Has Israeli Drone Sales To Azerbaijan Backfired?

The recently ended Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia concluded with Azerbaijan gaining far more territory than it had before the war. Baku’s success came by way of strong military support from Turkey including the use of Syrian mercenaries that had fought for Turkey against the Kurds.

Aside from Turkey’s involvement, proof is clear that Israeli drones and other advanced weaponry from Israel gave Azerbaijan the needed edge against their Armenian foe.

Israel and Azerbaijan have had warm relations since 1992. For years, it was one of the only Muslim majority countries to have relations with Israel. Besides that Azerbaijan is home to 30,000 Jews who live safely among their Muslim neighbors.

Israel has relied heavily on Azerbaijan for both 40% of its oil and a forward base against Iran.

However, in recent years, Jerusalem and Baku have seen their relations fray as Azerbaijan has drawn closer to Turkey. During Turkey’s invasion of Northern Syria directed at pushing out the indigenous Kurdish population, it was Netanyahu who pledged support for the Kurds. At the same time Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev vocally supported the Turkish invasion.

Which is why Jerusalem’s continued arm sales to Azerbaijan makes both right and left in Israel nervous that these weapons are falling into the wrong hands.

Advanced weapons sales by Israel to a county like Azerbaijan, who is ready to parter with Turkey, a belligerent actor bent on hegemonic control over the Middle East is increasingly problematic from both a PR and a security standpoint. Given the above, why is Israel continuing to arm Azerbaijan, especially after the Abraham Accords brought UAE oil onboard for the Jewish State as well increased relations with more Muslim nations?

The answer is: Iran. Israel still needs Azerbaijan for its location in order to keep close tabs on Iran for Israel’s continued Mossad operations. While the Mahabat region of Iran, which is Kurdish offers a great place for Israeli backed agents to spy and carry out operations, there is no strategic depth to it. The Iranian Azeri region on the other hand buttresses Azerbaijan.

Both Iran and Azerbaijan have had a rocky relationship. Iran supported Armenian claims to Nagorno-Karabakh in the past and also provided vital support to Armenia in past conflicts with Azerbaijan. Although in the present conflict, Iran claims to have stayed neutral, Turkey has insisted it secretly supports Armenia.

For Azerbaijan, its claims to the Azeri areas of Iran have given Tehran pause and concern.

With Israeli drone bases and listening posts in Azerbaijan and a close security partnership between the two countries, Israel can overlook Azerbaijan’s friends it does not approve of. This is because its geographical importance and friendly populace on both sides of the Azerbaijan-Iran border offers Jerusalem an indispensable forward operative base and strategic location unparalleled.

Taking Turkey out of the discussion makes it even more apparent that Israel is busy locking in partnerships with those countries surrounding Iran – the Gulf states to its South, Kurdistan to its West, and Azerbaijan to its North – in order to contain it and provide its intelligence units the locations they need to carry out targeted assassinations, information collection, and logistical support for minority actors in Iran that are focused on toppling the Ayatollahs.

In this light, Israel has made a strategic choice to continue selling Azerbaijan the arms it needs despite the drawbacks in order to secure help against a far larger threat.


Since 1974 Turkey has occupied 40% of Cyprus, constituting in what the international community holds is an illegal occupation. In that time Turkey has driven out the Greek Cypriots from the Turkish enclave in the northern part of the island, where the ethnic Greeks had made up more than 80% of the populace.

As Turkey has swung further and further towards an Islamist style republic, with an increasingly autocratic president in Erdogan, Israel and Cyprus along with Greece have begun to form various economic alliances as a buffer to Turkey’s expansion. While Cypriot animosity to their Turkish occupiers cannot be overstated, Israel’s increasingly strong economic position and regional leadership capabilities in the technology and military arenas is both attractive and reassuring.

Greece, Cyprus, and Israel have jointly developed an East Med gas pipeline that will take their gas to Europe.  This has given them the need to also create a joint task force in dealing with threats from Iran, Hezbollah, and Turkey to both Cyprus’ and Israel’s gas and oil fields.

With Turkey trying to establish itself as the leader of the Islamic world, it has grown more and more antagonistic to Israel. Yet, behoind its stated infuriation over Israel’s self-defense from a potential Gaza stampede, the real thing bothering Erdogan is Israel’s alignment with Greece and Cyprus.

