Turkey will take the Idlib matter into its own hands and the military operation in northwestern Syria is simply a “matter of time”, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared on February 19. Erdogan said that Turkey is not satisfied with talks on the matter with Russia, and it will not leave the region to “the Assad regime and its backers.” He recalled that only a few days left until the end of February, the deadline given by Ankara to Syrian forces to stop operations against Idlib armed groups. If the Syrians do not withdraw, Turkey promised to attack and push the Syrian Army back from the areas cleared from militants. Erdogan’s “last warning” came as Turkish media outlets were broadcasting news showing how columns of Turkish troops and vehicle were moving towards the border with Syria. However, did Turkey really deployed enough forces to deliver a devastating blow to the Syrian military and do not pay a heavy price?
In the framework of the Astana agreements, Turkey established 12 observation posts. As the Syrian Army was advancing into Idlib, Ankara created a plethora of additional military positions in a failed attempt to stop the collapse of militants’ defense. These efforts binged the total number of Turkish military installations in the region up to 27.
Judging from various footage, there are between one dozen and two dozen soldiers, as well as 4-6 military vehicles at every post located within the areas currently controlled by the Syrian government. The recently created posts are much stronger and can be described as real military positions with battle tanks, howitzers, mortars and fortified structures.
The estimated total number of military equipment deployed by the Turkish Armed Forces in Idlib stands at 3,000. Since February 2nd, Turkey deployed 2,315 trucks and military vehicles, as well as 7,000 soldiers. Meanwhile, Turkey has positioned approximately 30,000 troops along the Syrian border in case of an escalation.
The equipment and weapons that are being delivered include armored trucks, MRAPs, armored personnel carriers, battle tanks, ATGMs, various artillery pieces and rocket launchers. Army troops are reinforced with a notable number of special forces.
According to pro-opposition sources, there are over 100,000 members of various groups, predominantly Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham in Idlib. These groups are already actively taking part in the fight against the Syrian Arab Army. However, the real mobilization potential demonstrated by these factions during the recent battles does not exceed 10,000-20,000.
In comparison, during Operation Euphrates Shield, in which Turkey struggled greatly, it deployed approximately 8,000 soldiers, in addition to approximately 11,000 Syrian “opposition” fighters, against 7,000 ISIS militants. This operation became widely known for large casualties among Turkish soldiers and proxies, as well as a large number of military equipment, including Leopard 2A4 battle tanks, lost during the battle of al-Bab.
Another example is operation Olive Branch that involve around 6,000 Turkish troops, and 20,000 Turkish-backed fighters, against approximately 20,000 Syrian Democratic Forces and allied fighters. However, Kurdish armed groups did not engage Turkish-led forces in an intense open or urban fighting and opted to retreat from the region after weeks of artillery and air bombardment. Since then, Ankara has been trying to consolidate control over the area and put an end to constant attacks on its forces from the remaining YPG cells.
Finally, Operation Peace Spring, which began in late 2019, reportedly involved 15,000 Turkish troops and 14,000 members of proxy groups. It also went without a significant open resistance from Kurdish groups and was frozen with the Syrian Army and the Russian Military Police deployed in the area.
It also would be useful to note that both ISIS and Kurdish formations targeted by Turkey were outnumbered in the area of operations, suffered from a lack of modern weapons, heavy military equipment and artillery, and had no means and measures to combat the Turkish Air Force. No intense fighting took place in large urban areas. Despite this, the aforementioned operations became a real challenge for Turkey and its proxy groups.
Therefore, it is unlikely that the Turkish forces currently deployed in Idlib and northwestern Syria will be enough to turn into reality Erdogan’s threats and promises. So, Turkey should hurry up and increase its military group in the area by several times, or Erdogan supporters should start preparing for March 1, the day when the dreams about the swift and powerful Turkish victory over ‘Assad forces’ will be broken by the reality.
Erdogan said today, 2 weeks and he’ll atttack. It takes that long to dress the takfiris in Turkey military uniforms.
