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Next President of the United Fates of America
the Turks are gearing up to conduct expanded military operations in northern Syria,
against the Kurds primarily.
Turkey’s war on Syrian Kurds under scrutiny
Quote:The Turkish Army announced the death of 291 Kurdish fighters 
of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) during military operations in northern Syria.

The death toll, declared by Turkey on 7 January 2017, 
included Kurdish casualties since Turkey launched its operations in Syria last August.

The Kurdish YPG leadership condemned Turkey’s attacks on their positions, 
arguing that Turkey’s offensive on their headquarters came in support of jihadist groups in Syria.

The Turkish Central Command said in a statement on Saturday
that its military forces and allies aim to secure Turkey’s southern borders 
through eliminating “all terrorist groups in northern Syria, including ISIS and YPG”.

This while the YPG leads a key US ally against ISIS in Syria, 
namely the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Backed by the US-led coalition, 
Kurdish YPG fighters and allied Syrian Democratic Forces have expelled Islamic State’s (ISIS) militants 
from major areas in northern Syria,
 including Hasakah, Kobane and Manbij. 
Currently, the same forces are combatting ISIS in Raqqa–the Caliphate’s de facto capital– 
as part of the US-backed Euphrates Wrath Operation.  Hmm2

On August 24, 
the Turkish Army and allied rebels in Syria
launched the so-called Euphrates Shield Operation     Rofl
under the pretext of combatting terrorism. 

According to analysts, 
the immediate goal of the Turkey-backed operation in northern Syria 
is to preempt Kurdish territorial ambitions by capturing the ISIS-held areas between Efrin and Manbij.

Military sources told ARA News, 
that the Turkish Army has launched dozens of attacks on Kurdish positions in northern Syria in 2016.

In Kobane, Kurdish headquarters have been exposed to several Turkish attacks. 
On December 30,
the Turkish military shelled with heavy artillery YPG security offices in the villages of Yabsa, 
Kerbnav and Seloula east of Kobane. 
This coincided with Turkish air raids on the YPG-held village of Khane.

On November 20, Turkish forces launched air raids and artillery strikes 
on positions of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) near Manbij city. 
The SDF sustained a handful of casualties and their local headquarters was damaged. 

Turkey’s military bombed the villages of Yilanli, Qurt Weran and Sheikh Nasr. 
Sharvan Darwish, an SDF spokesperson, 
said in a statement that at least four fighters were killed or injured.

On November 12, Turkey’s military shelled Kurdish communities in Afrin District, 
north of Aleppo city. 
Dilovan Mirkhan, a human rights activist, told ARA News that Turkey struck Afrin with dozens of artillery shells. 
“The Turkish Army –
stationed on the border with Syria– 
bombed residential buildings in the Mosako town, in Afrin,” he said. 

The Kurdish YPG and their allies from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), 
captured the strategic city of Tel Abyad in June 2015.
 The conquest of Tel Abyad was disconcerting for Islamic State (ISIS) militants due to its location. 
Tel Abyad is only 90 km from Raqqa –
the group’s de facto capital in Syria. 
Since ISIS was driven from Tel Abyad, 
Kurdish positions have been exposed on two fronts. 
The YPG has to guard against Turkey’s military on one hand, and ISIS on the other.

Here is what the Kurds are actually doing with the SDF.
Kurdish-led forces clear 3,200km², kill 620 ISIS militants in battle for Raqqa
Quote:Kurdish officers also corroborated reports
that they had been scaling up, 
in anticipation of the third phase Whip  of Euphrates Wrath. 

More than 2500 new fighters have joined the Syrian Democratic Forces 
after being trained and equipped,
in cooperation with the US-led coalition.”

The Syrian Democratic Forces also revealed that in the coming weeks 
28 Arab tribal leaders
will declare their support for the SDF,” and their opposition to the Islamic State (ISIS).

“The second phase  of the Euphrates Wrath Operation, 
which was launched on December 10, is continuing in Raqqa,” the officers said.

“During the second phase,
our forces were able to liberate 2480 square kilometers, 
clearing 196 villages and dozens of farms and strategic hills,” 
the SDF declared.
 “Thus, since the beginning of the battle for Raqqa, 
3200 square kilometers have been cleared, including 236 villages.”

The SDF confirmed the that they had eliminated 620 ISIS militants during the course of the campaign, 
captured 18 others and destroyed “over 40 car bombs.” 
In addition, SDF troops seized “a great deal of ammunition and weapons,” 
as well as “a number of ISIS vehicles.”

According to the Kurdish-led SDF, 
thousands of civilians have been freed in Raqqa’s western countryside. 
The civilians will be returned to their homes after their villages are liberated and demined.

General James Sheep  Mattis, 
the new US Defense Secretary, 
in his confirmation hearing last week, 
said that the incoming administration will attempt to accelerate the Raqqa campaign. 
“I believe that strategy needs to be reviewed 
and perhaps energized on a more aggressive timeline.”  Hi

Assistant Secretary of Defense Elissa Slotkin said that the penultimate goal of the is to isolate Raqqa. 
“Our commanders have a plan. 
You know that we’re in the beginning – 
or we’re in the middle actually of isolating Raqqa, 
and that’s going well.”

The Assistant Secretary said there are now 50,000 SDF soldiers fighting ISIS in northern Syria. 
“That’s a big number and that is not the number it was a year ago,” she said.

Stolkin added that the SDF is rapidly scaling up, 
explaining that as the polyethnic alliance    Ninja  Hi  Ninja Doh  Ninja
“liberates new areas from ISIS, 
people did not like living under ISIS and they volunteer.”

“We have seen that borne out, 
and ever since the Manbij operations, frankly, 
we’ve seen a significantly larger number of Arabs come into the fight [enlisting in the SDF],” 
Stolkin continued.

The US official reasoned that increased diversity in the Syrian Democratic Forces’ ranks 
would help in the looming battle for Raqqa city. 
“I think about 50% at this point is sort of Arab-Turkmen [and] 
the whole host of other folks besides the Kurds, 
and I think that’s a pretty healthy number given the importance of the coming fight in Raqqa, 
which is an Arab town.”

Stolkin said the new fighters were reliable and individually vetted by SDF to assess their background. 

You know what ... ?
look near the bottom of the quote,
where they talk about the "poly - ethnic alliance" that consists of the overall SDF,
in the fight to take Raqqa?
50% Kurds and 50% Arab-Turkmen ...
that 50% of Arab Turkmen is Syrian like the Kurds in that part of Syria,
and I bet that they don't like the Turkish government across their border either. 

Quote:The Assistant Secretary said there are now 50,000 SDF soldiers fighting ISIS in northern Syria.

That is a significant force.
That may be an embellished evaluation of numbers as well.
that SDF military force demographic will be even more resistant to Assad returning to power in Raqqa,
is my assessment of what these people think they are fighting for.
They aren't just fighting to get rid of ISIS,
they also have a deep distaste and distrust of Assad regime power.

The bloodbath isn't going to stop once ISIS is torched.

Trump has a huge problem in on his hands in Syria,
that feeds upon itself and doesn't go away,
and he isn't going to be happy when the Iranians move in with troops to help Assad occupy territory.

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RE: Next President of the United Fates of America - by Vianova - 01-19-2017, 02:43 AM

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