Syria Makes Russian-Brokered Deal With Kurds To Counter Turkey

Turkish soldiers patrol a road near Hacipasa, Hatay, Turkey. At the peak of Turkey’s oil smuggling boom, the main transit point was a dusty hamlet called Hacipasa on the Orontes River that marks the border with Syria, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. Hacipasa has been a smuggling haven for decades, authorities and residents say. The fuel had come from oil wells in Iraq or Syria controlled by militants, including the Islamic State group, and was sold to middle men who smuggled it across the Turkish-Syrian border.

Turkish soldiers patrol a road near Hacipasa, Hatay, Turkey near the border with Syria, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014.

(REPORT) — Back in August, Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria focused a lot on seizing ISIS territory along the border. At this point, all the easily claimable ISIS cities are gone, and Turkey’s forces are increasingly bumping up against the forces of the Syrian government.

In al-Bab, Turkish forces took the city, but Syrian troops took the immediate south, effectively cutting off any deeper Turksih advances. Clashes between Turkey-backed rebels erupted, but eventually both started moving eastward, toward the important, Kurdish-held city of Manbij.

Today, Syria appears to have cut a deal with the Kurdish YPG and the Manbij Military Council to cut Turkey off at the pass, with Russia brokering an agreement in which some of the villages ringing Manbij will be handed over to the Syrian government’s control.

The deal aims to allow the Syrian military to ring the Kurdish-held city, which would prevent Turkey from directly invading Manbij, something they’ve long threatened to do. It remains to be seen how Turkey will respond to this deal, as they are party to a ceasefire with the Syrian government and other factions, but would have a much longer trek to find new Kurdish or ISIS targets to attack.


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This BBSNews article was syndicated from MintPress News, and written by Jason Ditz | Antiwar.com. Read the original article here.