Turkey Threatens Christian Communities In Northern Syria In New Offensive

The return of Turkish backed militants to the Ain Issa in Rojava/Northern Syria/Western Kurdistan has put the region controlled by the Western backed Syrian Defense Forces (SDF) a Kurdish majority umbrella of US trained forces back into the forefront of Turkey’s war on the Kurdish population in Syrian Kurdistan.

It has been reported that the Turkish-Backed Free Syrian Army or TSFA for short with the help of the Turkish National Forces (TNF) began building up their forces and shelling SDF positions in the region in late November. This has continued into December.

Below is a video of an artillery attack on the Syriac city of Ayn Issa.

Turkey has essentially broken the agreements it signed with the USA, Russia, and SDF.

The Russian News Agency TASS, reports: “According to Kurdish sources, the Turkish military command and the armed opposition are now discussing an operation to seize Ayn Issa. To that end, Turkey has already started to redeploy personnel, weapons and armored vehicles to its military base in Mardud.”

Reports from the ground confirm the above.

Ayn Issa sits on the strategic M4 highway that runs across Northern Syria and serves as the border between the TASF/TNF and the SDF and its allies. By making a move to take the road Turkey wants to cut the SDF from moving back and forth in Norther Syria, East of the Euphrates.

Erdogan’s Crusade Against the “Infidels”

From a religious angle, it is not surprising that Turkey, whose leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sees himself as a new type of Sultan and leader of the Islamic world would target Ayn Issa. The city and region is a Syriac Christian stronghold whose name literally mean “Jesus.”

Erdogan and his Turkish militias in Northern Syria have gone out of their way to flip what they originally claimed was a security mission into Rojava (otherwise known as Syrian Kurdistan) into a religious crusade.

Erdogan’s Syrian maneuver, is part of his wider export of Turkish power to other areas of the world.

A recent IBTimes report emphasizes Turkey’s expansion of interference in both the Azerbaijan-Armenia war and soon into Kashmir on the side of Pakistan against India.

Erdogan has done everything he can to not only to go after long time enemy the Kurds by committing acts of genocide in Northern Syria and his own country, but he has gone out of his way to inject a global religious crusade – essentially a Jihad, into other areas by tying together local conflicts into an Islamic Holy War.

Russia As a Buffer

In both the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict and Northern Syria, Russia has acted as a counter weight to Erdogan’s Jihadist plans. Putin sent forces and weapons to Armenian backed rebels in the conflict with Azerbaijan and often times pushes back agains the TNF and TASF in Northern Syria in order to protect the Kurds and Syriacs.

As of last night shelling had stopped with rumors that Russia is planning on setting up multiple outposts in the area and along the M4 highway.


Regardless of Russia’s involvement, the fact remains, Middle East Christians and other indigenous groups like the Kurds are under constant threat of attack from Turkey and its Jihadist allies.

Persecution, an International Christian Magazine says the following:

“The complications of this situation showcase why many regional Christians often feel that their future is reliant upon geopolitics, particularly of the military nature. Their homelands are used by other nations to outmaneuver and out-strategize the other. Thus, regional Christians often feel that their own safety and security will never be accomplished if they remain home.”

Unfortunately, due to the unstable political climate in the USA, the remaining US troops in Syria have yet to take action.

AFRIN UPDATE: Turkish Planes Bomb City Center, TAF Continues to Shell Civilians

As Turkey shuts down Afrin’s water and begins the seige of the predominately Kurdish city, civilian wounded and dead have been piling up. With Afrin’s Kurdish resistance now decimated one must ask, what the reason is for Turkey to continue to essentially wipe out Kurdish civilians.  Of course a deeper question arises and that is where is the rest of the world and why is it not doing anything about this?

Take a look at the following tweets and videos as Turkey continues to commit ethnic cleansing with a near intent on genocide. Of course Turkey is no stranger to genocide, they wiped out their Armenian minority population of 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1917.

The TAF under Erdogan continues to pound innocent civilians.  The question is: Does anyone care?

Who Will Stop Turkey’s Land Theft of Kurdish Areas in Afrin?

Multiple reports confirm that the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and their allies the militant FSA are closing in on Afrin’s city center.  The Turkish President is so confident about taking Afrin that he boasted “Afrin will fall by the night.”  Turkey’s war on the indigenous Kurds of Afrin has created 700,000 new refugees in a matter of weeks.

More than this Turkey has been moving ethnic Turks and Arabs into villages where Kurds have lived for years.  Kurdistan 24 reported the following:

Redur Xelil, head of foreign relations for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), of which the Kurdish YPG forces are the leading component, said in an online statement that Turkey was conducting a policy of intentional demographic change in Afrin.

