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Old 01-21-2018, 08:41 AM
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Arrow Oh, By The Way… Turkey Just Invaded Syria

Oh, By The Way… Turkey Just Invaded Syria
By: JAZZ SHAWPosted at 9:31 am on January 21, 2018
RE: https://hotair.com/archives/2018/01/...invaded-syria/

It’s rather amazing how much news you can miss when the entire media machine is focused on something like the government shutdown. For just one minor example, did you know that Turkey invaded Syria yesterday? That probably sounds a bit dramatic (and to be honest, it wasn’t that much of an invasion) but it’s certainly accurate. Making good on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s earlier promise, Turkey launched a blistering wave of air strikes on U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in Afrin province and crossed the border with troops and artillery. Details are sketchy, but at least for the moment the Kurds claim to have beaten back the attack. (Reuters)

SEE ALSO: Sunday morning talking heads

Turkish ground forces pushed into northern Syria’s Afrin province on Sunday, the army said, after Turkey launched artillery and air strikes on a U.S.-backed Kurdish militia it aims to sweep from its border.

The Syrian-Kurdish YPG militia, supported by the United States but seen as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, said it had repulsed the Turkish forces and their allies after fierce clashes.

It marked the second day of fighting after Ankara opened a new front in the nearly seven-year-old Syrian war. Under what the Turkish government has called “Operation Olive Branch”, Turkish air strikes on Saturday pounded YPG positions in Afrin.

Turkey’s Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim, confirmed to local media that “ground operations have started.” This would seem to indicate that the story is true and the Turks plan to carry on with this operation. The stated goal is to clear out a roughly twenty mile kill zone along the border to prevent any YPG incursions into Turkish territory. And it wasn’t a subtle operation, either. The New York Times reported that as many as six dozen Turkish fighters and bombers were flying missions over the border. How far their troops penetrated into Syrian territory is unclear.

Normally, when you see a situation where the military of one nation is crossing the border into another country that would be considered an invasion. But you probably shouldn’t expect to see much in the way of protests from Bashar al-Assad. Since the fall of ISIS, the area around Damascus has become at least somewhat more stable, with the Syrian president receiving the backing of not only Turkey but Russia as well. But al-Assad still has little to no control over his northeastern provinces. If Turkey manages to wipe out or significantly damage the YPG, the Syrian government will likely see it as a favor.

So what about the U.S. forces currently in Afrin province and the surrounding regions? While this is a fluid situation and much of the work being done is classified, the Washington Post reported last month that we actually have roughly 2,000 “advisory” troops on the ground there. That’s more than four times as many as had been previously reported. Turkey is still supposed to be one of our allies, at least in theory. And now they have a full-blown military offensive blasting away at the forces we are supporting. What if some American troops are killed in the conflict? If that happens, it can no longer be blamed on Syria. This is strictly a Turkish operation.

It’s bad enough that Turkey is holding up to a dozen Americans in prison right now, being used essentially as hostages for the extradition of Cleric Fethullah Gulen. If we begin losing our troops in a military conflict with Erdogan, our diplomatic relationship with a once promising ally is pretty much toast. The situation with Turkey should have been handled years ago and now it may be too late.
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Old 01-21-2018, 09:21 AM
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Arrow Turkish troops push further into Afrin to oust US-backed Kurdish militia

Turkish troops push further into Afrin to oust US-backed Kurdish militia
RE: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/tu...roup-943568133


One Syrian refugee was killed and 32 people were wounded on Sunday in rocket fire on a Turkish town close to the Syrian border.

Turkish ground forces pushed into northern Syria's Afrin province on Sunday, Ankara said after launching artillery and air strikes on a US-backed Kurdish militia it aims to sweep from its border.

The Syrian-Kurdish YPG militia, supported by the United States but seen as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, said it had repulsed the Turkish forces and their allies after fierce clashes.

One Syrian refugee was killed and 32 people were wounded on Sunday in rocket fire on a Turkish town close to the Syrian border, a local official said.

Two of those hurt were badly injured, Huseyin Sanverdi, the mayor of Reyhanli, a small town in Hatay province on the Syrian border, told NTV television. Earlier, several rockets hit the Turkish border town of Kilis.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had declared on Sunday that his forces would crush the YPG militia.

Speaking to a congress of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the northwestern city of Bursa, Erdogan also accused some of Turkey's allies of providing 2,000 plane shipments and 5,000 truckloads of weapons to the YPG.

Erdogan's comments came after Turkey's prime minister, Binali Yildirim, confirmed on Sunday that Turkish troops were continuing their offensive inside Syria.

"The operation will be conducted at speed. This operation will also target any support provided to the terrorists in Afrin," said Yildirim.

Yildirim told media representatives in Istanbul that there were 8,000 to 10,000 militants in Afrin and that Turkey was resolute in its determination to cleanse all militant presence from the area.

He also said the operation planned to create a safe zone that would extend 30km into Syria's Afrin region.

The fighting marks the second day of Turkey's new front in the nearly seven-year-old Syrian civil war.

Operation Olive Branch
Under what the Turkish government has dubbed as "Operation Olive Branch," Turkish air strikes on Saturday pounded YPG positions in Afrin province.

The military said it had hit 153 targets so far, including shelters and hideouts used by Kurdish militants. The YPG has said Turkey's strikes killed six civilians and three of its fighters and wounded 13 civilians.

The YPG accused Turkey of striking civilian districts and a camp for the displaced in Afrin.

A British aid worker in the Syrian town of Atmeh, southwest of Afrin and close to the Turkish border, told Middle East Eye that she continued to hear the boom of mortar shells fired into the area.

"The shelling hasn't stopped and has kept on going for the last three days," the aid worker told MEE.

"Children are unable to sleep, and many Syrians are afraid of what the future will hold for them."

President Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Twitter: "In its second day, Olive Branch Operation continues to ensure peace and security for our people, protect Syria's territorial integrity and eliminate all terrorist elements in the region.

"Turkey expects its allies to support its fight against terrorism in all of its forms."

On land, the Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army rebels were also helping the operation in Afrin, Turkish officials said.

Continued bombardment
The intense bombardment continued on the region's Balia and Topal villages, the YPG said.

"Our people are holding on to their land and do not accept surrender ... we repeat our determination to protect our people in Afrin against the attacks," the YPG said overnight.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reported that four rockets fired from Syria hit the border town of Kilis overnight, damaging houses. Turkish security forces retaliated, it said.

The operation pits Turkey against Kurdish fighters allied to the United States at a time when ties between Ankara and Washington - NATO allies and members of the coalition against Islamic State - appear close to a breaking point.

Turkey sees the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has carried out a three-decade insurgency in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast.

The United States is backing the YPG in Syria, seeing it as an effective partner in the fight against Islamic State.

Additional reporting from Areeb Ullah in London and Suraj Sharma in Istanbul.
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Boats

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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