Turkey plays the last card in the new Big Game

While Ankara is conducting a full-scale offensive on this small piece of Syrian property about 40 km long and 30 km wide, the end of the game looks predetermined.
In the end, it is protected by its minimally armed detachments, and their number is no more than 10,000. Turkish soldiers must capture the canton in record time.
Diplomatic sources confirmed to the “American Times” that the Turkish offensive was directly approved by Russian generals after the visit to Moscow of Hakan Fidan, the second figure in the command of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT), the Turkish intelligence service.
For his part, Aldar Khalil, co-chairman of the DDO Executive Committee (“Movement for a Democratic Society”) in Afrin, spoke very expressively about Moscow’s strategy. “The Syrian Kurdish forces were given an ultimatum on the weekend,” Khalil said. “We were told to leave positions and hand them over to the Syrian regime, or we will face the wrath of Turkey. It is preferable to stay. ”
A similar decision was made by the Russians after they asked the Kurds to do at least a gesture of appeasement to Ankara. The Washington plan to support, finance and arm independent Syrian Kurdish state in northeastern Syria modeled on the regional government of Kurdistan in Iraq was a red line for Ankara in the full sense.
“Security Zone”
Even Erdoğan’s proposal for the so-desired “security zone” was inadequate for him, given that the US-proposed “border forces” of 30,000 fighters in the near future could easily have raided the southeast of Turkey.
Internally, the operation “Olive Branch” was a smart move for Erdogan. Turkish nationalism is brought to an extreme degree of excitement, so that public opinion in many ways stands for the “operation”. For the Turkish president, this is an electoral success.
But still discussions with analysts reveal that there are no guarantees that Ankara has enough military competence to cope with Afrin. The Turkish military is largely demoralized after Erdogan’s cleansing in the past few years after the attempted coup in 2016, which was conducted by a military group.
In addition, among the senior officials there are deep suspicions that the army is used as a “cannon fodder”.
While the operation is presented as “defense of the homeland”, the motivation in the army will continue. But if it breaks down to intervene in the Arab civil war that is not easy to resolve, Erdogan will face insurmountable problems.
If the Turkish military fail, the credibility will fail. This threat is very real. Imagine what will happen if the Syrian Kurds decide to be allies of Damascus to confront the Turks out of fear that the Arab Jihadist enclave in Afrin might revive.
As it turns out, we came across a very colorful paradox. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad watches from afar, as an ally of the United States on NATO takes responsibility for destroying the formation which could easily become another conveyor for the jihadists producing.
Remember, Erdogan depends on the goodwill of Russia, even Moscow and Ankara are now fully synchronized on the key issue, that Washington must be deprived any levers in Syria.
“Terrorist Organization”
For its part, Ankara announced that “our operation will continue until the separatist terrorist organization, the YPG (Self-Defense Forces), is completely cleared from the region, and 3.6 million Syrians who have taken refuge in Turkey can not safely return to their homeland. ”
Ankara’s point of view implies that there will be no US-backed Syrian Kurdish independent state. This is bad news for the Syrian Democratic Forces, who believed in the Washington gambit with Balkanization and were trained with the US Special Forces.
As if this is not bad enough, SDS also accused the Russians of treason. The Southern Command of NATO is confused, the question arises regarding the air base of Ingirlik in Turkey. The US needs cooperation with Ankara in order to use the base.
And NATO needs Turkey – they need access to the Black Sea for future operations against Russia and the Crimea. One thing is absolutely clear: that Russia, Iran and Turkey – agreed that Washington should not have influence in Syria.
In this last chapter of the new “Great Game”, Turkey is right in the center. Now it will depend on Russia and Iran in the field of energy supplies, and Moscow builds power plants and supplies Ankara with the S-400 defensive missile systems.
Turkish trade will be involved in the Chinese new Silk Road, and the Eurasian Economic Union of Iran, Russia, Central Asia and China. Now the mantra will be “To the East” – not to the West.

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