Monday, August 12, 2019

Is Turkey Burying Syria’s Revolution by Using Rebels Against YPG?

I’d say in a nutshell- no. Since the ‘revolution’ was  and has always been a proxy war fought on Syria’s territory.
It's not a certainty that Turkey will attempt to move into eastern Syria on their own.  Doubtful anyone is except those with direct knowledge of the situation.
There would have to be coordination and cooperation between Damascus and Iran, minimally. Possibly some friendly Iraqi militias?  Perhaps Russian coordination?
JP
“ Turkey vowed to being a military operation in eastern Syria last month.”
I wouldn’t use the word “vowed” . They’ve certainly threatened but there has been no ‘vow’
Notice the author of JP piece changes his “vowed”  to "threats" Bringing down the drama to more realistic levels
"It continued the threats into early August as the US, which has forces in eastern Syria, scrambled to come up with a plan that would stave off the attack. Turkey’s main goal is to try to create a “peace corridor” along hundreds of kilometers of Syrian border, removing the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and creating an area similar to what Turkey has done in Afrin and Jarabulus.
As Turkey prepared its offensive around 14,000 Syrian rebels sought to support the upcoming battle. This is part of the increasing way in which Turkey has encouraged the Syrian rebels to focus on fighting the YPG, as opposed to fighting the Syrian regime, redirecting the remnants of the Syrian rebellion towards helping Turkey secure border areas"
The Syrian rebels should be fighting YPG and not the SAA anyway.
"But the further the rebels are encouraged to operate from the Damascus, the more their role looks cynical and more in Ankara’s interests than their own"
See I’m not with the Jerusalem Post on this idea.... Why fight Damascus when US/YPG/PKK is the bigger issue?
"However it links to Ankara’s complex logic behind wanting to launch an operation. Ankara’s aims are clear. It said last year it would return eastern Syria to its “true owners” and it is eyeing returning 700,000 Syrian refugees to areas along the border."
I’ve never taken issue with the return of Syrians to Syria. I doubt the leadership in Damascus does either. They’ve, in fact, done their best alongside Russia to get Syrians repatriated.
 "Turkey’s leadership indicated on August 5 that it views an upcoming military offensive east of the Euphrates in Syria as continued its operation Euphrates Shield in 2016 and Olive Branch in 2018 in Afrin. In Olive Branch it secured a border area from Jarabulus to Al-Bab and then in 2018 it took over the mostly Kurdish area of Afrin" 
 Mostly Kurdish? Depends how that’s defined?- This numbers game was discussed way back, way way back here at PFYT's
 330,000 Syrians returned to these areas, while around 150,000 Kurdish Syrian residents of Afrin fled. Many Kurds see this as demographic change, sending Syrian refugees who fled to Turkey from other areas of Syria, back to Syria but to Kurdish areas to change the border demographics and create a more pro-Turkish feeling among those who returned. Turkey says it is just creating security and helping Syrians go back to Syria.       
Turkey needs the Syrian refugees to return to Syria.  For their own stability.
"The context is more complicated. Since 2016 Turkish-backed Syrian rebels have been helping in these operations. In 2016 Turkey said it was creating a “buffer zone” against the Kurdish YPG and the Syrian Democratic Forces, the main US partners on the ground in the war on ISIS. (KurdIShIS)  This was a bit chaotic for the US in 2016 because the US had been backing the Syrian rebels as well.
Both Turkey and the US once saw eye to eye on the Free Syrian Army and other rebel groups of the Syrian revolution. But policies diverged as more extremist group such as Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham inserted themselves into rebel areas. When ISIS emerged as a major force in 2014 (they emerged before 2014 - 2013: Meet the Rebel Commander in Syria That Assad, Russia and the U.S. All Fear ) the US shifted priorities to fight ISIS. ( LOL)The US found that the Kurdish forces were most effective against ISIS and eventually with US support the Syrian Democratic Forces, which include many Syrian Kurds and Arabs, came into existence. The US now wants the SDF and linked security forces in eastern Syria to number some 110,000. For Turkey this is a “terrorist army” and Turkey often critiques the US for working with “terrorists” in eastern Syria which officials call a “cancer” and threaten to bury and “cleanse.”
However, fighting east of the Euphrates would put them hundreds of kilometers away, often fighting over areas where the population was historically Kurdish (Raqqa was not Kurdish. It and other areas to numerous to mention were predominantly Arab areas) to seize control of parts of Syria that will never be used as a bargaining chip with the Syrian regime. The last battles of the Syrian rebels, if Turkey ever launches its offensive, would they be against mostly Kurdish forces and other Syrians who signed on with the SDF, ignoring the Syrian regime which will eventually return to pick up the spoils.
The cynical eyes of Damascus look on with glee, noting that soon the two remaining independent forces that grew out of the Syrian civil war, the Syrian rebels and the SDF, might be neutralized fighting each other, with the Syrian regime appear to ride to the rescue, with Russian backing, to end the instability and conflict. For Turkey, which is working more closely with Russia, the question is whether it now prefers the Syrian regime to the SDF. Given its statements it appears to be more amenable to Damascus. For the Syrian rebels, who signed on to oppose Damascus, the end of the conflict may come at a price of fighting in eastern Syria for land that will merely be turned over to the Damascus in the long term.
Fighting in eastern Syria for land that will merely be turned over to Damascus in the long term? Is that really a bad thing? 

USrael destabilization of Syria a fail? Turkey's security ensured? Iran's as well? Perhaps impeding the Israel friendly regional remake?

I personally don't hold the view that possibility of Syrian territory and resources being returned to Damascus is a bad thing. Though I’m sure that Israel views the land and resources being returned to Damascus as a negative.

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