This will be a Potemkin Turkish army with virtual reality Turk Air Force cover (they will be airborne over Turkey because if they fly over Syria, the Russians will take them down.)
It might actually begin as Erdogan pledged. But it will end as a blunt force disaster. Already, the Russians spanked Turkish artillery that fired on the Syrians. He’s losing men and machines and by the time he is ready to start, the morale of his troops will be broken. The proxies he is using, SLEEP and the other psychopaths of al Nusra and Uyghur formations, may be willing to fight to the end thinking Turkey will save them when things go really bad. However, the way Russia fights, things go really bad immediately for their enemies, and there usually isn’t time or direction to run.
Idlib is going to fall into the hands of Assad and his heroic military as it should. The war Erdogan promises is a miscalculation of Russian will and Syrian patriotic sacrifice. It will be brief and horrific for those caught in it.
The Turks are used to fighting one-sided against lightly armed Kurds. They usually use artillery and tanks and air power against Kurdish men and women with small arms and RPGs. The Russians will use thermobaric MLRSs, bombs and missiles and the Syrians will use artillery and tanks. No army will hold against the firepower that will hit the Turks and their proxies.
As we saw in Donbass in 2014-2015, whole Ukie regimental unit formations were wiped out, men and armor, in minutes against Russian firepower. The same awaits the Turks.
“… As we saw in Donbass in 2014-2015, whole Ukie regimental unit formations were wiped out, men and armor, in minutes against Russian firepower. …”
True. Just like in the Дебальцево cauldron in January 2015. And then … Putin signed his “Minsk II” agreement……
“… The same awaits the Turks. …”
I sincerely hope not: I do hope that the Turks will be routed completely and decisively out Syria, once and for all.
In any case, let us wait and see.
Thanks Larchmonter for the analysis as always. You should set up your own blog.
I cannot believe That Erdogan could be so dumb. He got rid of al lot of his military top-brass after the failed coup attempt. Unless he has appointed complete yes-men as his military chiefs, but they too, even if they are total sycophants must surely realise the folly of what Erdogan is proposing.
Syria (with Russian help) must reclaim sovereignty over all of Syria and rout out the terrorist takfiri Islamic fascists. I hope it does not also involve the deaths of thousands of Turkish troops.
If Erdogan’s hubris wins, the Turkish arm will also be routed and with that he will be toppled. It will be bloody and totally unnecessary.
It might interest you that Erdogan and Putin will be discussing via telephone, today, 15:00 GMT.
Thank goodness the two leaders are willing to conduct rational discourse and not be so “chicken little” like.
There is also reports of a meeting set between Russia and Turkey this coming Monday.
“The Turks are used to fighting one-sided against lightly armed Kurds”
That’s questionable- Anyway..
The US trained a special forces Kurdish unit in North eastern Syria and armed them with top notch equipment-
Known as YAT.
To target Turkey and undoubtedly target Syrian and Iranian forces
” One of the units that has enthusiasts and professionals scratching their head lately is the Syrian Defense Force’s Yekîneyên Antî Teror, or “YAT.”
“It is a unit that is still shrouded in considerable secrecy due to the nature of its origins, comprised mostly of senior YPG and YPJ fighters who fight for a free Rojava (Syrian Kurdish state) — very different from the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters most are familiar with”
“Prior to 2019, the YAT was trained and equipped by United States Army Special Forces, commonly referred to as Green Berets. The world’s foremost experts in guerrilla and unconventional warfare, these teams linked up with Kurdish forces in Northern Syria in early 2016.”
That should bring peace to Syria, right Larchmonter 445?
And of course, encourage the Kurds to come to the table with Damscus?
Of course, I’m being completely facetious
I don’t think it is that simple. If thermobaric weaponry etc are so effective, the US would have won in Afghanistan long ago.
But the Turks have the option of turning Syria into a quagmire for Russian forces i.e. protracted guerrilla war, upgraded MANPADS and all.
But I don’t think Erdogan has the wits or the skills to do this. But we should not assume this.
