Syrian and Turkish armies scurry to occupy the ground

14 October 2019 – 17:30 GMT. — North-Eastern Syria is in the throes of a Blitzrieg-like offensive

Multiple and contradictory reports all arriving at the same time make verification very difficult. Only those States deploying aerial or satellite surveillance are able to do so in real time.

The Turkish army and its Turkmen militias (alternately branded “Free Syrian Army” or “Syrian National Army”) are attempting not only to invade the 32-kilometer border strip, but to penetrate the entire area occupied by the Rojava (almost a third of Syria). Reportedly, the Turks have taken Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain (inside the strip) from the Kurds, while the Turkmen are said to have engaged the Syrians in Manbij (outside the strip).

Meanwhile, the Syrian Arab Army (that of the Syrian Arab Republic) branched out at lightening speed throughout the Rojava and quickly took up positions in key cities, such as Raqqa and Hasakah. An airborne commando arrived at Qamishli, with the task of dividing the border strip in two in accordance with the plan thrashed out before the start of the Turkish operation.

Once they returned to their base, the Kurdish negotiators involved in the Hmeimim agreement said they were not mandated to abandon the Rojava project. Hence, according to this stance, the agreement should be interpreted as a simple tactical alliance between two “sovereign” forces. This development would appear to reveal the existence of a crisis within the YPG leadership.

All US forces are moving out, with the exception of 150 men stationed at the Al-Tanf base on the Damascus-Baghdad highway near Jordan.

The United States has picked up on Turkey’s accusation that the escape of the 785 members of Daesh families from the Ain Issa camp was deliberately organized by the YPG to exert pressure on the various actors.

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