It was inconceivable a few years back, that two allies and members of NATO would be on the other side of the fence. This happened after Tayyip Erdogan become the president of Turkey. The Turks have mounted an offensive in North Syria dubbed "operation olive branch." The ostensible reason given is the rooting out of what Turkey considers a terrorist group of Kurds, who they feel is allied to the YPG. The battle, however, is not going to plan and the Turkish army has so far achieved only limited success.The Independent of the UK has reported that a helicopter of the Turkish army has been shot down by the Kurdish Peoples Protection Units north-west of the border town of Afrin.

This news is confirmed by a spokesman for the Kurdish militia, Mustafa Bali.

Turkish offensive

The Turkish army was ordered into Syria by Erdogan after the USA announced that it would be helping set up, arm and train a border defense force of Kurds. This incensed Erdogan who decide to attack despite the US cautioning him to against the move.

The Turkish News Agency has admitted that so far 19 soldiers have been killed and now an Augusta Westland T129 advanced attack helicopter has been shot down. The Kurds have claimed that the chopper was on an attack mission against them in Afrin. They have released a video of the downing of the chopper

Last stronghold against Assad

Afrin is the last stronghold of the opponents of President Assad.

The attack will only help Assad and there is a possibility that the Russians knew about the attack and had given their tacit assent. The USA is caught on the wrong foot and with the Turkey army in a rampant mood against the Kurds the American think tank and President trump will be wondering what to do next. Turkey is a member of NATO but the Kurds have been allies of the USA for many years.

All the weaponry with the Kurds was given by the USA and there is no doubt that the missile used to down the chopper must also have been given by the USA.

The battle lines are getting clearer in Syria and Assad is firmly in the saddle after a ferocious campaign by Russia. Indiscriminate bombing and attacks have resulted in severe losses to the ISIS.

Now with Turkey attacking the Kurdish militia, for long supported by America, there is a chance that American influence in Syria will be zero if the Kurds are defeated.


There does not appear to be much hope for the Kurds as Erdogan has declared that under no circumstances, will he withdraw the offensive. The only way the Kurds can be saved is by direct intervention by the USA but that will mean confronting Turkey. Trump has a difficult decision to make.