“The Turkish government is settling Turkmen and Arab families in the villages of Afrin that it occupied after forcing out its people and is distributing the belongings of the people of Afrin to the new settlers,” he said.

If the claims are true, the actions would amount to ethnic cleansing. Various forms of forcible transfer of populations, especially of ethnic or religious groups, are considered war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

Afrin’s Fall is Blow to the USA and Democratic Syria

Allowing the Kurdish population of Afrin to be permanently displaced is not just a stain on the international community, but can be seen as a blow to America’s ability to hold together its anti-ISIS and post Assad vision of Syria.  The SDF has been trained by the US to defeat ISIS and form the nucleus of a post Assad democratic Syria.  By allowing Afrin to fall to Erdogan’s Turkey, the USA has doomed its ability to call on the Kurds to help push its view of a democratic Syria. It has also allowed a genocidal maniac to continue to gain strength.

The USA’s non-intervention appears to be forcing the Kurds to look elsewhere for help, namely Iran. Without a SDF that is Wetern oriented, the USA risks losing its ability to steer Syria’s future.

Turkish Air Raids May Drag Syria into Afrin Against Them

Ironically the TAF appears to have allowed their determination to finish off the Kurds to possibly be their undoing.  Through their continuous indiscriminate bombing the TAF has managed to not only decimate civilian population centers but has now destroyed checkpoint that was commandeered by pro-Syrian-government Shi’ite militiamen located on the road to Afrin in northwestern Syria.  The airstrikes killed five pro-Syrian mitiamen connected to the Assad regime.  Whether or now this causes Assad to push against Turkey remains to be see, but it is easy to see that where the USA pauses to enter, Syria will decide to do so thus helping the Kurds to shift allegiences to the  Russian backed Shiite axis.

Will Syria now come to Afrin’s aid?

Kurds Losing Ground to Turkey in Afrin

Kurdish forces in the Afrin Canton of northwest Syria continue to lose ground to the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and their terrorist allies known as the Free Syrian Army (FSA). This Free Syrian Army made up of thnic Turkmen should not be confused with the militia of the same name in the south. What seemed to be a growing quagmire for Erdogan and the TAF has now given way to a Turkish push towards Afrin City.  The current success of the TAF is significant for a variety of reasons.

  1. Syrian forces have yet to take up arms against Turkey despite Assad’s rhetoric
  2. Russia continues to stand aside and allow his rival Erdogan to push back against the Kurds
  3. The US has clearly decided to consolidate the SDF/YPG holding on the eastern side of the Euphrates

The moves in Syria allow for Erdogan to save face by keeping his invasion of Syrian Kurdistan to the isolated Afrin district while giving the US what it has wanted, Turkish acquiesence to a Kurdish proto-state east of the Euphrates. It is clear that Russia has abandondoned the Kurds of Afrin, that is unless the Turks overstay their welcome and invade Afrin City, then the unstable arrangement detailed above may come apart.

Image Source: Syrian Civil War Map


WAR IS COMING: Israel Moves More Air Defense Systems North

The first direct battle between Iran and Israel opened up the need for Jerusalem to move more missile defense systems north in preparation for what appears to be a fast approaching confrontation with Hezbollah, Iran, and Syria.

With no confirmation from the IDF, eye witnesses are reporting seeing a number of these missile batteries moving up north.  Considering the fast consolidation between proxies working with US and Russia, Israel can no longer assume Putin has an interest in following through on his prearrangements with Bibi.

The Prime Minister was clear on the seriousness of the security situation:

The White House is standing squarely behind Israel against Iran.

Meanwhile US Defense Secretary James Mattis said the following on the brewing conflict between Israel and Syria/Iran:

“Israel has an absolute right to defend itself, and I think that’s what happened yesterday,” he said in response to a question about Saturday’s military crisis, warning also about a growing Iranian influence in the region. 

“So when Syria, which has made no… excuse for what they’re doing alongside Iran, when they are providing throughout for Iran to give weapons, including more sophisticated weapons, to the Lebanese Hezbollah, Israel has an absolute right to defend themselves,” he stated.

“If you live in the region, there’s no doubt what Iran is doing.”

All of this points to a very real possibilty to a serious large scale conflict about to blow open. With the SDF pushing heavily back against Turkey in northern Syria as well as the US directly bombing Syrian regime soldiers, Hezbollah, and Russian mercenaries in eastern Syria, the conflict in Israel’s north must be seen in the larger context of moves being made between America and Russia.

Does Turkey’s Capture of Key Town in Afrin Matter?