Better for Putin to be patient and find out what Erdogan really want. A war with Erdogan will push him back into the arms of the US.
I read an article some time ago and I do not remember where or who wrote this. The jest of the article was that the Russian prophets said that Russia would enter into a war with Turkey and Russia would make a military blunder and it would look as if they would lose the war but in the last days of the battle Russia would claim the victory. Has anyone read something about this. I did not know if this has taken place in years gone by or if it was a future war. If anyone can shed light on this I would be interested in knowing more.
One does come to mind and it happened in 1877 between the Turks supported by terrorists and Russia defending Bulgaria. Another Treaty of Berlin was signed which eventually led to WW1.
The Siege of Shipka Pass (reminds one of the battle of Thermopylae), interesting reading. Seems like history does repeat itself.
The Bulgarian blind woman’s name is Baba Vanga. Lots of info online about her predictions.
Saint Paisios from mount Athos in Greece. It’s a very recent prophecy amongst many other prophecies by equal calibrate saints. Google it and you will see. It hasn’t happened yet.
The big events will happen when Erdogan is out of the way or power. This is the start. People have plans but God has His as well.
Probably a bit of both.
What would motivate Erdogan to full out attack Syrian and Russian forces as he threatens? What does he think he has to win? Does he think those countries will allow him to annex Idlib to Turkey? Or to at least occupy and control the place? Is it a desperate attempt to keep the hordes of terrorists in Idlib from storming into Turkey after they are routed by Syria and Russia? Does he think those are achievable goals to take such a gamble? Does he think that Syria and Russia will run from the battle as soon as he opens fire? Or after they have taken some casualties rather than increasing their resolve to finally win this war and stop the slaughter?
Or does he think he can play the NATO card and the United States will ride in on a pale horse and start World War III to save his ass? He can use his threats as a bluff for only so long, they will not guarantee the status quo forever. Has he considered what he has to lose if he actually starts this hot war with Syria and Russia that he promises? Just based on relative military assets he loses big time to Russia if the United States does not come to his aid. If they do, everyone loses. If he comes guns blazing with American forces against Russia on the Syrian front then Putin will be forced to either concede or counter with actions against the American interlopers in Ukraine and all along the Russian frontier where they threaten Russia’s security. That, of course, escalates into Armageddon. If Mr. Erdogan pulls the trigger and US involvement fails to materialise, he can probably look forward to an unhappy fate at the end of a rope when he is overthrown by the coup that is sure to come. Mr. Ergogan needs a better cost/benefit analysis on war vs peace with Syria and Russia from his advisors… before they become his successors. His time to (Edited,MOD)s..t or get off the pot has arrived because he has made the appointment of 1 March with his own words.
I remember that he had to run and get permission from the vatican (can’t remember if it was via Malta or not) before he could start his first cross border adventure against the Syrian Kurds. He might believe that his arrangements with those groups will protect him (vatican, malta, constantinople, etc…). Who knows, for sure, what truly drives his logic.
If we assume that Turkey launch a full scale invasion of Syria, can anyone tell me how would Russian resupply their army stationed there ? The Bosporus would be closed , Iraqi airspace would be closed by USA too, probably even the Giblartar would be blocked by British, there is simply not even one route for Russian.
The Dardanelles and Bosporus are international water ways. I remember reading here that Russia has contingency plans in place if Turkey closes the water ways. It’s safe to say that if Turkey does that it is no longer a little spat about Idlib, but a direct attack on vital Russian geostrategic interests. This is war on a totally different scale. Such a move would make Turkey a direct target for Russian retaliation. Not a good idea, at all. Such a move would bring the war in Syria to Turkey itself, in grand style.
This is why the Russians simply decline to even talk about the possibility Erdogan and Hakar would be this stupid.
How would they block the Bospourus if Russia decided we are coming through and don’t get in our way? i also believe those Turkish invaders should have been hit hard when they started crossing the border,if i was the Syrians once this war is over i would seal that Turkish border no matter how long it took.
