Turkey’s victory in Afrin will provide more opportunities for strategic manoeuvres in Ankara’s next military move, particularly towards its ongoing military campaign against the PKK in northern Syria.
Since Turkey implemented “boots on the ground” strategy in northern Syria, the Syrian crisis has become more complicated. Only those who are determined will land on both feet at the end of this crisis.
Israel will continue its precision airstrikes in Syria and increase its focus on the Israel-Syria border as well as its attempts to limit the Iranian presence in Syria within its own capacity and keep waiting for the U.S. to implement a more extensive strategy to fight Iranian influence.
Abandoning the myths about the YPG would serve the US well. Then comes the hard task of crafting a realistic Syria policy that is coordinated with Turkey and one that can achieve lasting stability.
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.
Edward J. Erickson, a retired U.S. army officer and currently a professor at the Marine Corps University, talked about the recent developments in Syria’s Afrin and the relations between the U.S. and Turkey.
The seed of crisis sown during the Obama era has blossomed with Trump’s rise to power and the National Security Strategy doctrine is the most apparent indicator of this. Trump’s doctrine limits U.S. security to its own boundaries.