Erdogan holds back on threatened conquest of Afrin, goes for Manjib

The Turkish president has told Trump and Putin he would not seize N. Syrian Afrin from the Kurds after insignificant gains in his three-day military assault.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that, notwithstanding the Turkish army’s claim to have captured four Afrin villages, there were no real military clashes and the Kurdish YPG militia simply opened the door and withdrew. Turkish forces are meanwhile making no preparations to move on to take the enclave’s main town of Afrin. They appear to have marked out a narrow strip of the northern Syrian border region to pave the way for moving east towards the Kurdish-held town of Manjib. Our sources report that Turkey’s war for Afrin is virtually at a standstill, but for sporadic cross-border artillery shelling and occasional air strikes, confirming Erdogan’s assurance to the US and Russian presidents that he was not planning to conquer Afrin.

However, our sources’ prediction that his next target was to be Manjib was confirmed Tuesday, Jan. 23, when Syrian sources reported that the Turkish army had opened another front and was advancing towards Azzazz, to the east of Afrin and 32 km northwest of Aleppo. In his note to US President Donald Trump, Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan also recalled an American-backed commitment that Kurdish forces would not move west, across the Euphrates River, which he claimed they had repeatedly violated. Now, Erdogan is demanding that the Kurds pull back across the river, namely, evacuate Manjib. Diplomatic mail moved between Ankara and Washington, with no real US action, beyond demands for restraint.

On Monday, Jan. 21, when his communications with Moscow on the Afrin issue came to light, Erdogan declared: “Turkey will not step back from Operation Olive Branch until its goals are achieved.” He also claimed he had reached an understanding with the Russians on those goals – even though their talks are still far from any such understanding.
Yet Moscow is keeping open lines with Ankara for two objectives of its own:

  1. To try and save the Sochi peace track for Syria in time to hold its next conference on Jan. 30. Russia initiated this track with Turkey and Iran as co-sponsors, but,  to be validated, all the factions fighting in the Syrian war must be represented there, including the Kurds. For President Vladimir Putin, this event is intended to crown his efforts to choreograph an end to the Syria war and its political transition to peace. That hope was put at high risk in consequence of Turkey’s Afrin offensive.
    DEBKAfile’s sources report that President Bashar Assad is hopping mad with the Russians, accusing them of giving Erdogan the green light for his offensive in Afrin. They say they will draw appropriate lessons from this episode with regard to other parts of Syria.
  2. Moscow is also taking flak from Tehran. Iran and Egypt have joined Syria in condemning the Turkish offensive. Iran and Syria are now digging their heels in against any changes in the Syrian constitution, a topic that was to have topped the agenda at Sochi.



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33 thoughts on “ Erdogan holds back on threatened conquest of Afrin, goes for Manjib

  • Jan 23, 2018 @ 13:38 at 13:38

    Do not worry, the turks will soon turn into chickens.

    • Jan 28, 2018 @ 2:36 at 2:36

      If erdogan likes fighting the Kurds well he doesn’t need to go abroad there’s plenty of Kurds in turkey

    • Jan 28, 2018 @ 2:46 at 2:46

      The turkey who thinks himself a terror bird,
      Still a far cry from the Neolithic tribe Wich think they are special,

  • Jan 23, 2018 @ 14:12 at 14:12

    “Assad is hopping mad with the Russians…Moscow is also taking flak from Tehran.”

    The scene is set for real conflict between the Iran-Syria terror gang and Russia over the future of this blood-soaked Islamic failed state. Let’s hope the Kurds come out victorious.

    • Jan 24, 2018 @ 6:36 at 6:36

      Amen, brother! The Kurds deserve our respect and support.

      • Jan 25, 2018 @ 15:30 at 15:30

        Why , Israel support the Kurdish terrorism?

        • Jan 26, 2018 @ 16:36 at 16:36

          Benyamin it seems that you are living on another planet having no access to world affairs…

        • Jan 30, 2018 @ 3:30 at 3:30

          Sorry but the little Kurdish Terror that has occurred was earned my Turkey.
          Turkey has oppressed the Kurds for far too long.

    • Jan 28, 2018 @ 2:40 at 2:40

      If Assad loses do you think Putin will let him stay at his house

  • Jan 23, 2018 @ 14:15 at 14:15

    LoL, our lilliputian leaders are out doing all expectations.

    • Jan 23, 2018 @ 15:15 at 15:15


  • Jan 23, 2018 @ 15:14 at 15:14

    Fifty-one journalists and others have been detained in the past 2 days by the savage dictator Erdogan. This lunatic Islamist should be booted from NATO and then overthrown. He is an Islamic terrorist leader on the fringes of Europe which provides the jump-off point for the invasion of the EU by “refugees.” If EU leaders had any brains (which they do not), they would arm the Kurds to the hilt and help them push the Turds back Turkey where the army must deal with their fascist leader Erdogan if they want any freedom at all in the future.

    • Jan 23, 2018 @ 17:14 at 17:14

      Erdogan needs to be removed from office, with any means possible, he is a cancer on the earth.

