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File: 1580599917341-0.png (606.42 KB, 1188x750, 198:125, al bab 01 feb 2020.png)

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In an interesting development SNA/TFSA have relieved pressure on Idlib by opening another front from Ottoman territory near Al-Bab. They are attacking both red and yellow territory with SAA and YPG counterattacking together. Aleppo and the outskirts of Saraqib are still on fire, with a side move away from the new Turkish barriers on the latter.




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Some advancement about the Turkish roadblocks.


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Look at the new castle signs, Erdogan is stubborn. TAF is moving assets into the area and was filmed in Saraqib city itself. There are even reports of Turkish shelling and skirmishes.
Aleppo had some of the conflict's most violent fighting in a long time, the death toll in a single day may have reached a hundred. HTS attacked with its elite fighters but doesn't have the upper hand.
No news from al-Bab.


>activity in /kc/


Erdop laying chess. Rook to M5.
Except all sides are dark.




File: 1580736074542-0.png (46.35 KB, 612x340, 9:5, de-escalation.png)

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SAA shelled Turkish troops, killing a few. Turkey says they were warned and aware of Turkish positions, Russia says they weren't. Turkish artillery replied, killing Syrian troops. It also bombed YPG for good measure. Erdogan said airstrikes were used but Russia denies this. The death toll is also unclear.
Mr. Röpcke is very happy that Turkish servicemen died as human shields for al-Qaeda offshoots. Some real gems in the comments, too.


Srsly what kind of fucknut wants the escalation of the war?
I don't think much will follow. Turkey can't afford to actually enter in the conflict it would ruin the relations with Russia. Russia won't just stand down, they invested too much into that war, and finally their protegee is winning.
Tho I wonder the potential of the Turkish military.


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Busy day.


>Tho I wonder the potential of the Turkish military.
They'd prevail against SAA and any other faction except maybe the best of the loyalists like Hezbollah. But Russia wouldn't allow it. Maybe as the situation on the ground is fluid, might makes right prevails and Erdogan and Putin haven't settled everything behind the scenes there could be a full skirmish with Russia not responding militarily. But afterwards Turkey would pay a price. That's why Erdogan won't go that far, he needs Putin. On the other hand he's trying to delay the inevitable rebel defeat indefinitely for whatever reason (refugees, Idlib as a bargaining chip) and the more he tries to do it the more he runs the risk of having incidents like this.


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It's also important that the M4 has been reached. Half of Saraqib's value is that it's a logistical hub and now that has been denied to the rebels.
The other half is that it leaves an open path to Idlib.


I thought Binland is in the North. Oh. Obama Finn Lundin
Geez, those dudes dressed warmer than me in winter.

Now Erdo has to find a way to backing out without losing face. But what if he can't? Will he grab even for the weakest excuse? This is an exciting point now, in this phase of the war.


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Methodical work on the flanks. Neyrab overlooking the M4 was repeatedly attacked but apparently not lost yet. Putin and Erdogan had a phone call. Civilians in Idlib are fleeing to the Turkish border.


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Some more gains. The news feed on the side says rebels gave up Saraqib, they are retreating.


Their attack NW of Nayrab to Qaminas is interesting, it's a bold move and the spearhead of a flanking move on Sarmin which is the last stop before Idlib city itself. And if the breakthrough east of Saraqib makes more gains it'll threaten the rebel position in the Aleppo front.

Erdogan's whole effort to save Saraqib, which cost the heightening of geopolitical tensions and several TAF servicemen, has been rendered futile. To internal audiences he still uses a tone of bravado:
>If the (Assad) regime does not retreat to areas behind the observations posts, Turkey will be forced to take matters into its own hands


File: 1580971798382.png (661.92 KB, 1060x840, 53:42, 2020-02-06-damascus.png)

Some activity in the South. Apparently Israel did air strikes on Damascus and the neighbourhood. I've no time to figure out the reason now.


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Not much now, Saraqib's capture is confirmed, rebels retake a single village and Turkey sets up an observation post in Taftanaz airport, directly north of Saraqib, with another convoy heading to Sarmin. Taftanaz probably doesn't mean much but Sarmin is the last stop before Idlib and one of the two juicier targets after Saraqib. The other one is proceeding down the M5 to clear it and gain a logistical boost. Saraqib's fall also means there's a division between rebels in southern and northern Idlib (actually a chunk of the Aleppo governorate) and it's harder to move reinforcements from one to another.


File: 1581093121894.png (417.61 KB, 1189x747, 1189:747, idlib 07 feb 2020.png)

SAA breakthrough across the river in Aleppo and HTS counteroffensive NE of Saraqib.


