On January 30, the Turkish military launched an operation in the
Kurdish-controlled Afrin district under a code-name "Olive Branch
Operation.” The offensive was against the Kurdish-led Democratic Union
Party in Syria.
After the defeat of the Islamic State (ISIS) in eastern Syria in recent
months, the remaining takfiri terrorist groups attacked the Eastern
Ghouta district, and intensified the sufferings there once again.
Following the clashes between terrorist groups in eastern Damascus with
the Syrian army, and the launch of mortars and missiles from extremist
groups into the residential areas of the Syrian capital, which killed or
wounded many civilians, the Syrian army launched operations to destroy
The blow against the extremists has pushed the West to spread lies and
propaganda against the Assad government.
The UN Security Council has held numerous meetings for the so-called
ceasefire in the eastern Ghouta, while ironically, more than a month
ago, Turkish army launched the attacks in Afrin. So far, the West and
the Arab world have kept silent about the killing of Kurdish civilians
by the Turkish army, and so has the UN Security Council. Double
standards seem to apply.
What is worth noting is that in the latest fights in Eastern Ghouta,
Iranian forces, as well as Hezbollah, Fatemiyoun … have never dispatched
troops to the area, and the operation has been running by Syrian ground
and air forces, backed by Russians.
stance on Turkey’s invasion of Afrin
In the beginning of the Turkish invasion of Afrin, Kurdish armed groups
reached out to the United States for help, but Washington not only did
not support the Kurds, but said explicitly that Afrin was not a top
priority for the US military.
The gesture proves that the White House had already given the green
light to the Turkish army to attack Afrin, so that the US could gain
dominance of the eastern region of the Euphrates.
Moscow, too, has taken a hazy stance on Turkey’s Afrin offensive. A few
days prior to the invasion of Afrin, Russia withdrew its advisors from
the Kurdish region to protect the lives of their citizens.
Russia’s move on Afrin has generated speculation that Moscow and Ankara
have reached an "unwritten agreement” in which Turkey, along its border,
could occupy an area and establish a security "belt” of 10 kilometers
deep in Syria’s Afrin.
However, Turkey's objectives in Afrin go beyond the "unwritten
agreement”. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stated that he
will seek to transfer the Syrian refugees from Turkey to the Afrin area,
which would mean a change in the population composition of the Afrin
region and the conversion of the Kurdish majority to a minority.
The Damascus government certainly does not agree to the occupation of
areas of its territory by Turkey under the pretext of establishing a
The Kurds, disappointed with the US, have turned to the Syrian
government for assistance, pleading with the Syrian army to return to
Afrin after seven years of Kurdish domination in the area.
In indirect negotiations between the Syrian government and the Kurdish
groups, Damascus has put forward certain conditions to deploy troops to
Afrin: the Kurds must hand over their guns to the Syrian state.
To this day, the Kurds have refused to turn in their weapons, and thus
the Syria has not deployed units to Afrin.
On the one hand, the Syrian government avoids direct talks with the
Kurds, as it does not recognize the legitimacy of Kurdish nationalism,
and on the other hand, the area is part of Syria’s territory, and
therefore, Syria’s national sovereignty calls for the involvement of its
military to keep away foreign forces.
Ghouta, crises central
Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis and over the past seven years,
the Eastern Ghouta has been the focus of terrorists seeking to attack
and threaten nearby Damascus.
The new round of clashes in the Eastern Ghouta, however, began this
winter because the Syrian army managed to carry out successful
operations in northern Hama and in the eastern province of Idlib in
December and January.
The liberation of Abu al-Duhour military Airport, in eastern Idlib, the
largest Syrian military airport in the north, pushed the terrorists to
The terrorist groups in the Eastern Ghouta, assuming that the Syrian
army will not be able to operate in this area, began a new round of
attacks by targeting the residential areas of eastern Damascus. Since
late February, the severity of the mortar and missile attacks has
increased considerably both in terms of volume and geographic extent in
The Syrian army, following victories in the eastern province of Idlib,
moves some of its forces to relieve Eastern Ghouta. Brigadier General
Soheil Hassan (known as Nimr) was commanded by the Russians to transfer
their troops from East Idlib to Eastern Ghouta. It was an attempt by the
Russians to help secure the capital and, at the same time, compensate
for the dissatisfaction of the Syrian government with Russia's position
With the arrival of Soheil Hassan's forces in Eastern Ghouta, the Syrian
army has targeted the terrorists' hideouts effectively, in such a way
that the East Aleppo liberation scenario may be repeated in the Ghouta.
After the disagreements between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, bloody clashes
ensued between Jaysh al-Islam on the one hand, and Falq al-Sham and
Jabhat an-Nusra on the other.
The psychological warfare and the western and Arab media propaganda have
become so focused on the Eastern Ghouta that the UN Security Council has
held several sessions in the last two weeks to establish a ceasefire in
The experience of these types of ceasefires in Syria has proven that the
main loser has been the Syrian government, because it complies with
ceasefires, but the terrorist groups, in particular the Jabhat an-Nusra,
often do not.
With Saturday night's UNSC resolution calling for a 30-day ceasefire
across Syria, including Russia, revealed that Moscow was also under
political and media pressure. This may temporarily prevent the Syrian
army from moving forward in Eastern Ghouta.