Checkpoint Asia

Turkish Army and CIA-Armed Jihadis Cut Through Pentagon-Trained Syrian Kurds, Block Key Road

Turkey claims 400 US-aligned (until 3 days ago) Kurdish fighters killed so far

There are about 40,000 Kurdish YPG fighters and another 20,000 YPG-aligned (for now) Arab SDF fighters in north-eastern Syria. Not negligible numbers but their problem is their frontier with Turkey is extremely long and Turkey is threatening them along the entire length of it. There are no bottlenecks to channel the vast Turkish army and the 14,000 jihadis in its tow into.

The Turks so far are attacking on three axes and have made progress on all three. That is they have enveloped the significant border crossing towns of Tall Abyad and Ras al-Ayn (the latter now claimed taken), but also struck through mostly empty land between the two and drove deep into Kurdish-held territory and reached the M4 highway.

The M4 is a major objective of the Turks. It is the reason they demanded their occupation zone (“safe zone) extends 30 kilometers deep into Syria so as to be sure to deny it to the Kurds, and help cut them up logistically into two enclaves, Hasaka in the east and Kobani in the west.

Indeed Kurds of Hasaka and Kobani are not demographically contiguous, the space in between is ethnically Arab. The two Kurdish enclaves were also physically seperated until a 2015 YPG-US offensive against ISIS which then connected them.

The very first goal of the Turkish invasion into northern Syria is to partially sever the connection between the two again. (But ultimate goal is to conquer them and if Turkish occupation of the Kurdish Afrin enclave in the north west is a guide, to permanently change the demographics in Kurdish disfavor.)

There are reports that the Syrian army is taking advantage of the pressure Kurds are under to try and advance in the south into the oil fields on the (Arab-populated) Euphrates left bank, near Deir Ezzor but this is unconfirmed. If it turns out to be true it will be interesting how Americans will react. Will they bomb the Syrian army even as they cleared the path for the Turkish one?

In the mean time you have the Syrian Islamists that Turkey has in tow and who were originally armed up by the CIA (CIA coordinated distribution of mainly Saudi/UAE/Qatari-financed arms) capturing equipment Pentagon handed over to SDF/YPG:

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