Sources from Afrin, Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) claim the Turkish Army and FSA proxy Bulbul, considered to be a strategic town at the center of the Bulbul district, which is just north of Afrin.  The Turkish army claims over 24 Syrian Defense Forces (SDF) were killed and at least one other was captured by Turkish forces during fighting in the town.

The Turkish-backed FSA groups also announced that their fighters had captured the villages of Ali Kar, Za’ra and al-Ham in the Bulbul district.

The SDF stated that its defense forces had killed 20 Turkish soldiers during fighting in the village of Qurna. The SDF also said its fighters destroyed Turkish Army vehicle in the village of Za’ra.

The Turkish Anadolu Agency reported that the Turkish Air Force (TAF) destroyed 18 SDF positions in the general Afrin area in overnight attacks. Kurdish sources are reporting that over 104 civilians have been killed, and 156 other have been injured in the TAF bombardment so far.

Does Erdogan’s Incursions Matter for Turkey?

With Turkey’s invasion into Syrian Kurdish territory taking longer than expected, the Turkish President Erdogan is increasingly hurting his relationship with the West and even Russia.  He may be playing to his base, but without serious gains early on and high civilian casulties, Turkey risks eventual isolation with the very countries it needs.

Still in question is whether Erdogan is willing to go head to head with American troops.  If so, buckle up, the Middle East will get far more bumpy.


CHAOS GROWING: Turkey Risking War Against the US and Russia

Some people are gamblers and others are just downright insane.  Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of Turkey appears to be shifting from political gambler to a completely insane autocrat.  Turkey’s current invasion of the autonomous Syrian Kurdish enclave of Afrin has not only unnerved the United States, who is the main backer of the the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), but Russia’s Putin as well.  Given the neo Cold War relationship between Russia and the USA, Erdogan has actually accomplished an astounding feet.

Due to the SDF’s American training and advanced weaponry, Turkey has found its operation harder than originally expected.  Most leaders would stop after watching a number of their tanks get blown up in the first hours of combat, but this has made Erdogan more set on invading the Kurdish areas of Northern Syria.  He claims that he will move South into Idlib as well as moving forces into the Kurdish heartland of Manbij which hosts a sizeble American base.

Courtesy of Syria War Map

“We will rid Manbij of terrorists, as it was promised to us, and our battles will continue until no terrorist is left until our border with Iraq,” Mr Erdogan said this past Friday.

This maneuver alone brings Erdogan close to a direct confrontation with US soldiers who according to reports have not planned on moving aside for Turkey’s assault.

As far as the possibility of the US pulling its forces from the Manbig, General Joseph Votel, head of the United States Central Command, Speaking on CNN, said that withdrawing US forces from the strategically important city is “not something we are looking into.”

Yet Erdogan insists he is in the right as his Turkish forces are simply destroying “terrorists.”  The question is whether Erdogan will actually make a move against US forces in Manbij.  For the US, there has been no question that its position in the area is not only just, but necessary.

“Turkey knows where our forces are in Manbij, and what they are doing there, and why they are there –to prevent any kind of escalation between the groups who are in that area,” Dillon told Rudaw TV. “The Coalition will continue to support our Syrian Democratic Forces in the fight against ISIS. We have said this all along, and we have said this with the Kurdish elements of the SDF. We will provide them equipment as necessary to defeat ISIS.”

As if this was not enough, Erdogan’s move South to Idlib brings Russia into the mix.  The following set of Tweets from Jenan Moussa, reporter for Arabic Al Aan TV gives over another one of Erdogan’s toughtless maneuvers.

With Russia appearing not to decide to move out of the way for Erdogan’s scheme to rebuild the Ottoman Empire, the die is cast for a very explosive expansion of the Syrian war.

Erdogan is the Real Terrorist in Syria, Not the Kurds

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan launched a brutal assault on the Kurdish majority Syrian region of Afrin on Saturday.  Dubbed “Operation Olive Branch,” the Turkish government insists it is cleaning out the area of Kurdish “Terrorists.”

Afrin is controlled by the Kurdish dominated SDF and trained and armed by the US government to defeat ISIS and offer an alternative leadership to the Assad regime.  Erdogan has a nasty habit of claiming and suspecting every Kurd of being a terrorist.

The truth is, Erdogan and his own family funded and aided ISIS for the past few years in order to sow chaos in Syria and Iraq.  The project worked until more and more countries figured out that Turkey itself was behind the rise of the Sunni Jihadists.  Why would Erdogan fund ISIS?  Turkey has always wanted to regain its former stature and what better way to do that than createenough chaos that it would be forced to go in and stablize it. Now that Erdogan and the Turkish government has been forced out of that strategy by Russia, Iran, and even the US, it has decided to use the chaos to go after a new terrorist entity…the Kurds.

