Turkish tanks in Aleppo

Turkish tanks are going deep into Aleppo to head off a potential regime offensive toward Foua and Kafraya. This is the offensive I expected the government to make after defeating ISIS in the east. There are a bunch of important strategic targets along the way, it would have allowed them to threaten Idlib and Saraqib, diverting rebel forces away from the front lines in Hama, and it would have severely disrupted rebel supply chains to the south.

I'm guessing they went for Abu Duhur first because they have an extreme manpower shortage and wouldn't be able to support a front that long. By forcing the rebels out of southeast Idlib, they shortened the front line, freeing up troops to use in the north. (Of course, part of the new front line is sandwiched between the rebels and ISIS, but I'm sure that won't come back to bite them at an extremely inopportune time.)

"The 'ancient ethnic conflict' between Turks and Kurds is not an insurmountable barrier to common strategic and economic interests — especially in the face of common enemies. The key is for the Kurds to renounce pan-Kurdish dreams the lure of the PKK and its leader, Abdullah Ocalan."

There are two problems with this: 1) Ocalan's philosophy of democratic confederalism is the foundation of the entire Kurdish political project in Syria, and asking them to renounce him would be like asking the Soviets to renounce Marx. 2) Ocalan himself no longer supports Kurdish secessionism. He used to be a Marxist and a separatist, but then abandoned both in favor of democratic confederalism, i.e. the devolution of power to the lowest possible level of government. Ocalan wants autonomous regions full of autonomous subregions full of autonomous municipalities full of autonomous neighborhoods run by directly elected local councils. It doesn't make sense to accuse an anarchist of wanting to create a state.

That said, it wouldn't hurt for the Kurds to turn down the hagiography just a little bit.

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