So basically SAA attacked where the units of two rebel groups were next to each other? That's a good move. If they aren't controlled tightly from the same HQ, it is harder for them to cooperate and close up the gap.

I wonder how long the SAA can keep on the pressure and hammer the opposing forces until they run out of strength.


>So basically SAA attacked where the units of two rebel groups were next to each other?
It's the same groups (JTS and HTS, also SNA when Erdogan calls). They have distinct territorial control but it's not segregated into north and south.
>I wonder how long the SAA can keep on the pressure and hammer the opposing forces until they run out of strength.


They slowed down in the past couple of days but don't seem to have run out of momentum. It seems the biggest factor that can interrupt offensives is geopolitics.


File: 1581107463588.png (391.98 KB, 1184x747, 1184:747, idlib 07 feb 2020 (2).png)

HTS got pushed back


Southfront claims the earlier HTS attack was a PR stunt and the villages had never fallen to Assad in the first place.


File: 1581197051689.png (600.6 KB, 1747x840, 1747:840, 2020-02-08-idlib.png)

Then SAA followed up with a push along the M5 and connected with the that bridgehead.
Meanwhile Turks getting busy.


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More progress along the M5 with forces in Aleppo launching their own offensive. Rebels are stronger there with more defensible urban terrain. Several Shi'a militias are active.
Meanwhile an attack is launched across the highway from ICARDA. Turkey doesn't seem to care much about the M5 but is protective of land west of it and deployed a new post. Recently they've moved massive convoys into Syria and may now have thousands of troops deployed enough to make a lot of observation posts. Turkey shelled SAA and was met with an airstrike on Taftanaz airbase in response, killing several TAF personnel. Now there are conflicting reports on a supposed TAF+rebel offensive against Saraqib and Nayrab. More recent sources deny an offensive took place, and others say it was put on hold because of Russo-Turkish negotiations.


It was probably artillery that hit Taftanaz airbase, not an airstrike.


Did Erdogan committed Turkey beforehand too much to help out rebels and now they can't back out? What's the point on them being there and dying? Will this be really an open conflict?


>re-align with US
What do you mean?


File: 1581402099192.png (521.95 KB, 1046x845, 1046:845, 2020-02-11-idlib-toroad.png)

Are they pushing for that road to cut off Idlib and prevent Turkey moving troops and supplies conveniently?


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File: 1581431733220-3.mp4 (527.54 KB, 352x640, 11:20, syrian helicopter shot by ….mp4)

M5 is finally cleared while rebels attack Neyrab towards Saraqib. There are conflicting reports on who holds the city. A helicopter was shot down by either TAF or rebels with Turkish-supplied AA.

He has the following reasons for his commitment:
-Sunk cost fallacy, he already poured a lot of resources into the rebels over the last decade.
-Strengthening his internal image. This, however, only applies to Islamists and MHP jingoists. The wider Turkish public supported actions against the SDF but it's doubtful if they value sacrifices for Idlib.
-Rhetorical sunk cost fallacy, as he made a big deal of the dead Turkish soldiers. Backing down now would make him appear weak.
-Idlib as a geopolitical bargaining chip. For it to have any value, the takeover of Idlib can only happen with his consent. If Assad can just march in on his own will then nobody needs to pay Erdogan a price for Idlib, and it has no such value. Thus he must establish deterrence so that an attack without his consent will fail.
-Ideology, he wants to LARP as the Ottoman Caliph.
-Refugees. Images of massive movements of civilian vehicles away from the frontline have been seen lately. Idlib already hosts populations from former rebel territory and its fall means migration into Turkey and possibly Europe on the short-term, and then few of those refugees want to return. But this is short-term thinking. With the final defeat of Idlib, and later sorting of eastern Syria, there'd be a normalization of Syria's international status, a cooling down of internal tension with maybe even amnesties and even the improvement of Syria's quality of life. All of this would increase the refugee return rate.

That would leave a very exposed salient, it seems they're just taking advantage of the open terrain NE of Idlib to gain an advantage around the city and establish a buffer for the M5.


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South Front has taken a sarcastic tone in their newest videos.


>Idlib de-escalation
Making this term up is cynical in the first place (or if it wasn't actually used, the rationalization which this term describes) would make me as well seriously consider using sarcastic tone to describe the situation.


