The withdrawal of US troops from the Turkish border has caused a kind of panic among the leadership of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, which mostly consist of Kurdish militias.
On October 7, the group already speculated that the Syrian Army is preparing to capture the town of Manbij taking an upper hand of the US troops’ withdrawal. The Syrian military in fact deployed reinforcements near the area. Pro-government sources say the army is preparing to act in response to a possible Turkish military operation.
On October 8, the Turkish Armed Forces announced that they had carried out strikes on the Syrian-Iraqi border in order to prevent Kurdish groups from using the route to reinforce their positions in northeastern Syria. Ankara expects that units of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which it recognizes as a terrorist group, could be re-deployed from northern Iraq to the Syrian-Turkish border.
Almost immediately after first Turkish strikes, the SDF leadership announced that it is ready to consider resuming talks with Damascus, and therefore Russia. Earlier, the group sabotaged all Damascus attempts to settle the existing differences through political measures by demanding the Syrian government to de-facto recognize and fund a de-facto independent state with own military within Syria. Now, when the SDF’s key ally has once again appeared to be not ready to sacrifice its geo-strategic interests to create a Kurdish state in Syria, the SDF is once again seeking negotiations with the ‘bloody Assad regime.’
At the same time, the Turkish military and Turkish proxies continue their preparations for a possible military action against Kurdish militias. Recently, a Turkish military convoy was spotted near the town of Jarabulus. In the event of a military operation, the town will become an important logistical point.