“… How would they block the Bospourus if Russia decided we are coming through and don’t get in our way? …”
The same way that Iran could block the Straight of Hormuz, only much, much easier. By sowing various types of sea mines all over there, by sinking large old ships, by placing other underwater obstacles, such as steel cables, nets, you name it, etc.
Keep in mind:
“… The depth of the Bosporus varies from 13 to 110 m (43 to 361 ft) in midstream with an average of 65 m (213 ft). …” “… Its … minimum width 700 m (0.38 nmi) …”
Closure of the Bosphorus strait means that war has started between Russia and Turkey. So this one should be a no-brainer…
Yes, that would indeed mean that the war has started between Russia and Turkey – and perhaps even the WW3: Turkey is (still) a NATO member and there are many hyenas who would be more than happy to join the fray…
It’s only a wild guess but ..
I think it’s a dog and pony show. Since president Putin warned Erdogan about the coup attempt, the relation between Turkey and Russia has improved. They have the gas-pipe deal and other interdependent economic relations. There could never be a full out confrontation between Russia and Turkey. The Russian ships have to travel trough the Bosporus and they both know it.
Dog and pony show why? Every degree of intervention from Russia is carefully directed between Turkey and Russia, much like between Russia and Israel. The only party that doesn’t play the game is the USA. Therefore they’re led to believe that Turkey is seriously taking up NATO’s role in the game.
After a few weeks of pounding sand and threats Turkey will give up.
“Every degree of intervention from Russia is carefully directed between Turkey and Russia”
I wouldn’t say that, not exactly.
What it looks like to me, is talking, pushing, more talking. Testing limits etc.,
But yes, I’d say there is coordination between the two.
For crying out loud, why are people still looking at and discussing short-term movements and tactics?
I have seen at least 3 commenters on this blog alone (ex intel types I would guess) who have litterally spelled out the long term strategic issues regarding Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and ultimately Russia.
Yet what we get fed with even in the independent media (who should know better by now) is “Erdogan this”, “Putin that”, and “Trump the other”, as if these characters have full control over the historical events preceeding them, today, and in the future.
I strongly suggest those who wish to see the big picture being pieced together dot by dot, look to history and the grand plans of puppet masters and string pullers – the same masters of the Human Domain who reshaped the middle east after WW1, who set up the new state of Israel, and who have hated with vengence Russia since since Catherine the Great (and have sent empire after empire, and even her own people during the revolution, against her to destroy her).
I find it very sad indeed that very intelligent and otherwise well informed people can not see beyond tactics, and worse, concentrate on personalities of short term (as defined by decades rather than centuries) leaders and political figures.
The puppet masters think in multi-generational time scales – and they manipulate world events, characters, and economies (even make wars) to further thier grand plans and great works.
I suggest those with the ability to think outside of thier programming and conditioning look at the grand plans put in place by the puppet masters, and if you are really, realy capable of opening your minds and cutting through your very powerful programming to dismiss such material, read books such as the “fake” and “anti-semetic” ‘Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion’, proven to have been written over a 100 years ago, and then explain how the book managed to predict most world events and the control of the press, the military, and life itself during the 20th century if it was “fake” or “anti-semitic”.
Greater Israel, Greater Kurdistan (or the territories of “free Syria”, “free Iraq”, and “free Turkey” combined) were planned in the 19th century, and for those with the eyes to see these things the plan is moving forward.
Now, can those guys with the intel background please come back and tell us a bit more about long term strategies as I am tired of hearing about “Erdogans ambitions” and hungry to learn about the great economic collapse and war planned for this generation over 100 years ago and recorded in texts such as the “Protocols”, and even General Albert Pikes infamous “fake” letter to Mazzinni, written in the 1870’s, predicting WW1, WW2, and WW3.
Let’s analyse some things:
“Meanwhile, Turkey has positioned approximately 30,000 troops along the Syrian border in case of an escalation.”
