SDFs – although they have sent the bulk of their forces to the north-east – continue to hunt down Isis cells. In the past few hours, Jazeera Storm has captured the Islamic state commander, Shafaq al-Hachim, to Dhiban. The man was the Daesh logistics manager at Deir Ezzor. Anti-IS operations in the quadrant are continuing rapidly to reduce the operational capacity of jihadists before the Turkish offensive breaks out. This, as the conflict will necessarily distract the Arab-Kurd forces and as a result there is a high risk that terrorists can reorganize and attack the camps where their comrades are kept. If they could free them, they would have a real army to use to regain ground and sow terror in the East of Syria. At that point, with the ongoing war against Ankara, defeating them again would be more difficult and time-consuming.