Throughout Tuesday there were conflicting reports about whether or not Syrian troops entered the Kurdish-controlled Afrin. The statements of Ankara and Damascus promised almost a Turkish-Syrian war because of this city. However, there are signs that Turkey and Syria came to an agreement behind the Kurds.
The position of Damascus is simple: Africans living in Africa are also Syrian citizens who need protection. In this case, the rise above the Syrian Syrian flag has an important symbolic significance. For their part, the Turks are putting ultimatums and threatening war. But they now put ultimatums to everyone, including Americans - this is the peculiarity of their current diplomacy.
Well, the Kurds are traded. They always do that. For example, before the occupation of Kirkuk by Iraqi troops, part of the local Kurdish elite (conditional barzanists) until the last moment shook with automatic weapons and promised to fight until the last Asker. At the same time, another part (conditional talabanists) negotiated with Baghdad about the division of oil resources and its own content. Tribal fragmentation and heavy heredity of nomadic nomadic people still prevent the Kurds from turning into at least a kind of a single political nation. But when you contact them, you can always come to a framework agreement on a mutually beneficial basis. Unless, of course, you are not a Turk.
Here and now the limits of bargaining are outlined quite clearly. Damascus and Ankara, in fact, came to an informal agreement. Turkey agrees to the presence in Syria of Syrian government troops (or someone like them), that is, a demonstration of the flag. Syria, in turn, takes power in the region and gets rid (even externally) of those Kurdish groups that can not keep themselves in hand and continue to hang portraits of Abdullah Ocalan, that is, the so-called YPGs, at every corner.
Purely declaratively, the Turks would like to demonstrate that they distinguish only the Kurds from others and are campaigning against, as Erdogan elegantly put it, those "animals" that are associated with the Kurdish Workers' Party. With the other Kurds, the Turks seem to be ready to cohabit, but not as a subject of law. At heart Ankara, of course, would prefer to move all the Kurds to the Moon. But in the modern world, delivery means are not yet ready for this, so we have to look for intermediate options such as stopping the offensive in exchange for Damascus help.
Here we must understand that the Syrian government is not ready to enter a war with Turkey - Damascus simply does not have physical capabilities. Therefore pro-government troops would not want to go to Afrin as some kind of military assistance to the heroic Kurdish people and stand shoulder to shoulder on the front line. Damascus quite satisfied with the proposals of the Turkish comrades: this is not only a universal way out of an intricate situation, but also an excuse to regain control over Afrim. And in the future, and Manbage, thereby humiliating the Americans, which is important.
Therefore, Damascus demands from the YPG command the surrender of heavy and light weapons, the reorganization of Kurdish detachments into the local police, the surrender of key administrative and military facilities. This is very much like surrender, but these are the rules of the game. Kurds in response would like the government troops to stand on the front line with the Turks, for which they would be allowed to raise the Syrian flag in Africa.
By the way, the Kurdish command, which conducts all these negotiations, sits now in the Rust, that is, outside the zone of operation of the Turkish artillery. From there it tries to bargain, simultaneously demonstrating to the media unity and intransigence. In practice, the talks are on the Syrian-Turkish terms, and the field commanders of various Kurdish paramilitary groups remain in the losers. They continue to resist the Turks, not knowing what their political leaders are doing in West Kurdistan.
For its part, Damascus demonstrates some kind of flexibility. For example, the government agreed to delegate to Afrin not regular units, but a group formed of parts of the National Defense Forces - a paramilitary local militia. It's another matter that this is, apparently, the maximum concessions for which the Syrian government is ready to go. Unless, of course, we consider public voicing of the motive of the troops entering Afrin - "a reflection of Turkish aggression", which in theory should work for the Kurds as an infusion of valerian.
The problem of Afrina must be solved - this is understood by all interested forces. Telephone conversations between the presidents of Russia and Turkey are additional proof of this. The draft compromise between Ankara and Damascus, of course, strongly infringes the ambitions of the Kurds. Moreover, this plan undermines the image of Kurdish armed groups, as the functions of protecting the local population will smoothly pass to the government Syrian troops.
The main question - what in the end? The Syrian-Turkish war will not be, at least not yet. The only ally for the most irreconcilable part of the Kurdish elite will remain Americans, who in this situation, too, do not choose from anyone. At the same time, it becomes obvious that virtually any Kurdish political force can be either sufficiently corrupted or forced to observe normal (and not Kurdish) rules of the game.
Thus, virtually everyone will win, and there is a hope that what is happening can serve as a lesson for other Kurdish groups. The Turks, by the way, continue to exert pressure on the Kurds, while on Tuesday the settlements were bombed along the road leading from Aleppo to Afrin, that is, along the way of a column of Syrian government forces. Ankara continues to worry that Damascus will take the side of YPG, and not support a compromise agreement. This is hardly possible, but no one believes in this region for a long time already.