When every Syrian anti-Assad voice, every Arab pro-US Voice, and every humanist around the world begs the West to stand up to the Assad atrocities only to be met with timid and hollow Western threats against his regime, anyone with courage to strike Assad becomes a hero. When Erdogan strikes Assad forces, people from around the world see him as that hero. Is that what we want to happen? A fundamentalist head-of-state to be the next Jamal Abdul Nasser? Popular and lethal?
Does anyone understand now why we are criticizing the airhead Donald Trump the way we criticized the wimp Barack Obama? Even though Erdogan strikes Assad forces has nothing to do with saving Syrian civilians. Wake-up America. Permitting Assad to kill at will will come back to haunt us down the road.
Today, Turkish warplanes struck Assad forces in the northwestern Afrin region of Syria killing at least 36 of them.
The Assad government forces entered Afrin last week in support of the Kurdish YPG militia, the stated target of the operation launched by Turkey and allied Syrian rebel fighters in January.
The air strike, which hit a camp in Kafr Jina, marked the third time in 48 hours that Turkish warplanes had struck pro-Assad forces in Afrin.
The U.S. backed, and now Assad backed, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a YPG-led militia alliance, said in a statement that Turkish air strikes had targeted positions held by the Syrian army’s “popular forces” from early dawn until late morning local hours.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said his country’s forces had captured the town of Rajo from militants. Syrian observers on the ground said the Turkish army was in control of about 70 percent of the town, about 25 km (16 miles) northwest of Afrin city.
The SDF statement said a group of Turkish forces and allied Syrian factions had infiltrated Rajo, where it said clashes were continuing between SDF forces and the attackers.
Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has fought a three-decade insurgency in Turkey and is deemed a terrorist group by the United States, the European Union and Turkey. The YPG has been an important ally for the United States in the fight against Islamic State.
While Trump is asleep at the help and his National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster ponders what to do, Erdogan is convincing many Syrians, Arabs, and Muslims that he could lead an attack against Assad with or without the West support. This will make him a hero.
Reuters contributed to this article