Sure, Erdogan doesn’t want the crazies to infiltrate Turkey proper. Those troops are there to watch the border not to attack Syria.
“March 1st deadline”
10 more days for SAA & RuAF to kill as many crazies as they can before they take a break – to replenish the armory, rest the soldiers, analyse the progress. I bet the Russians told Erdogan to set this deadline.
“Turkish army failed against the Kurds’
It was never intended for a full scale war but only to ‘push’ the Kurds into the Syrian and Russian arms.
I am following ME politics quite closely.
And I think I am very well informed.
However I do not understand Turkey politicking.
What the F…. are they doing in Syria…. and Lybia ?
Many calls it neo ottoman or muslim brotherhood ambitions.
Some call it Byzantine and internal politicking or corruption.
Others call it Nato managed deception.
Others yet call it legitimate Turkey concern over Terrorist inflow or Kurdish separatist.
The truth is surely in between as usual.
Anyone here to provide a convincing and argumented post about Turkey position.
I am lost here.
Erdogan wants the land of the Ottoman Empire back..Many Turkish people believe that’s still their land. Also the oil.
I think this rhetoric is more on bluff side . Erdogan is trying to manipulate militants .
They have soon to realize that Syrian game is over. But Erdogan wants to preserve their
trust .He needs them and he wants to show that he is not abandoning them . Erdogan’s
mission is renewal of Ottoman Commonwealth where it is possible .
Welcome to the multi-polar world.
If militants are stubborn Russia and Syria will destroy them. Neither USA nor Turkey will
start war to defend Al Nusra and White helmets . So Turks are eventually proposing
“transfer” of militants and families to Libya under better conditions .
There are reports that Saudi Arabia is transferring( or relocating) Al Qaeda terrorists to
Yemen . War goes on – theater of war are changing .
didn’t Putin just send Turkey the S400s – ? And although Russia has engineered those things to be unable to fight against Russia – Israel can reverse engineer….here is a quote I read today – –
Turkey pulled a fast one over Putin and he was too arrogant to see it.
This was planned WITH America and Israel was fully involved.
Now they have the S400 can US/Israel can reverse engineer. Russia has lost that card too.
This is what happens when you get over confident.
I think its in this article although I didn’t see it when I sped read it –
“According to the latest data, we have neutralised 150 ‘regime elements’, destroyed 12 tanks, three armoured vehicles, 14 howitzers and two pickup trucks. We will not pull out from Idlib until the regime halts its aggression against the province’s population. This is the only condition for cessation of hostilities”, Erdogan said.
Turkish army at post….soooo…this is as serious as Turkey shooting down the Russian plane years ago…..as the clear intent is exactly the same.
Southfront also did articles that the US + Saudis are to attack Lebanon a year ago.
I remind of this detail for smart ones to draw their own conclusions
Please comment on the post not the author. Breaks site rules. Mod.
“Please comment on the post not the author. Breaks site rules. Mod.”
I am commenting on JJ’s links he is providing . The links are from Southfront, sure, but I get the feeling we are getting pushed a narrative that there will be an imminent conflict between Turkish regular forces and SAA/RuAF. Like with Lebanon and the US/Saudis a year ago.
Many (not just Southfront) were wrong then, and will be proven wrong today.
Turkey and Erdogan have absolutely no desire, motive, means and economic interest to fight a war against Russia or Syria. Do some foreign actors as well as domestic Gulen/5th columnist try to stir up a conflict? Absolutely! Why do they try again & again? Because clearly people are falling for it again & again. And this hysterical approach to newsmaking literary gives life to such attempts.
Any video online could be fake . It could be staged (e.g. white helmets) or it doesn’t correspond to the event in question (e.g. showing protest pictures from on country and claiming it is in another). Any statement could be mistranslated – they’ve done it to Putin, to the Iranians, so what’s stopping them to do the same to Erdogan if they get to incite a war they can profit off.
“Do some foreign actors as well as domestic Gulen/5th columnist try to stir up a conflict? Absolutely! Why do they try again & again? Because clearly people are falling for it again & again. And this hysterical approach to newsmaking literary gives life to such attempts. “
worth keeping in mind, always.