With positive relationships having been developed over the years in tourism between the three countries and now with a combination of economic, technological, and energy cooperation, Israel has become the stable anchor and friend both Cyprus and its big brother Greece have sought.

Turkey has grown very cool to the idea of energy collaboration between Greece, Cyprus, and Israel. In a recent visit to London Turkey’s Erdogan said that the “Eastern Mediterranean faces a security threat should Cyprus continue its unilateral operations of offshore oil and gas exploration in the region.”

Earlier this year, Turkish Navy vessels threatened to sink a drilling ship hired by Eni to explore for oil and gas off Cyprus’s shore.  Weeks before that, Turkey’s Navy had blocked the drilling vessel that Eni had hired.

Turkey claims that the drilling operations are ‘unilateral’ and claims that part of the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus is under Turkish jurisdiction.

These sorts of events and declarations have pushed Greece, Cyprus, and Israel closer together.  With the latest row between Turkey and Israel heightening tensions between the two, the frontlines of any potential conflict between the two may end up being Cyprus who has begun to rely on Israel for help with maritime security training.

With tensions mounting between Turkey and the three East Mediterranean allies,  Jonathan Cohen, US State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs said the following in hopes of calming the situation: “If confirmed, I will continue to support longstanding US policy recognizing the Republic of Cyprus’s right to develop its resources in its EEZ. The island’s oil and gas resources, like all of its resources, should be equitably shared between both communities on the island in the context of an overall settlement.”

Cohen backed by the US government appears to be placating both the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government along with Turkey’s assertion that it deserves some of the access to Cyrus’ resources.  The problem with this approach is it rewards Turkey for it malevolent behavior at a time when it is actively engaged in wrecking havoc in several geographic areas in the region.

With the continued cooperation between Israel, Cyprus, and Greece in the offing, expect tensions to only increase with Turkey. Will there be war in the eastern Mediterranean? Perhaps not tomorrow, but with a falling Lira and an expansionist leader in Ankara, the threat is only increasing.

Israel Must Stand With the Kurds Against Turkey

There are times that we cannot afford to remain silent.  We who witnessed our own people nearly wiped out just over 70 years ago know that feeling of an impending genocide.  Perhaps this is due to our collective PTSD or something engrained in us since our forced expulsion from the Land of Israel by the Romans nearly 2000 years ago.

President Erdogan of Turkey fashions himself as a sort of neo-Sultan ready to lead Turkey to a new golden age. Part of this golden age is a drive to wipe out those who Erdogan finds in his way.  For Erdogan, no other group exposes Turkey as an autocratic, racist power as the Kurds do and this is exactly why Erdogan and the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) are hell-bent at wiping them out where ever they are.

Last week’s successful invasion and defacto occupation by the TAF and their FSA allies under orders from Ankara represent our generation’s Sudetenland.  Sudetenland was Hitler’s first stop in conquering much of Europe and the world powers in 1938 did nothing actionable to stop him.  Erdogan’s wife has already stated that her husband intends to settle 500,000 Syrians and other Arabs in the once Kurdish majority city of Afrin.  This is not only a clear case of ethnic cleansing and indiscriminate killing of men, women, and children, it is a violation of the Geneva Convention.

Erdogan will not settle for just Afrin.  Due to the United States’ unwillingness to stop the “mad-man” in Ankara they have grown his appetite for more.

Not only has Erdogan promised to enter Manbij, which is a majority Kurdish populated city in Syria to the east of Afrin, he is even threatening to enter Sinjar in Iraq as he claims the terrorist group PKK is there.

“We told the central government to resolve the problem. Or we may will enter Sinjar and wipe the PKK terrorists out overnight. They told us that they would give us information, but we have not received any information so far. If this process lasts long, a new Olive Branch operation can be launched,” he stressed.

Erdogan has also indicated that he will push further south in Syria.

“We made our decision and entered the field. In short time, we will control Tal Rifaat and end the operation [Olive Branch],” Erdogan said in Trabzon, according to the Turkish news outlet, Ahval.

The TAF, who are known for their brutality towards non-Turks cannot be trusted to simply pinpoint their attacks on would-be terrorists.  In fact many of the so-called terrorists Erdogan killed in Afrin were women and children as evidenced by the countless videos and pictures streaming from Afrin city.

