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who tried to enter Syria’s Afrin to support YPG/PKK-Daesh against Turkey’s ongoing operation in the region, have withdrawn Tuesday before reaching the city following warning shots, according to reliable sources on the ground.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