If that was as serious as the plane shootdown (per your allusion to) surely Russian MoD would comment on it.
As they did at that time.But they haven’t Instead “The Ministry of Defense of Russian has not commented on the footage” So, it can neither be serious or true.
They had to go round the long way over Caspian Sea….situation escalating?
The reporting for that tale came originally from Nezavisimaya Gazeta….
A ‘rag’ run by Boris Berezovsky, picked up by others.
The question that needs to be asked follows:
Would Boris Berezovsky publish a false or unsubstantiated story/claim in order to “stick it” to Putin?
To embarrass Putin? To make him look less worthy of a leader?
Darn right he would and he would use his publishing outfit to do it!
No doubt Nezavisimaya Gazeta would publish anti-putin reports but Boris Berezovsky was suicided in his London mansion in 2013.
“Then it became part of the “Berezovsky Media Group”.
Undoubtedly the media group carries on the traditions of the Oligarchs. Anti Putin is the name of the game.
So, as a source it’s got it’s own motives and reasons for existing- this has to be considered. You seem to understand that. Considered, always.
And yes, I’m aware of Mr. Berezovsky’s passing.
Here’s an interview with the current ‘editor in chief’ of said rag paper
Notice the anti Putin stance? That would undoubtedly permeate his paper..
This statement alone is sheer absurdity
“But the language of propaganda does not work on social media”
It works beautifully.
Anywhoo, don’t want to take this too off topic- Point being the outlet will clearly publish questionable information to paint Putin in an unflattering light. That needs to be considered when consuming highly questionable information.
There will be Turkish-Syrian war. if not now, it will come later.
In the eyes of nationalists, Erdogan has already cornered himself, he has a simple choice between war and shame. These nationalists are important for him, they saved him during the coup d’état after all.
According to planeRadar.ru, five C-17 Globemaster III departed from Rammstein and heading towards Turkey.
The buildup of Turkish forces continue, TRG-300 TIGER missile systems, more tanks … incl. Leopard 2 spotted …
Showcase or preparations ?
ANKARA, February 22. /TASS/. Ankara will act more resolutely in Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday.
In his speech that was televised by the NTV television channel, Erdogan noted that the operation is Syria was requiring serious efforts and claiming the lives of Turkish servicemen.
“Yesterday, I had talks with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. Before that, I spoke with [French President Emmanuel] Macron and [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel. After that, we decided on our roadmap [on Syria],” he said. “We will take more resolute steps.”
He did not say however which steps it would be, stressing only that Ankara “will not bend before global powers’ scenarios.”
Not sure but this prob relates to Patriot deployments.
Good luck with Patriot systems knocking anything down from the sky.
“Good luck with Patriot systems knocking anything down from the sky.”
They are probably effective against airliners…
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed on Saturday that he intended to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron in Istanbul on 5 March to discuss the situation in Syrian Idlib.
“I held telephone conversations with Putin, Macron and Merkel on Idlib. We will meet together on 5 March and discuss this topic again”, Erdogan said, speaking in Izmir province.
On Friday, Erdogan said that the leaders of France and Germany had offered Putin hold a summit on Syria on 5 March in Istanbul.”
Lol. So much about the March 1st deadline.
All Erdogan cares about is to ship off any refugees from idlib that come his way towards Europe. Or housekeep them but get mutti’s money go pay for it. And pocket some for his cronies while doing it.
Anyhow, good news for Amazon/Bezos too. They will get droves of minimum wage workers too.
“… he intended to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron in Istanbul on 5 March to discuss the situation in Syrian Idlib. …”
This is indeed bizarre. What suddenly Germany & France (!) have to do with Syria and Idlib? Just look at the map: those two hyenas are all the way in western/central Europe – while Syria is in Asia… Why is Putin agreeing to this at all?
It’s just a bluff by Sultan Erdogan’s mythology machine.