It is obvious that the USA lacks the will to intervene on the Kurds behalf.  Russia and Syria seem not to want to be bothered by Turkey’s drive to create a new Ottoman Empire.  Iran clearly is thankful it is Turkey that is will to finally put down the Kurds.  There seems to be one that cares enough to stop the growing Turkish genocidal menace.

This is where Israel must rise up and take the leadership mantle it is meant to have.  On all other matters in the Middle East Israel is respected as a leader.  We as Jews know what it means to be hunted down and murdered.  It is time to demand that the government in Jerusalem break ties with Turkey as a first action and warning to Erdogan that more will come unless he ceases his attacks on the Kurds.

The IDF should try to find a way to supply intelligence, humanitarian supplies, and even military equipment to the both the Syrian Kurds and the Kurds in northern Iraq.  Israeli leadership has been used to undertaking these missions covertly. It may be time to show the world what it means to stand against evil.  The Kurds have always stood with Israel and they appear to be the only other group of people in the Middle East that are genuinely forward thinking and capable of building a successful society.

Now is the time for Israel to lead.

SHOWDOWN IN AFRIN: Will the USA Stop Turkey’s Invasion of Kurdish Rojava?

The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and their jihadist allies of the Turkish contingent of the FSA are now 5 km away from Afrin City.  As the rest of the Kurdish enclave has quickly been gobbled up by the TAF, Kurdish civilians have fallen back on Afrin City as the Tweet below shows.

The original purpose of the “Operation Olive Branch” as the TAF called it was to “cleanse” the Turkish-Syrian border of Kurdish “terrorists.”  Of course Erdogan loves to call most Kurdish people terrorists.  Now that the TAF and the FSA (Turkish division) have nearly encircled Afrin City, most observers are questioning whether Erdogan is really more focused on genocidal ambitions against all Kurdish people.

With a serious showdown in the offing in the next few days as Turkey begins its seige of Afrin City, there is still hope that the Kurdish leadership in Syria will allow the Assad regime to enter Afrin City to push back on the TAF.

Of course there is still a possibility, no matter how remote, that Donald Trump may decide to take Turkey to task for wantonly attacking a key US ally.  As the siege over Afrin City begins there is dimming hope that the US will make a case to defend the Kurds in Afrin, which would remain isolated from the US backed eastern Rojava located from the Euphrates to the Iraqi border.

If the Kurds allow the Syrian regime to enter Afrin City this would effectively pit a Russian proxy in direct confrontation with a NATO member.  Of course it is a NATO member who is busy decimating  an indigenous people and key ally of the biggest NATO member of all, the USA. We may see a tacit allowance of Russian/Syrian assistance of an American ally in order to push back against everyone’s favorite enemy, Turkey.

Whether or not the USA enters the fray against Turkey or at least supplies direct weapons or supplies to the Kurdish majority SDF in Afrin  remains to be seen.  If they keep stalling then either the Kurds in Afrin will be wiped out or the Russian/Syrian access will pull the Afrin Kurds into their orbit.

If there is any question over the brutality of the TAF and the goals of Erdogan’s “Operation Olive Branch,” the Tweet below and the many similar to it should remind every one of the evil that is being allowed to grow in northern Syria.

[Premium] Donald Trump Must Choose Between Turkey or the Kurds

As the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) draw closer to Afrin City, Kurdish fighters trained by the USA are streaming from eastern Rojava into Afrin to help defend their Kurdish brothers from the Turkish invaders.  The Trump administration’s indecision on taking an increasing belligerent Turkey to task for its unlawful invasion of Kurdish autonomous territory has had the following effects on the complicated and chaotic situation in Syria.

  1. The SDF/YPG fighters that had been close to finishing off ISIS in eastern Syria are now abandoning their posts in order to defend Afrin from Erdogan the ultimate antagonist to the Kurdish people. This has allowed ISIS to regroup and ultimately hand the task over to Russia/Iran.
  2. By showing indecision on Afrin the Trump administration has forced the Kurds to look elsewhere for support, including Russia and Iran.
  3. The continued lack of decsion regarding Afrin places the entire US stabilization project from Manbij to eastern Rojava in doubt.

