The barbaric epic with the military intervention of the Turkish army and the FSA controlled by it on the lands of the canton of Afrin is coming to a logical conclusion. Despite the fact that the Turkish Army and the opposition-terrorist groups of the Free Syrian Army failed to drive the Kurdish People’s Self-Defense Forces out of the central mountainous areas of Afrin for one and a half months of Operation Olive Branch, the main task of the Turkish General Staff is practically fulfilled: the central city is located in the tactical “half-boiler”, and therefore, only one step away from capture at times by superior enemy forces. The pro-Turkish militants, supported by mechanized units of the Turkish army, can only close the neck of the Athenian cauldron through the settlements of Ein Darah. But, fortunately, the defenders of Afrin this time had the wisdom to transfer a number of border areas of the canton under the control of elite units of the Republican Guard of the Syrian Arab Army, as well as additional volunteer detachments of the NDF (NSO) of Syria, which should impede the advancement of the participants of the "Olive Branch" to the south reported parts of Afrin news a block of tactical online maps syria.liveuamap.com and the information resource “Russian Spring” with reference to information from eyewitnesses located in the southern part of Afrin, as well as directly in the “Nubl corridor” area.
In particular, the NSO and individual units of the CAA Republican Guard occupied strongholds and checkpoints in Shatal az-Ziyar, Wadi el-Bakhassa (north of Nubl and Zahra), as well as in the cities of Tell-Rifat and Minah, which are now also located in "Half the craft" in the Turkish army and pro-Turkish formations FSA. It was after this that the active phase of the rebels offensive in the direction of Aleppo stopped, and the Afrin cauldron in the Quadi Rayhalakh area remained temporarily open, through which the only loophole for the transfer of the Syrian militia NDF: the Ziyara Highway to Afrin passes. This highway allows part of the Kurdish population to leave Afrin and move to a safer Tell-Rifat, as well as those parts of the province of Aleppo, which are under the control of the Syrian government forces.
The introduction of detachments of the CAA Republican Guard into the southern villages and cities of Afrina also resolved another topical tactical problem for the CAA, which was to prevent the planned attempt by the US SDF and SDF to Tell-Rifat from Manbij. Now such a scenario is practically excluded, and any actions of pro-American Kurds to oust the CAA from the north of Aleppo are excluded. But this does not at all mean the victory of Damascus in the “Afrin round. The above highway passing through the neck of the African cauldron is under the fire control of the SSA and the Turkish army (both anti-tank weapons and rifle weapons), and therefore the arrival of Kurdish reinforcements and Syrian militias turned into a journey through the “gates of hell”, which can slam from day to day. After that, the Kurdish YPG detachments, which are the main element of deterring the Turkish aggressor, will finally fall, having undergone complete defeat and genocide in the created boiler; This is exactly the genocide that the Armenians have felt on themselves. This is just one of the Damascus payment points for working with Ankara on de-escalation issues in Idlib and the surrounding areas of Aleppo. In such conditions, one should not even think about preserving Syrian sovereignty over the entire territory of the republic, and not only on the east bank of the Euphrates, but also on the west.
Turkish army in Afrin (photo that says everything ...)
It is extremely funny to regularly review the statements of our observers and commentators regarding the future "transfer of Afrin to the government forces of Syria". You can bring a whole mass of facts, according to which this opinion will not be viable for at least 5 years. First, the current military operation "Olive Branch" is one of the stages of the more ambitious operation "Euphrates Shield", the main purpose of which was announced to overthrow Bashar Assad, as Erdogan said on November 29 of 2016 of the year. Ankara may not count on the withdrawal or removal from power of the legitimate president of the UAR Bashar Assad for several years, which means that Turkey has absolutely no reason to withdraw from the northern territories of Syria and transfer the lands of Afrin to Damascus control. Moreover, official Ankara does not hide its imperial manners in the northern provinces of Syria, which was reflected in an interview with the diplomatic adviser to Turkish President I. Chevik to the Lebanese agency AMN 31 in January 2018, where he directly and clearly noted that the Turkish army does not plan to transfer the CAA territory in the north of Aleppo.
Secondly, the scale of the lawlessness imposed by the pro-Turkish forces on the captured territory of Afrin has long exceeded all possible and impossible limits characteristic of the region covered by the war. In particular, from informed sources in Idlib and Afrin the information comes that the Turkish army and the SSA provoked a real demographic war. Thus, the surviving and dilapidated houses of the Afrin kurds, abandoned during the air strikes and the ground part of the operation “Olive Branch”, move from Ankara to Arab and Turkmen refugees from certain areas of the Idlib province. And so the Turks plan to transfer Damascus captured Afrin ?! I doubt it very much ...
