Failed Coup in Turkey: 15/07/2016

Maj. Gen. Jamie Jarrard, Special Operations commander for the American-led coalition in Iraq and Syria and overall coalition commander Lt. Gen. Paul Funk made a clear statement. “Hit us, and we will respond aggressively.”
To which Erdogan today replied "It is very clear that those who say ‘we will respond aggressively if you hit us’ have never experienced an Ottoman slap." I suppose an Ottoman slap isn't the unconventional sexual activity it sounds like?
 
Pro-Assad militias to enter Syria's Afrin: state media
An interesting twist that I note Sergey mentioned yesterday. Assad govt supported militias entering Afrin to support the YPG. Could this mean the guarantees Erdogan got from Putin are worthless?
“Popular forces will arrive in Afrin in the next few hours to support the steadfastness of its people in confronting the aggression which Turkish regime forces have launched on the region,” state news agency SANA reported, citing its correspondent in Aleppo.

On Sunday, a senior Syrian Kurdish official said Kurdish forces and the Syrian government had reached a deal for the Syrian army to enter Afrin, and that it could be implemented within two days.
 
Turkey warns Syrian army against helping Kurdish YPG in Afrin
Turkey responds to the reported support of the YPG by the SAA and allies. ‘Nothing and nobody can stop Turkish soldiers’. Looks like Erdogan has made phone calls to Putin and Rouhani.

Will the SAA and allies support the YPG or the Turks? Has Erdogan bitten off more than he can chew? Can anyone trust Assad’s forces? As if the Syrian civil war wasn’t complicated enough:
“If (the Syrian army) comes in to defend the YPG, then nothing and nobody can stop Turkish soldiers,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in Jordan. Turkey would have no issue with Syrian troops entering Afrin if they did so to “cleanse” it of the Kurdish fighters, he added.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan later said in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin that Damascus would face consequences if it struck a deal with the YPG and said the Afrin operation would continue, CNN Turk reported.

There was no immediate comment from the Syrian military or from Moscow.

Erdogan also spoke to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani about developments in Syria’s Idlib and Afrin, a Turkish source said.
 
Turkey foiled Syrian move into Afrin after Putin talks: Erdogan
Erdogan believes he's done it i.e. after his phone call with Putin the SAA and allies won't be entering Afrin. He believes the siege of Afrin will start soon and also believes this will stop the YPG there from negotiating with anyone(?) and prevent outside aid getting there:
“The (Syrian deployment) was seriously stopped yesterday... It was stopped,” Erdogan told reporters following a speech in parliament.

When asked if the deployment was stopped after talks with Putin, Erdogan said: “Yes, it was stopped after those talks”.

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In the speech to members of his ruling AK Party, Erdogan also promised that a siege of Afrin would begin soon.

“The sieging of the Afrin city center will start rapidly in the coming days. This way, both outside help to the region and city will be cut off, and the terrorist organization will not have the means to negotiate with anyone,” he said.
 
Pro-Syrian government forces enter Afrin to aid Kurds against Turkey
Maybe Erdogan spoke too soon? Maybe his phone call with Vlad wasn't what he thought it would be? Reports of Assad govt backed militias entering Afrin and joing up with the YPG:
Pro-Syrian government forces entered Syria’s northwestern Afrin region on Tuesday to help a Kurdish militia there fend off a Turkish assault, raising the prospect of a wider escalation of the conflict.

Soon after the convoy of militia fighters - waving Syrian flags and brandishing weapons - entered Afrin, Syrian state media reported that Turkey had targeted them with shellfire.

The confrontation pits the Turkish army and allied Syrian rebel groups directly against the military alliance backing the government of President Bashar al-Assad, further scrambling northwest Syria’s already messy battlefield.
Also reports of Turkish armed forces shelling the militias, but these are put down to 'firing warning shots'. The militias still advanced:
Turkish state media reported that Turkish artillery had fired warning shots and forced the Syrian fighters back before they reached Afrin.

But Syrian television showed them passing through a checkpoint that bore the insignia of the Kurdish security force, some chanting “one Syria, one Syria”, and driving further into the enclave.
 

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