International papers focus on Turkish threats to northeast Syria

WASHINGTON, US (North Press) – Turkey is threatening a new military offensive in northern Syria aimed at the Kurdish minority in Tel Rifaat, the Israeli Jerusalem Post newspaper said on Tuesday.

“Turkey has tried for years to redirect the Syrian rebels to fight Kurds,” the newspaper added.

The Israeli newspaper pointed out that Turkey wants “a new green light to attack areas in Syria, as it sought Germany leader Angela Merkel’s support for an offensive.”

The Jerusalem Post considered that Turkey’s desire to buy US F-16s a “dangling cash in front of the US will distract from warmongering in Ankara.”     

“Despite Biden’ administration intention to stay in Syria, it has no option of clashing with Turkey, if Turkey decides to launch a new military operation in the region, while Erdogan has the military option and can conduct it. It is difficult for Washington to intervene and prevent Turkey from its possible operation,” Nicholas Harris, an expert in the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy, told North Press.   

“Washington constantly discusses the desired strategic benefit from staying in the region and colliding with Turkey. If Washington wants to prevent a new Turkish operation, it must place its forces between the SDF and the Turkish army. However, all this is not guaranteed, and the indications so far revolve around the Turkish determination to control areas that might include Kobani, an important Syrian city and a key to more influence if Turkey takes control or besieges it,” he added.

During his interview with the Washington Online, which will be broadcast next Thursday on the North Plus platform, Harris talked about the US economic strategy for northeast Syria, and the possibility of granting the region an exception from US sanctions. He revealed information he gained from sources in the Biden’s administration about the point of view of the issue of Caesar Act and the future of the relationship with the SDF.

In the same context, the al-monitor website said that “although Russia is ready to greenlight a limited Turkish incursion in Syria in principle, talks between the two capitals over the location of such an operation are unresolved, with the Kremlin remaining reluctant on the Tel Rifaat option.”

“Russia has full control over Tel Rifaat’s airspace, with joint Russian and Syrian government air campaigns targeting various positions on the ground almost on daily basis. Although Moscow has avoided dispatching ground troops in the region, the area hosts a wide range of actors, from Russian private military contractors and Syrian government troops to YPG fighters and pro-Iranian and Hezbollah militia along with some jihadi outfits,” al-Monitor said.

The website pointed out that Erdogan reiterated Ankara’s goal for Tel Rifaat during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in their September 29 Sochi meeting, but that Moscow considers the area a strategic stronghold at the heart of trade routes linking northern Aleppo to the northern Syrian towns of al-Ra’i and Jarablus. The town is a strategic crossroad lying 25 kilometers west of Mare’a, 22 kilometers east of Afrin and 27 kilometers north of Aleppo.”

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