During Operation Olive Branch, the YPG has used, visually confirmed, Iranian weapons. Among them are Iran-produced 107mm rockets, which were also found earlier in Turkey during anti-terror operations against the PKK.
The toleration displayed by the U.S. Armed Forces towards groups like the YPG and PYD, which harbor terrorist elements, amounts to a violation of international law.
Iran is unlikely to respond harshly to the Afrin operation as Turkey does not cross Tehran’s “red lines” in Syria.
The PYD, under U.S. military and diplomatic protection, has committed vast human rights violations ranging from arming children to training them in terror camps.
Apart from military difficulties in Afrin, Turkey has to ready itself for a propaganda war with the YPG and journalists that sympathize with the group.
The significance of the Afrin operation for Turkey must be evaluated through two main aspects: The place of the operation in Turkey’s counter-terror efforts and Ankara’s role in the regional geopolitical equation.
Turkey’s first goal with the Afrin operation is to minimize the PKK’s presence and capacity and force it to withdraw from the areas it controls in the western flank of the Euphrates.
Land forces of the TSK and FSA will simultaneously penetrate the defense lines of the PKK/YPG on the southern and eastern sectors, effectively isolating Afrin. In the following stage, the TSK may force PKK/YPG militants to retreat to Afrin by pushing from northern and western sectors.
Due to factors such as the presence of DAESH, in-fighting, supply and foreign support shortages, the Syrian rebels are losing ground in Idlib.
The embargo imposed upon Qatar, Mohammed bin Salman becoming the Crown Prince, dismissals within Saudi Arabia and the Jerusalem decision could be interpreted as signs of a new order.