      • Jan 24, 2018 @ 3:06 at 3:06

        They tried and failed

        Lose Turkey as Nato finished US and allies of power in ME with Putin laughing his way to the bank

  • Jan 23, 2018 @ 15:53 at 15:53

    What terrible reporting…errors by miles..and the usual dribble from replies. ..oh my…come on Debka

    • Jan 23, 2018 @ 16:08 at 16:08

      What errors? What do you consider to be “dribble”? I think you meant to say “drivel”! Be more specific please.

  • Jan 23, 2018 @ 17:53 at 17:53

    Well…i still think erdo. Is 28.73 times better than iran. Destroy iran and all pieces come to place

    • Jan 27, 2018 @ 12:58 at 12:58

      i do not think so that

  • Jan 23, 2018 @ 18:50 at 18:50

    Yalancı debka

    • Jan 23, 2018 @ 20:49 at 20:49

      Debka makes the situation look like there is a rift between Russia and Iran/Syria. Wishful thinking. Russia will have Turkey destroy the Kurds to force US bases out of Syria otherwise the Jan 30 conference without the US makes no sense. Iran/Syria are aware of and certainly approve this Russian strategy. If the US doesn’t establish an emergency arms bridge for the Kurds today then tomorrow will be too late! Can’t Pence see it?

      • Jan 23, 2018 @ 22:07 at 22:07

        spunds plausible. lmao at all the whining from the jews over their doomed kurdish project. nothing can save them now

        • Jan 24, 2018 @ 0:04 at 0:04

          We laugh and dribble over your WHORE mother’s face

        • Jan 24, 2018 @ 11:49 at 11:49

          “spunds plausible. lmao at all the whining from the jews over their doomed kurdish project. nothing can save them now”

          @iVaN———–or @Phred,

          Recalling our previous conversation from our comments on a previous Debka article about Vice President Pence in Jerusalem:

          There you go again, showing your true dislike—–or outright blatant anti-Semitism against the Jewish people and against Israel in your usual style!

          Just what was it that some Israeli or Jewish person may have done to you (or you perceived to have done to you) at some point in your life which is causing you to make posts like this?———-blaming the Jewish people and the Israelis for everything——–just what do you have against Israel or the Jewish people———-iVaN (or Phred)?

          BTW, in our previous conversation, I congratulated you on the repair of the “capital J” on your computer keyboard which appeared to be working once again at that time.
          Well, it looks like I spoke too soon on that one since, based on your most recent comment quoted above, not only is the “capital J” broken once again, but the “capital K” looks like it too has become non functional.
          As I stated during that previous conversation, this should be a matter of extreme concern and urgency on your part to get this resolved as soon as possible!

          • Jan 24, 2018 @ 12:19 at 12:19

            Reference: comments under previous Debka article: “Pence warns Egypt, Jordan: The Palestinians would pay more for continuing to fight Trump’s policies”.

    • Jan 24, 2018 @ 1:06 at 1:06

      Yalanci Turdogan.

  • Jan 24, 2018 @ 2:37 at 2:37

    Also: Should the Sochi conference be succesful, the Turkish government would lose the billions of euro’s it gets from the EU. Turkey does not profit from peace in Northern-Syria, it profits from the refugees. The EU’s effectively using Turkey as a buffer because they don’t have a functional border protection of their own.

  • Jan 24, 2018 @ 12:07 at 12:07

    Has anyone informed Erdogan that the last time Turkey tried something like this———- they lost World War I!

  • Jan 25, 2018 @ 4:03 at 4:03

    Little Turkish men always end up running away.

  • Jan 26, 2018 @ 10:36 at 10:36

    Where Turkey, Syria, Iran and Russia agree is that Syria should maintain their territorial integrity. In that regard Russia and Syria and Iran like the Kurds who helped fight ISIS. They just don’t want them to have a state of their own. They would prefer if the Kurds were a recognized state or autonomous part of Syria. They don’t want an independent state for the Kurds. They are concerned that this independent Kurdish state will influence the millions of other Kurds to break away from Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria and create a 35 million strong pro western and pro Israel state in the heart of the middle east. Its likely that Turkey would prefer if the Kurds were gone for good but Russia knows this will cause them to distrust and not work together for United Syria. So its likely that Syria fake protested the incursion and secretly wanted to give the Kurds a message that they will only have peace as part of Syria and to give up hope of their own state.

  • Jan 26, 2018 @ 23:40 at 23:40

    Look look . Turks never run away. Hahha you know very well this. İn history we had the half of world. Did we have the all half of the world as running away (!)

    • Jan 29, 2018 @ 22:54 at 22:54

      It’s called hystory for a reason

    • Jan 31, 2018 @ 3:37 at 3:37

      you just ran away from Afrin, little Turkish man. Yesterday you had help of European nations to take territory where you murdered millions and had the Kurds do most of the killing for you. Your time is coming. Scurry back to your borders, little Turkish man. You did not take Afrin and you won’t take Manjib because Manjib is for men, not little Turkish boys.

  • Jan 31, 2018 @ 3:35 at 3:35

    Little Turkish men can’t take Afrin and they won’t take Manjib. They will make some noise, and then retreat back to the safety of their current borders of the fading Turkish state.

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