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RKOB says that "Turkey is hostile to the HTS", and claims this is the 
background to "the current attack of Zenki and Ahrar against the HTS in the 
north of Syria".

But HTS has previously attacked Ahrar al-Sham and other groups, so the latter 
probably don't need Turkey's encouragement to hit back. 

It is not uncommon for rebel groups to fight each other.  In 2014, for example, 
Jabhat al-Nusra attacked the Syrian Revolutionaries Front, a Free Syrian Army 
coalition with a strong presence in Idlib province.  Some of the survivors of 
the SRF fled to Afrin and later became part of the Syrian Democratic Forces.  
Others fled to Turkey.

I agree that HTS is not fully under Turkey's control.  But they have in the 
past worked together to attack Rojava.

Kurdish sources have claimed that "Jabhat al-Nusra" members have joined the 
Turkish invasion of Afrin.  I am not sure if they are referring to current 
members of HTS, or people who have in the past been members of Nusra and retain 
a similar reactionary ideology.

HTS has had various splits, and reportedly still has internal divisions.  See 
Charles Lister: 

https://warontherocks.com/2017/10/turkeys-idlib-incursion-and-the-hts-question-understanding-the-long-game-in-syria/
 

Hence it is conceivable that one part of HTS is collaborating with Turkey to 
attack Afrin while another part of HTS is busy fighting Ahrar al-Sham.

The RCIT places a lot of importance on the fact that HTS rejects the Astana 
agreement.  But groups should be judged on what they are for, not just what 
they are against.  HTS stands for theocratic dictatorship.  They are enemies of 
the Syrian revolution - if by "Syrian revolution" we mean the struggle for 
democracy that began in 2011.  

Their reactionary politics repel the majority of Syrians, causing some 
(particularly the religious minorities) to see Assad as the lesser evil.

Meanwhile Turkey is invading Afrin with the goal of crushing those fighting for 
democracy and women's liberation.  Solidarity with the revolution in northern 
Syria should be our main task.

Chris Slee



________________________________________
From: Marxism <marxism-boun...@lists.csbs.utah.edu> on behalf of RKOB via 
Marxism <marxism@lists.csbs.utah.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, 6 March 2018 6:39:57 PM
To: Chris Slee
Subject: Re: [Marxism]  Turkey’s unexpected empire in Syria

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I also read this article yesterday. Hence I saw that it also contains
the following:

"/In Idlib, the establishment of a network of Turkish military bases in
January 2018 has led to a concerted attempt by militias backed by Ankara
to expel Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and other jihadist groups from major
towns. As this attempt to reduce HTS’s power unfolds, Diyanet has also
ramped up efforts to take control of welfare and governance across the
province./"

This is another evidence which totally contradicts what you (and other
YPG supporters) argued just 3 weeks ago: that HTS would participate in
Turkey's invasion in Afrin or, more general, that the HTS would be an
agent of Ankara.

It rather confirms what I, and others, have argued since a long time:
that Turkey is hostile to the HTS and is determined to pressurize,
minimize and defeat them.

This is the background of the current attack of Zenki and Ahrar against
the HTS in the north of Syria.

More on this in our latest articles on Syria:

https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/syria-idlib-the-attack-of-the-astana-conspirators-could-be-repelled-thus-far/

https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/turkey-s-hidden-war-against-hts-in-idlib/


Am 06.03.2018 um 06:01 schrieb Chris Slee via Marxism:
> ********************  POSTING RULES & NOTES  ********************
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>
> https://ahvalnews6.com/turkey-syria/no-exit-turkeys-unexpected-empire-syria
>
>
> "By August 2016, Turkey’s government felt impelled to order military 
> operations that have led to Turkish control over large parts of northern 
> Syria. Culminating with the recent assault on the Afrin region, the primary 
> focus of these operations has been to prevent the YPG from seizing more 
> territory along the Turkish border....
>
> "In the first weeks of this intervention many analysts tried to establish 
> whether the Turkish military had an exit strategy that would enable it to 
> leave Idlib, Afrin and north Aleppo province once it fulfilled its goals. Yet 
> 18 months after the first Turkish tanks entered the Syrian city of Jarabulus 
> as part of Operation Euphrates Shield it is increasingly clear that a swift 
> exit from Syria is impossible....
>
> "In northern Syria a partnership is therefore emerging between Diyanet 
> officials and Turkish army officers who have become accustomed to governing 
> large populations as part of a semi-colonial venture. With Turkey’s strategic 
> dilemmas making a withdrawal unlikely any time soon, this network of Syria 
> hands within Diyanet and the military is developing a vested interest in 
> maintaining long-term control over Turkey’s unexpected empire in Syria."
>
> ***
>
> I don't agree with the word "unexpected" in the title of this article.  
> Turkey has been determined to suppress the Rojava revolution from its 
> inception.  Initially it used various reactionary Syrian rebel groups to 
> attack Rojava.  When this failed Turkish troops were sent into Syria - first 
> into the Jarablus/al-Bab area, then into Idlib, then into Afrin.
>
> A full scale invasion of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria was 
> deterred for a time by fear of the response of the US and Russia.
>
> The US needed the Syrian Democratic Forces to fight ISIS, and therefore 
> warned Turkey against attacking SDF controlled areas in north-eastern Syria.
>
> Russia controls the airspace over north-western Syria.  This deterred a 
> Turkish invasion of Afrin - until Russia and Turkey made a deal.
>
> The Assad regime may not be entirely happy with the deal, since there is no 
> guarantee that Turkey will ever leave the area it has occupied.  This may 
> explain why a small contingent of pro-Assad militia has gone to Afrin to 
> oppose the Turkish invasion.
>
> Chris Slee
>
>

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