While Turkey is a member of NATO, there is an increasing need for the Trump administration to confront Erdogan head on.  Afterall, Erdogan’s Turkey funded and supported ISIS from the earliest days.  If Trump does not take Turkey to task now he risks losing the Kurdish YPG units that make up the bulk of the SDF.  While its true ISIS is almost finished the Kurds, like the PUK of Iraq may opt to ally with Iran in order to stop the blood letting in Afrin.

The Trump administration has to decide between an increasingly belligerent Turkey who happens to be still a NATO member or a stable Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan) that will ultimately act as a buffer between Western Syria and Iran.  The irony is that the Obama administration originally supported the creation of ISIS as a mini caliphate with Erdogan’s help in order to block Iran. We all know the results of this.  The Kurdish areas are achieving the same result without turning the area over to a deadly terrorist group.

Turkey and Syria Head for Direct Clash in Afrin

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has now entered the Afrin conflict by threatening to push Turkey and Turkish aligned militants out.  In return, the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) have threatened to attack the SAA if it enters Afrin. As of yesterday, the SAA was seen entrering the Afrin area.  In response the TAF had already begun bombing the approach to Afrin City.

According to Turkish sources the SAA has now halted deployment in the district.

Anadolu Agency (source):

“Pro-regime groups, who tried to enter Syria’s Afrin to support YPG/PKK-Daesh against Turkey’s ongoing operation in the region, have withdrawn Tuesday before reaching the city following warning shots, according to reliable sources on the ground.

The pro-regime groups departed in the Nubl-al-Zahraa region, in southern Afrin, at around 5.00 p.m. (1400GMT) with the aim of supporting YPG/PKK-Daesh terror groups against Operation Olive Branch, said the source on condition of anonymity due to speaking to the media.

The militias tried to advance into the city with a convoy of 20 vehicles including armored vehicles with DShK heavy machine guns

The withdrawal of the pro-Bashar al-Assad terror groups came when they were about 10 km (about 6 miles) away from Afrin, in northwestern Syria.”

In direct contradiction to Turksh claims the SAA has already entered Afrin City over night and are still there. Sputnik News reports the following:

“We maintain contact with the Syrian army, authorities in Afrin and the Kurdish self-defense units (YPG). The forces sent [to Afrin] are directed from the Syrian government, from the command of the Syrian army. Erdogan turned out to be a bad road policeman today, saying that he stopped the movement of Syrian forces that were heading to Afrin. These words are wrong, the forces are is already in Afrin,” YPG spokesman Reizan Hedu said.

Afrin remains tense and appears the main trigger point to a wider war involving Turkey, Russia/Syria/Iran, and the USA. Accordign to many observers Afrin seems to be the sacrificial lamb to Turkey in order to keep them out of eastern Rojava (northeastern Syria).  It is in that area where the majority of US bases exist.

The Syrian regime and the Syrian Kurds have never been allies and in fact have been violently opposed to one another.  Yet, with Afrin isolated and Turkey posing a far bigger threat to both, the Kurdish leadership in Afrin has decided to tactically allow the Syrian regime to push back on Turkey.

Is This a Trigger Event?

My analysis says that this very well could be the trigger event we have been anticipating.  Remember Erdogan wants to reestablish the Ottoman Empire in which his conquering of Damascus plays into an important mythos concerning the rise of the neo-Ottoman empire at the End of Days. The SAA’s entry into Afrin ups the ante and sets up a Turkish-Syrian conflict that has the ability to bring in Russia and the USA.


TURKEY THREATENS US: May Close NATO’s Incirlik Air Base

The breaking apart of NATO continues at full speed.  Erdogan’s invasion of Syrian Kurdistan otherwise known as Rojava in northern Syria has been met with the full force of the American trained SDF.  Although the Turkish Armed Forces (TOF) are gaining ground in Afrin, it is coming at a cost and it is a grind.  Turkey’s lack of real forward movement due to the Trump administration’s full support of the Kurds in northern Syria has sparked a potential direct confrontation between the USA and Turkey, two suppoosed NATO allies.

With frustration mounting in Turkey’s military echelon on the lack of sweeping success with their Afrin operation, they have begun to lash out at the USA and NATO.

Turkey’s latest threat is to close the key NATO Incirlik air base. This has been an important part of NATO’s ability to launch missions if needed in the Middle East.

“If Turkey’s medium and long-term interests require to take a step [to close the base] Turkey certainly would not refrain from taking this step,” Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Fikri Işık said during a press conference, according to the Türkiye newspaper.

