The name of the operation "Olive Branch", initiated by Turkey in Syria, sounds like a mockery. The biblical symbol of the world clearly has nothing to do with politics, at the price of which many human lives can become. But even if the aggravation of the conflict costs little blood, its consequences threaten to be extremely unpleasant for Russia.
In the framework of the operation of the Turkish Armed Forces "Olive Branch", which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the day before, on the night of 21 January Turkish aviation struck a blow at positions of Kurds in Syria, striking 108 from 113 goals. In particular, the Syrian airport Minnig, located in the north-west of the country, was bombed. After that no less than 72 Turkish military aircraft returned to the base.
The Turkish military launched an operation against the Kurdish detachments of the People's Self-Defense Forces (SNA) and the Democratic Union (DS) party, as Ankara considers them part of the terrorist organization of the Kurdistan Workers' Party. As a result of the attack on Afrin, nine people were killed: in addition to three SNA representatives, there are six civilians, the Sky News Arabia television channel reported. However, representatives of the Turkish General Staff insist that among the dead civilians there are no, only "terrorists" were killed. In turn, the Kurds fired three missiles from the territory of Syria along the border Turkish province of Kilis, as a result of which one person was injured.
For their part, the Kurds said that "the Turkish invasion is aimed at saving the remnants of the gangs of the defeated terrorist organization" Islamic State * ":" We are determined to preserve the sovereign borders of Syria and we will not allow any hostile actions to be directed against Turkey from the Syrian territory. The allegations that we launched attacks across the border are only a pretext for Turkey to withdraw its armed forces and extremist opposition groups to Syrian territory. "
The Kurdish People's Self-Defense Forces, which control the canton of Afrin, insist that the Turkish military operation in the region became possible thanks to the approval of Russia. A representative of Northern Kurdistan in Moscow, Rodi Osman, called on the Russian authorities to stop the military operation of Turkey.
"The Turkish Air Force began bombing the Bulbul province ... Approval of such an operation against Afrina is a big mistake. Russia needs to stop and cancel that green light on the operation that was given to Turkey, and not be on the side of such a regime. Russia itself knows that the fascist Turkish regime is a hotbed and an accomplice of terrorists ", - quotes his words" RIA Novosti. "
According to Reuters, "Turkey's actions can worsen the already complicated relations between two NATO members - Turkey and the US, as the States are betting on the Kurds in the fight against IGIL *". In addition, Ankara's actions can complicate the recently restored relations with Russia. Thus, members of the upper chamber of the Russian parliament announced that they would formally demand that Turkey cease hostilities in Syria.
The Turkish side has always objected to the participation of Kurds in a coalition of countries fighting with jihadists, but Russia and the US maintained its military intervention. Ankara's decision to attack the positions of the Kurdish militia in the Afrin and Manbij districts could provoke a recent statement that the Americans are helping the Syrian democratic forces (they are part of a coalition with Kurdish forces of the "People's Self-Defense Force") in creating new border security forces.
"The Turkish offensive without Russia's consent to it can turn out to be an impossible task for Turkey and create a new front in the war that has already led to the death of more than 340 thousand people. However, if Moscow gives its consent to such an intervention, it can bring Turkey and Russia closer and have consequences for Turkey's relations with the West, "the BBC reports.
The reaction of Russia
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported that the Russian command in Syria took measures to ensure the security of servicemen in Africa "to preempt possible provocations, to exclude the threat to life and health of Russian servicemen." It is known that the operational group of the Center for reconciliation of warring parties and military police is relocated from Afrina to the region of Tel Adjar.
"Representatives of the Center for Reconciliation, in spite of the Turkish operation, continue to monitor the situation in the de-escalation zone of Tel-Rifat, in order to promptly provide assistance to the civilian population leaving the combat areas," the Defense Ministry stressed.
The department also noted that the main factors contributing to the crisis development of the situation in Africa were the provocative steps taken by the US aimed at isolating areas with mainly Kurdish population.
Russia believes that "the Pentagon's uncontrolled supply of modern weapons to pro-American forces in northern Syria contributed to the rapid escalation of tensions in the region and led to a special operation by Turkish troops," the statement said.
The position of the United States
The US is asking the Turks to leave the Kurds alone and focus on the fight against IGIL. "We urge all parties to avoid escalation," a Pentagon official said.
The State Department clarified that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson negotiated with the foreign ministers of Russia and Turkey, but no details were given.
According to the commander of the Central Command of the US Armed Forces, General Joseph Votela, Turkey in advance notified the US about the forthcoming operation in the north-west of Syria. "Military sources do not pay much attention to this zone (Afrina)," Votol added, noticing that he was not aware of Ankara's plans.
"The fight against terrorism will be the cultivation of terrorists"
The authors of the Directorate4 Telegram channel, following the military actions in the region, believe that the beginning of the operation "Olive branch" has negative consequences for Russian policy:
"For a long time, the fate of Syria is being decided by Russia, Turkey and Iran. In this case, the opinion of the Syrian authorities themselves is either not asked at all, or completely ignored. So it was with the organization of zones of de-escalation, when these three countries divided Syria into zones of their interests. On the eve of Damascus tried to negotiate with the Kurds of Afrina. Residents of Afrina agreed to recognize the Syrian authorities, but refused to enter the Syrian army into the canton. But without the SAA, with which Turkey has not yet decided to engage in direct confrontations, the defense of the canton is impossible. Hence, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation could protect the Kurds from the invasion of Turkey. But instead, it agreed with the Turkish colleagues on the surrender of the canton.
The disconnect between the Russian military and the Kurds of Afrina shows that the Kurds can not rely on Russia to solve important problems, which means that in the future they can not have any contracts with the Russian side. This causes other participants in the Syrian conflict to seek protection from Iran and the United States. It is because of US support that Erdogan is unlikely to conduct a military operation against the SDS in Manbije, although he likes to talk about it. Further actions in this vein will inevitably lead to the fact that Russia will be allied in Syria. And the fight against terrorism at distant approaches will be the cultivation of terrorists. "
It should be noted that the conflict between Turkey and Kurds, partly inhabiting the muds (provinces) of Turkey, lasts more than a hundred years. Kurds are considered the largest of the nations without their own statehood. At the end of the First World War, the Entente participants agreed, but the Sevrian peace treaty was not implemented, according to which the Kurds were to withdraw part of Turkey and the territory of an independent Kurdistan would emerge. However, in 1923, the treaty was annulled, after which active separatist sentiments began in the Kurds in Turkey, several unsuccessful attempts were made to rebel.
In 1984, the Kurdistan Workers' Party launched a guerrilla war in the eastern and southeastern provinces of Turkey, the conflict continues to this day. Kurds are fighting for unification and independence, trying to get rights to some territories of Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq to create their own sovereign state Kurdistan. In all four states, the "Kurdish issue" remains extremely acute.
* Organization, in respect of which the court accepted an inured decision on liquidation or prohibition of the activity on the grounds provided the Federal Law "On Countering Extremist Activity"