Checkpoint Asia

Turks and Kurds Amassing on Their Sides of the Border, ISIS Takes Advantage in Raqqa, Russia Trying to Broker Peace

Turkey has started airstrikes on YPG/US held NE Syria but no ground invasion yet

Turks seem anxious to get the ball rolling to show the rules have changed and preemt a possible U-turn so typical of Trump with new facts on the ground. To this end they’re already shelling Kurdish targets across the border, but they’ve also carried out airstrikes (at least one of them deep in Kurdish-held territory) which would have been a no-no before Trump’s withdrawal from the border zone.

However it seems Trump’s green light for an invasion has caught the Turks as much by surprise as it has the Pentagon and the Kurds, so they need to do more troop movement before they can strike in earnest. That is exactly what they seem to be doing however, with numerous reports of troops and armor moving to various sections of the border.

For their part the Kurds are likewise assembling at the border, bringing in reinforcement from all over of their quite extensive fief. Their authorities have even instructed civilians to take up arms and join the troops at the border. 

The odds do not favor the Kurds however. Not only are they lightly armed but the terrain is flat and open and the border with Turkey they hold is extremely long so the Turks can pick and chose where to pour through in overwhelming numbers (if they’re smart).

Meanwhile ISIS took advantage of the unenviable position of the YPG by crawling from the underground in Raqqa but was put down.

Meanwhile the Russian diplomacy is fevereshly working to forestall fighting and is talking to Ankara, Damascus and the Kurds alike.