Russia is Setting Up a Break Up of NATO

By paving the way for Turkey to invade Afrin, eventhough in other parts of Syria, Russia has pushed back against a break up of Syrian territory, Putin is setting up Turkey to face the USA.  The strategy is to force a direct conflict between two NATO members, thus fast tracking the alliance’s potential disintegration.  For Putin, this is essential as NATO has put more and more military personel into Eastern Europe in order to isolate Russia.

But is Turkey’s presence in NATO necessary?

Does Trump Care About Turkey Being in NATO?

President Trump started his foray into the politics of NATO by declaring it was now obsolete during the campaign trail.  As a reminder here is his statement:

“I think NATO’s obsolete. NATO was done at a time you had the Soviet Union, which was obviously larger, much larger than Russia is today. I’m not saying Russia’s not a threat. But we have other threats. We have the threat of terrorism and NATO doesn’t discuss terrorism, NATO’s not meant for terrorism. NATO doesn’t have the right countries in it for terrorism. And what I’m saying is that we pay, number one, a totally disproportionate share of NATO. We’re spending the biggest, the lion share’s paid for by us, disproportionate to other countries. … NATO is obsolete and it’s extremely expensive to the United States, disproportionately so. And we should readjust NATO. And it’s going to have to be either readjusted to take care of terrorism or we’re going to have to set up a new — a new coalition, a new group of countries to handle terrorism because terrorism is out of control.”

After he became president he changed his opinion and now insists he believes that NATO is not obsolete. Yet, one line stands out in the above statement: “NATO doesn’t have the right countries in it for terrorism.”  This line appears to be a reference to Turkey. Afterall, it has been proven and reported in countless publications that it was in fact Turkey that fostered and helped grow what became to be known as ISIS.

So Putin may be trying to play both Turkey and the USA off eachother, in a bid to cause chaos in NATO, but what if Trump doesn’t care?  Also what if France and Germany don’t care either?

Perhaps Turkey leaving NATO is part of the equation in suporting a much more stable Middle East without the meddling of would be neo-Ottoman upstarts.  As the battle rages on in Afrin Turkey may opt to leave NATO, but it may ultimately backfire on those attempting to force the alliance’s disintegration.

Kurds Continue to Hold Strong Against Turkey in Afrin

Despite the announcement of President Erdogan of Turkey, the Kurdish dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continue to be a serious thorn in the side of Erdogan’s dream of recreating the Ottoman Empire.

The Kurds were meant to be crushed in a manner of days as a result of the Turkish invasion of Afrin dubbed operation “Olive Branch,” but instead of retreating they have pushed back heavily against the Turkish army.

On Saturday (February 10th) alone eleven Turkish fighters involved in Ankara’s invasion of Afrin were killed. Another eleven  were injured on the same day, according to the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF).

Two service members were killed when a T129 ATAK attack helicopter was shot down by YPG/YPJ fighters. The helicopter crashed in the Turkish province of Hatay.

The rest of the Turkish fighters were killed or injured in clashes with SDF forces in defending Afrin from the TAF.

Of course the TAF’s general staff claimed that 1,266 ‘terrorists’ have been ‘neutralized’ in Afrin since the start of Operation Olive Branch on January 20. These numbers are completely unsubstantiated and more than likely inflated to help Erdogan with his citizens as the operation is not going well.

It is hard to see how Erdogan can claim he will have th operation wrapped up in a short time.  Every day that goes by without a decisive victory as the potantial to turn “Operation Olive Branch” into a serious quagmire for the neo-Ottoman autocrat.  Unless Russia and Syria do more than passive allowance of Turkish attacks in Kurdish controlled territory, Erdogan will either have to pull back and accept defeat or go in under full capacity and doing so risk direct conflict.

Syria is becoming the testing ground for the neo-Cold War that is far closer to an active war between the super powers.  Afrin, Deir ez-Azur, and the Golan are ground zero for the coming conflagration.


PACKER’S CORNER: The Middle East is a Mess

Just when you thought the Middle East couldn’t get any messier – it does! So far this week:

-Turkey continues to attack the Kurds in northwest Syria, but the Kurds seem to be hanging tough. Additionally, the Syrian rebels shot down a Russian fighter jet and then killed the pilot on the ground (because why not?). And then the American forces in Syria killed approximately 100 Syrian soldiers as they were trying to conquer areas previously liberated from ISIS.

