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.
While Putin’s announcement of withdrawal from Syria was to convey the message that Russia had won the war and is withdrawing most of its military personnel, the country is scheduled to hold presidential elections in 2018 and Putin, naturally, wants his “victories” to serve him in the election.
As a result of its alliance with the US, the PKK expanded territories it captured and began to consolidate its territorial control in the Middle East.