Moscow brokers provisional Turkish-Syrian truce in Afrin

 An armed clash between the Turkish and Syrian armies over the disputed Afrin enclave was narrowly averted this week by Russian intervention. The US was in the picture. DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources reveal that  Moscow established a special command center for orchestrating the truce at its Khmeimim Airbase in Latakia.

The military steps taken up until Wednesday, Feb. 21, the north Syrian enclave were less an escalation than maneuvers to ascertain that neither side gave ground to the opposite side before the accord went into effect. Hence. the troop movements by the Turkish, Kurdish and Syrian armies and the pro-Assad Afghan Shiite and Shabiha Alawite militias after a day of Turkish artillery pounding to block those movements.

The Kurdish YPG chiefs’ consent to Syrian forces entering Afrin was part of the deal. It was granted against a guarantee from Moscow that the Syrians would not remain there or interfere with Kurdish local government. Kurdish leaders decided to take a chance on the Moscow-mediated truce deal in preference to  challenging Turkish tanks in street battles. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, for his part, chose acquiescence in the face of Moscow’s unbending threat to shoot down any Turkish warplanes entering airspace over the enclave. The Russians did not relent, even after the Turkish president made the gesture of sending Turkish MIT intelligence Direct Hakan Fidan to talk to the Russian generals at the Khmeimim air base, the first NATO official ever to set foot there. But without air cover. Turkish troops could not hope to beat the Kurdish defenders, and so the Turkish president bowed to the truce, even though his month-long Operation Olive Branch operation for driving the Kurdish militia out of Afrin was a total loss. His army had scarcely covered a few kilometers when it ended up face to face not just with the Kurds, but with Bashar Assad’s army to boot.

The Syria ruler in contrast believed he was the winner. Without firing a shot, his army had regained a presence in a territory over which his regime lost control at the outset of the civil war.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the special Afrin command at the Russian air base is still operating, since nothing has been solved and tension in Afrin remains high. The contestants can’t tell how long the truce will hold and each remains in place and braced ready for a fresh outbreak of hostilities.

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20 thoughts on “Moscow brokers provisional Turkish-Syrian truce in Afrin

  • Feb 22, 2018 @ 8:33 at 8:33

    Seriously Debka..what i read was just made up bollocks…reporting is losing it’s quality. .come on now..giddy up a bit.

    • Feb 23, 2018 @ 0:00 at 0:00

      Get the rocks, bollocks and Goldibollocks out of your head, comrade.

  • Feb 22, 2018 @ 8:49 at 8:49

    Erdogan has egg on his face. He is probably in a mad fit of rage at the moment and looking for some scapegoats.

  • Feb 22, 2018 @ 9:07 at 9:07

    here’s my take. erdo is coordinating everything with PuTiN to rid the battle space of the Kurdi complication before Assad makes a deal with the rebels and everyone turns on the jewish terror enclave. it’s one giant shell game.

    • Feb 22, 2018 @ 9:45 at 9:45

      The only thing able to unify the arab world is the anti-Israel shit… True and very sad…
      But things are changing… The arabians have allready changed their attitude and look at Israel as a strategic partner.

    • Feb 22, 2018 @ 9:53 at 9:53

      Maybe the Muzzies will find more children and babies to gas, burn, rape, shoot, bomb, use as human shields, and torture according to their 1400 year tradition. There is lots of genocide still to be done – the appetite for war and terror is endless among the Mohamadeans.

    • Feb 22, 2018 @ 16:42 at 16:42


      Happy Nakba!

    • Feb 22, 2018 @ 18:03 at 18:03

      You were starting to make some sense until your hatred brought up “Jewish “Terror”enclaves” lol… Then you lost all credability! Go rethink yourself haffa!

    • Feb 23, 2018 @ 5:10 at 5:10

      One can only dream!

  • Feb 22, 2018 @ 9:51 at 9:51

    The performance of the Turks during “Olive Branch” is very poor and is showing the inconsistence of Erdogans as leader and of the Turkish dream to become a regional power. Erdogan embarked in a head to head conflict while all the other players are using proxies. He simply started something that he is not able to finish… If any of the foreign intelligence services will decide to supply the Kurds with a lot of black market soviet era anti tank missiles, even with air cover, it will be a knightmare for the turks to make any real gains. The kurds are motivated and battle hardned. If Assad decide to shoot down a coupple of turkish planes, and he has the right to do it, things will get even worst for the turks…Lets see if Putin will decide to teach Erdogan a lesson. He pulls the wires in Syria.

    • Feb 22, 2018 @ 15:08 at 15:08

      Most attacks on Tanks etc. are done with IRANIAN anti tank missiles!

      Also a german Soldier sayed that the turks are badly trained,not real soldiers-only like a Miliz.

      And you can see it.They park their tanks in the middle of the field hahah…so stupid!

  • Feb 22, 2018 @ 10:13 at 10:13

    I’ve been reading that Putin blames Turkey for the technology transfer that made the drone attak to his bases possible and also for the shoot down Su-25… If this is true the complex situation developping at Syria’s border with Turkey might be the best occasion to pay back the turks.

  • Feb 22, 2018 @ 10:39 at 10:39

    Putin teach Erdogan some painful lessons. What else?

  • Feb 22, 2018 @ 15:42 at 15:42

    Pigdogan the worst of luck to you. Best of luck to the brave and decent Kurds. May this be the begining of the end of this want to be Hitler Erdogan

  • Feb 22, 2018 @ 23:19 at 23:19

    Lest ANYONE FORGET, Turkey sent all able bodied officers to Prison.
    So , the new brain trust is obviously neither up to the task nor capable of reeling in a head strong leader with a liver complaint

    • Feb 23, 2018 @ 2:37 at 2:37

      lol… very true. All the U.S / NATO trained guys are sitting in jail. Erdogan continues to show how arrogant and stupid he is on the global stage while I laugh.

    • Feb 23, 2018 @ 4:04 at 4:04

      Good point, and the Turks won’t need much of a brain trust to take Greece. 300 jihadi’s could take Athens if they up and revolted right about now. Later, after Russia lights up Turkey with nukes, their Arab allies will sack Rome and destroy France.

  • Feb 23, 2018 @ 4:02 at 4:02

    Turks made their point. For now it frees them up to invade Greece at the behest of the U.S./UK/NATO.

  • Feb 26, 2018 @ 7:06 at 7:06

    There is stg people do not understand. Even the ones who do not support Erdogan and the Afrin operation die without hesitation for the ‘interest’ of Turks. This is in our genes for thousands of years. Bad news for our enemies.

  • Feb 26, 2018 @ 15:37 at 15:37

    I think this is already old news. Turkish planes are bombing the area everyday, drones are on top 24 hours. The deal between the Russians and Turks are much more sophisticated then the simple Erdogan got scared and bowed to the pressure line. For Turks this is not a war against the Kurds, although most commentators are trying to prove as such. This is a war against PKK and its cronies. We will win it. No doubt. Any country whose citizens are willing to die for will always prevail. Unfortunately the PKK/PYF got duped by the American’s in thinking that they will get indefinite support. One should look at the history of the US, check the Vietnam story. It is a disgrace how that nation was abandoned to be slaughtered in such a hurry. History repeats for gullible’ s taking the imperialists as reliable partners against its geographical neighbors.

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