As for the “Idlib viper,” the situation here becomes extremely difficult not only for the Syrian army, but also for key naval facilities fleet and Aerospace Forces in the provinces of Tartus and Latakia. It is quite logical that against the background of building a powerful strategic “bridge” between the “El-Babskiy bridgehead” and Idlib governorate controlled by the FSA and Tahrir al-Sham through the occupied territory of Afrin, the window of opportunity for the Syrian Arab army will be narrowed beyond recognition. An impressive 40-kilometer buffer in the form of more than 10000 professional and patriotic YPG fighters will be cut only to the infamous 5-7-kilometer layer north of Nubl and Zakhra. As a result, the city of Aleppo will be in danger of falling into a new “cauldron”, capable of shutting itself down within several days by the forces of several units of the FSA and al-Nusra militants, who advanced towards each other from Hadera and Al-Bab. And it will be possible to contrast here with direct direct intervention by the Russian air forces, because the Idlib opposition “greens” are already far from those Ishilov’s fighters who received “gifts” from the US Armed Forces in the form of outdated military transport aircraft small arms and anti-tank weapons.
At the present stage, the FSA and "en-Nusra" receive modern weapons from Turkey, including MANPADS (later used against our Su-25 attack aircraft), PT-tools, full-fledged equipment, radio-electronic network-centric linkage, etc., this can be observed on “Twitter” pages of SSA militants, published in syria.liveuamap.com. Consequently, Damascus (and not only) may repeatedly regret the delay in the introduction of the regular Syrian army into Afrin and the useless attempts to coordinate with the Turkish military leadership any de-escalation zones in northern Syria. Obviously, in Damascus, the whole essence of the “friendship” with Turkey was already realized, and just at the moment of transition to the final phase of the military operation against the militants in Eastern Ghouta, active point-and-field artillery attacks of the CAA on the pro-Turkish forces in the Idlib gadushnik began.
Since 7-8 in March, the intensity of these attacks on the facilities of “en-Nusra” in Idlib increased several times, but realized it was too late! The result was only increasing terrorist activity in the area of responsibility of the Turkish observation post located at the height of Al Ays (west of Hadera) and not only. Numerous local clashes occurred in various sections of the contact line in Jisr al-Shugur, Murak, as well as Khader and Aleppo areas, which did not bring absolutely no tactical success to the Syrian army. This fact once again tells us that the precious months spent on the negotiation process with the Turks allowed idlib jihadists to finally raise their heads and in no way reckon with the pro-government forces. The militants decided not to stop at this.
For the first time since 9 January 2018 of the year, relying on a full-fledged Turkish protectorate, the Tahrir ash-Sham militants made another attempt to launch a bombing attack on Hmeymim airbase, on which the main tactical air wing of the Russian Aerospace Forces based on the Syrian theater of operations is based. According to Middle Eastern information sources, this time the air defense systems (the Pantsiri-С1) reacted very quickly: the home-made drone with the dropped ammunition was intercepted at long-distance approaches to the Avb, which confirmed the effectiveness of the enhanced anti-ballistic missile defense in recent months. At the same time, once again, the question arose of the need to eliminate this threat in the future. If you look at the map of the northwestern territories of the Syrian Arab Republic (Idlib, Hama and Lattakia provinces), whether paper or digital, you can easily determine that the distance from Hmeimim to the western outskirts of Idlib is just over 35 km, which is enough for , in order to “put on wing” new short-range UAVs almost daily and direct them alternately towards Hmeimim and Tartus, exhausting the Pantsi of the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Arab Army. Thus, in just a couple of weeks, you can very well "pat" the 57E6E SAM kits, as well as the life of the 30-mm 2А38М twin guns.
From this, the only adequate and disappointing conclusion can be made: for the Russian military contingent in the Mediterranean coast, the “Idlib gadyushnik” is turning into an extremely dangerous destabilizing stronghold, capable of not only carrying out the usual harassing actions against Tartus and Khmeimim, but also undermining the defense capabilities of these objects in critical military situation. Imagine a situation in which the “Shells” and “Four hundredths” will need to work out the coalition using the numerous means of air attack of the Navy and Air Force (aviation or precision missile weapons); most of the target channels will be occupied by priority air targets, while a couple of dozens of “friendship drones” from Idlib will appear on the indicators of survey radars 1RS1-1E and 96L6E, which may not have extra target channels. The picture is very bad. And it is advisable to pay attention here not to the struggle with the consequences (by the very drones), but to the root cause of this outrage, which is precisely the existence and prosperity of the "Idlib viper", sponsored by Ankara.
The pro-Turkish forces in Idlib settled down for a very, very long time, as evidenced by important information from the telegram channel Ebaa Agency. In the tenth of March, our Turkish "partners", represented by an unnamed management of one of the oil companies, with a completely clear conscience went to conclude a deal for the supply of domestic gas with Idlib self-government bodies, represented exclusively by Tahrir ash-Sham militants; Now the tanks to the fullest come into the hands of terrorists through KVVV Bab al-Khava. Meanwhile, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Turkey urgently sent a delegation of high-ranking military personnel to the settlements of Wadi al-Jahannam and Eziyarah on the western part of the contact line between the CAA and Idlib. The delegation’s task is to search for the most acceptable points for placing two more observation points on the western side of the “Gadyushnik”. From this point on, the main terrorist bridgehead in the northwestern part of the Syrian Arab Republic will be under the complete protection of Ankara, and therefore it will be very difficult to knock out jihadists. A very spicy seasoning to the sauce in the form of an emerging US missile attack on Syrian military targets, to which our country will definitely have to respond rudely and unceremoniously.