Though small in number the hope is that now Assad has acted against his Russian allies he may also order his air defense to be switched on, cutting the aerial slaughter and making Afrin defendable.
Footage broadcast by Hezbollah and Syrian regime-allied outlets showed convoys of tanks carrying Syrian flags and soldiers brandishing weapons entering the northwestern part of the country from Aleppo on Tuesday. Syrian state media reported they had been targeted by Turkish shellfire.
“The Syrian government has responded to the call of the duty and sent military units on this day… to deploy along the border and take part in defending the unity of Syria’s territory and borders,” Nouri Mahmoud, a Commander of the Kurdish YPG militia, said in a statement.
Four notes to clarify the movements this afternoon in Efrîn
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
1) The Syrian army has not entered Efrîn, it has sent a column of the FPS (Popular Syrian Forces, Brigada al-Baqir ). In this way the Syrian government, directly, has not entered the autonomous community but has done so with an interposed force that, in addition, has already collaborated with the YPG before.nally okay the bombing.
2) Ahir Erdogan made an effort, personally, to avoid any incursion into Efrîn. He called Putin and Rouhani to avoid that Àssad defended the Syrian territory. Moscow has especially tried, in the last few hours, to prevent Damascus from intervening in Efrîn for two reasons:
– a military agreement for what Erdogan will buy Russian military material, especially a second phase of the S-400
– The agreement with Erdogan to transport the Azeri and Russian gas through Turkish territory avoiding the annoying Ukraine
3) Erdogan said yesterday that he had concluded an agreement with Moscow and Tehran to prevent the entry of Syrian troops. This made it clear that the Assad government sees how its image is discredited in front of its own combatants, leaving the YPG / SDF a month ago that would halt the entry of Turkish troops and the FSA to Syria. All this after Ankara conquered 2,000 km2 of Syrian territory last summer without Damascus doing anything. Supporting Efrîn to converts Assad into an actor who is no longer a puppeteer in the hands of Moscow.
4) Today’s land movement are not important, but what can give a turning point is that the Syrian airspace may be controlled by the Syrian government and stop the aerial raids of the Erdogan F-16. First of all because 265 civilians have been killed with total impunity: Syrian civilians who should have been defended by the antiaircraft defenses of Damascus against Erdogan’s aircraft.
Secondly because, if with aviation and tanks, the invading forces have almost not advanced in 31 days, without aviation, the situation is balanced and the YPG / YPJ are militarily far superior to the FSA and the Turkish troops. Keep in mind that, except for Bilbil and Deir Sawwan, no major nucleus is threatened by Erdogan’s forces. In fact, after 32 days they have only managed to occupy 40 villages and some villages have only between 10 and 150 homes.
from the SDF, Kurdis Cat and The Independent