– Another civil war has broken out in Yemen. How many civil wars does it take to stabilize Yemen? Apparently 3 isn’t enough. Now a group has broken off from the “official government” and is fighting for a southern Yemen independent entity. Surely this will be the solution to all the problems. Meanwhile, death continues to be Yemen’s #1 commodity.

– Reports emerged that Israel has been bombing ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula – part of Egypt. How many times? Like 100! This is actually not very surprising given the dramatically changing dynamics of the region that are pushing moderate sunni muslims and Israel together to combat Iran and sunni extremism. The large number of attacks is a bit surprising. Although not many Egyptian soldiers have been killed recently by ISIS, so I guess it all makes sense now.

Speaking of Israel, let’s continue with what’s going on there!

Nearly a month after the murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, hy’d, of Havat Gilad, there have been serious developments. The Israeli Government has declared that Havat Gilad will be LEGALIZED! As mentioned in previous pieces, this is a very big deal (and quite rare). Additionally, the leader of the terrorist cell that committed the murder was just now killed by Israeli forces. It would seem that all involved have either been killed or captured at this point – this is a good thing.

Unfortunately, in another terrorist attack in the Shomron (Samaria) region this week, another Rabbi was murdered. This time it was a stabbing and the killer remains on the run. The Rabbi killed, Itamar Ben-Gal, hy’d, lived with his wife and four children in the community of Har Bracha. Since the murder, there have been statements by right-wing Israeli politicians calling on the Government to approve significant numbers of housing permits in Har Bracha – upwards of 800. This would not only change Har Bracha (more than double it), but the entire region! A strengthening of the Jewish Presence in the area would pressure the Israeli Government to take further, bolder steps like returning permanently to Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem (nablus) and the former Jewish communities of Homesh and Sa-Nur farther to the north. (map of the area)

There have been a few other terrorist attacks since these, thankfully, much less successful. Remains to be seen if this is a new trend or just more of the same.

In less important news, leaks are leaking out of the Israeli Police (this is about the only thing they can be depended on to do) that they plan to recommend indicting Prime Minister Netanyahu on bribery charges next week. However, its only a recommendation, the Attorney General will be make the actual decision. There are reports that he thinks the whole thing is going nowhere, but we’ll have to see what happens. Regardless, its remarkable how similar the situations with Netanyahu and Trump are – on so many levels! Fascinating!

On the “diplomatic” front, President Trump’s emissaries, Ambassador David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, are verbally sparring with the Palestinian Authority (PA) pretty regularly at this point. One can only imagine where this will lead President Trump, but its unlikely it will go well for the PA. I’d expect a vitriolic tweet sometime soon.

Israeli Government and Economy are totally stable!

Are the US and Turkey Heading for War?

With Erdogan’s decision to invade Syrian Kurdistan serving to raise his popularity across Turkey, there is an increasing chance that his march towards Manbij, which serves as the epicenter for US forces in the region may very well bring Turkish forces into direct conflict with the USA.

This appears to be of no concern to Erdogan as the Syria conflict spirals further out of control. With the US and Russia consolidating their proxy territories, Erdogan’s bid to push out the Kurds is in fact much more than a simple power play.  The ground in Syria is still shifting and if there is ever a chance that the neo-Otoman empire Erdogan promised his supporters will arise, now seems to be the most opportune moment to implement it.

With the US forces in Manbij squarely behind the Kurdish majority SDF it is hard to see a peaceful way out of the approaching conflict.  If Turkey hits Manbij hard and harms US forces there, it won’t be the SDF Turkey will have to deal with, it will be the US itself.  Of course, this is Erdogan’s drive, to create as much chaos as possible and capitalize on it.

Russia Staying Out and Playing Both Sides Against One Another

Putin does not hide his hate for NATO’s desire to expand on Russia’s doorstep. A war between NATO allies no matter how limited will be a blow to NATO’s expansionist doctrine post Cold War. Yet, Putin has a bit of a dilemma since he too is materially invested in the proto-Kurdistan now forming in both Syria and Iraq. Expect Russia to back the Kurds while pushing Turkey and the US into a direct conflict.

With the stakes being high for all the actors, war is almost inevitable.  The only question is the scope and collateral damage.