For Erdogan everyone else is the terrorist.  However, in the first 24 hours of his attacking Afrin, over 20 civilians have been killed with most being chilldren, including 8 members of the same family.  Keep in mind, Erdogan has ordered the Turkish army into Afrin, the SDF has not entered into Turkey. So who is the real terrorist?

WORLD WAR 3: Turkish Ground Forces Cross Into Syria, Now in Direct Combat with Kurds

It has begun.  With one single directive to the Turkish forces, the Turkish ground  forces stationed near Afrin have crossed into Syria and pushed the self destruct button on NATO as we know it.  Reports out of Afrin are clear, Turkish armored divisions and troops have moved into Afrin and are now engaged in direct clashes with heavily armed American backed Syrian Kurds.

If the above tweet is accurate, the Turkish forces are already experiencing serious casulties. The SDF, whch the YPG is a majority force in, is well trained and armed with the best weapons.  This won’t be a replay of the Iranian backed occupation of Kirkuk, which seemed to catch the US off guard.

Courtesy of Syria War Map

According to Rudaw, the SDF has repelled the initial Turkish attack.  While it’s true some border villages have been captured by the Turkish army, the heavy and successful resistance is not helpful for Erdogan’s projection of success.

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Meanwhile,France has called for an urgent Security Council meeting over Turkey’s invasion.

“Ghouta, Idlib, Afrin – France asks for an urgent meeting of the Security Council,” Le Drian said on his Twitter feed. He added that he had spoken with his Turkish counterpart on Jan. 21 morning.

“France is very preoccupied by the situation in Syria and by the brutal degradation of the situation,” Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

“This is why we have called for a Security Council meeting to evaluate all the humanitarian risks, which are very serious,” he said speaking in Algiers on the sidelines of a meeting for western Mediterranean countries.

Despite Turkey’s claim that it notified Syria of the operation, the Syrian regime came out against Ankara’s actions.

“The Syrian Arab Republic decisively condemns Turkish aggression against the town of Afrin, which is an inseparable part of Syria,” a statement released by the Syrian regime said, as quoted by the SANA news agency.

NATO also chimed in and asked Turkey to act “rationally.”

So far the US has stayed quiet, but expect that to change is Erdogan keeps trying to push forward.  With Russia staying out of the fray for now, all sides in Syria are on edge for the next big development.  Given the fact that Erdogan cannot afford to retreat until he has accomplished his mission for fear of looking weak in the face of the 20 million Kurds in Turkey, this has the very real potential of shattering post World War 2 alliances as well as pulling the US and Russia directly into the quagmire.

Chaos Continues With Turkey Threatening to Invade Syrian Kurdistan

Turkey’s President Erdogan responded to the announcement of the US intention to train a 30,000 strong Syrian Democratic Forces to man the Syrian borders with Turkey and Iraq with increased threats of destroying the Kurdish dominated SDF.

“A country we call an ally is insisting on forming a terror army on our borders,” Erdogan said of the United States in a speech in Ankara. “What can that terror army target but Turkey?”

“Our mission is to strangle it before it’s even born.”

Turkey views the YPG unit which make up the majority of the SDF as an extension of the PKK which Turkey and most countries have labeled a terrorist organization.  However, the US views the SDF as essential to destroying ISIS and stablizing Syria.

Erdogan has utilized the Kurds equal terrorist card numerous times to justify attacking them in Syria and elsewhere.  Yet, the truth is the opposite. It was Erdogan and his family who helped to create and protect ISIS through financial assistance, safe passageways, and emergency medical treatment.

Turkey views the rise of an autonomous Kurdish region in Northern Syria similar to the one in Iraq as an existantial threat.  After all Turkey has occupied the heavily Kurdish areas of South and Southeastern Turkey for centuries.  There are 20 million Kurds in Turkey.

All of this has driven Erdogan to prove that he is indeed serious. Reports from Nusaybinden, Turkey, which borders Afrin have claimed armored vehicles and soldiers now entering the Kurdish controlled area.  Afrin is an isolated enclave and lies to the West of the main SDF areas.  Yet, this first push if successful could very well lead Turkey to try for the main center of the SDF further to the East.

Turkish tanks rolling through Nusaybinden on the way to enter Syria. (nusaybinden.com)


With the SDF becoming a main pillar of Washington’s proxy coalition against Iranian expansion in the region, it is hard to see the Trump administration continuing to turn a blind eye to Erdogan’s behavior.