Officially there is supposed to be de-escalation in place as negotiated in Astana on 2017 and further Russo-Turkish talks in 2018. That's what the observation posts are for, they're positioned along what used to be the frontline. Turkey also pledged to eliminate HTS, which it failed to do and HTS only grew stronger and defeated JTS in battle. Now apparently Turkish armored vehicles are finding their way into HTS hands immediately upon arrival in Syria. The official legalistic casus belli for every loyalist offensive since then has been continued HTS presence and the threat it poses to nearby Russian bases. Erdogan's legalistic explanation is also that the Syrian army is on the wrong side of the de-escalation line.


This could be situation with potentially major consequences to the future, could even lead to Erdogan's downfall and the loss of influence of Turkey in the Middle East I'm sure Iran keeps that in mind, turning from a conciliator into a joke.

Well, lots of water flowed down the Danube since then, the rebels nowhere weigh the same on the negotiating table now. Justification will mater only after the fact. I think it's clear that Russia agreed on the set up of Turkish observation points just to win time and a relatively peaceful front for the Syrian govt. to gain a chance of sorting out the other fronts first. Their attitude was also cynical ofc, how could be de-escaltion exist when an armed group is preventing the restoration of the territorial and governmental unity of a country? It's like making another Korea. 65 years later it's still war.


File: 1581465476298.png (410.42 KB, 1182x748, 591:374, idlib 12 feb 2020.png)

America declared its support for Turkey and lifted sanctions placed last October over Operation Peace Spring. Turkey continues to up its rhetoric and demands the Syrian army to move to the east of the M5. This is despite the fact that they had sworn during negotiations to open the M4 and M5 to civilian transit, a promise that was not kept, and only the recent offensive has raised the prospect of reactivating the highway. The rebel attack on Neyrab seems to have failed but gains have been made at the far south of the front.


File: 1581526717990.png (416.2 KB, 1164x848, 291:212, 2020-02-12-idlib-bulge.png)

Situation changes day by day. Now activities flared up about that bulge discussed prior.


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File: 1581551635305-2.mp4 (7.17 MB, 1280x720, 16:9, One more video from #Hasak….mp4)

Erdogan continues with his bombastic rhetoric, promising massive retaliation if more Turkish servicemen are harmed. Syrian spokesmen call him disconnected from reality. US embassy in Turkey voices its support and vows to prevent Assad's international "normalization". Russian embassy responds noting American support for the YPG. Another source claims Turkey has accepted Assad's takeover of everything east of the M5, so there's a difference between rhetoric and geopolitics. On the ground TAF have deployed tanks and are shelling loyalist positions.

Meanwhile near Qamishli an American patrol passing through Khirbat Amo had a slight misunderstanding with loyalist militiamen (NDF or possibly even a SAA checkpoint) and local civilians. After stone throwing, fire and shots exchanged a 14-year old local was dead. A Russian patrol arrived and tensions faded.


File: 1581575719278.png (232.59 KB, 1360x652, 340:163, security-zone.png)

Was some article on RT which said according to Russia (Moscow or embassy can't remember) that the capture of the M5 was according to the de-escalation plans, it fulfills a requirement to establish a security zone. (Sounds like how the situation looks like in north Syria, with the M4.)
>Topkek Mountains National Park

>random firefight

>14 y.o. died
How a typical middle eastern casualty.
How this situation can even born? What the fuck wanted the achieve? "Hurr durr leave our country!" Meanwhile US troops were liek "but dudes we just here to keep you safe! Fuck this ungrateful sandniggers!".


File: 1581618193835.png (643.34 KB, 1190x746, 595:373, aleppo 13 feb 2020.png)

SAA continues to build up a buffer zone for the M5 in Aleppo.


I think they'll want that road too which leads from Aleppo to Afrin (which touches the Kurdish held Menagh Airbase).


It doesn't matter much, it just leads to Turkish-occupied Syria which is out of bounds for any offensive. And that stretch of yellow territory is already under joint control.


It is part of the road network which runs around these would be security zones. Right now I think these rebel areas will be transformed into buffer zones where the refugees will be sent back from Turkey. I don't think SAA will be advance more to west by much at Idlib. They'll cut that corner at Aleppo, along that road, and that's it.
Then only one zone left in the north (well two) not in rebel hands.


There's the M4 highway which Turkey also had pledged to open and didn't follow through. Assad may not take all of it but at the very least the southern salient can fall. Only problem is that it's got harder terrain.


Hmm that runs straight to Latakia. They'll want that.


File: 1581721379574.png (513.32 KB, 1178x746, 589:373, aleppo 14 feb 2020.png)

More progress in Aleppo, and another chopper shot down.


File: 1581753902600.png (1.1 MB, 1524x1023, 508:341, 2020-02-15-idlib.png)

Erdo must have gave them new AA equipment.

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