A coalition of US-backed Syria rebels and Islamist groups like Ahrar al-Sham have come together in a plan to attack the key ISIS city of Jarabulus, on the western short of the Euphrates River. Unlike most offensives, this one will be cross-border, being launched from inside Turkey.
The rebel force includes substantial numbers of fighters who heretofore had been defending the key border town of Azaz. With ISIS recently focusing more on defense, they’ve decided to go after Jarabulus, another valuable border crossing. With a lot of ISIS territory between Azaz and Jarabulus, however, they decided it was simpler to go through Turkey, and Turkey was apparently fine with the idea.
Turkey’s interest in this is that the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) recently took the city of Manbij, with major US backing, and that’s making Jarabulus tougher for ISIS to defend. Turkey has long warned that the Kurds taking Jarabulus was a “red line” for them.
Instead of risking a US-backed push into Jarabulus, Turkey seems to be hoping this faction, dominated by Ahrar al-Sham, will get there first, precluding any more Kurdish advances across the Euphrates River into key border areas.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- US Cuts Ties With Afghan NSA Over Criticism of Negotiator - March 19th, 2019
- New Zealand PM: Censorship Meant to Deny Attacker Notoriety - March 19th, 2019
- Trump Advances Venezuela Regime Change Abroad - March 19th, 2019
- US Slams Germany for Military Spending Falling Short of Trump's Demands - March 19th, 2019
- German Court: Govt Must Question If US Drone Strikes Are Legal - March 19th, 2019