Turkish troops have started crossing into Syria to force Kurdish militants away from its border.

Turkish jets started bombing the Syrian border on Monday night ahead of the ground invasion.

Syria’s Kurdish militant YPG group is the target in this invasion.

Turkey sees the YPG as a threat due to its link to the separatist PKK, another Kurdish group the Turkish government been battling for decades. It’s considered a terrorist organisation by the U.S. and the European Union.

More on this as it develops, in the meantime, follow this thread on Twitter:

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Andy P
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Andy P

Time to break out the popcorn… sh*t is about to get real.

Guy
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Guy

Couldn’t have put it a better way!

Steve
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Steve

Why did Sykes and Picot not give the Kurds there on homeland at the end of WW1?

john
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john

At that time they did not matter,a bit like now they have been abandoned by the USA.

dan
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dan

How long did u want the US troops to stay and protect them? 5, 10 25, 100 more years?? Time for the EU or someone else to start doing some of the work.

Lordtemplar
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Lordtemplar

The US are just offering support with aerial targeting etc.., they are hardly there in numbers only a few thousand nor are they clearing houses door to door in Raqaa. Over 10k Kurds have died fighting ISIS. If the Kurds no longer fight ISIS they will regenerate, and maybe we will see future terror attacks on US soil. Why is the EU responsible? The EU didn’t turn Iraq into a mess or start the Arab spring in the streets of Damascus. Whereas the US and its shortsighted middle east policies has only caused chaos for decades. Pretending the US is… Read more »

Elliott
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Elliott

Because they assisted the Turks in perpetrating the Armenian Genocide and there was a element of “okay you deserve each other”.

farouk
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farouk

I for one simply cannot understand the silence from the EU, the UN and the ethical latte brigade regards Turkey: 1) It occupies a large part of Armenia 2) It occupies a large part of Cyprus 3) It occupies a large part of Syria and is set to build on those holdings. 4) It is on record of funding and supporting ISIS (look up the Turkish news stories of how ISIS terrorists were treated in Turkish hospitals) 5) It is currently using its military to ‘annex’ a large part of the sea off Cyprus in which to search for oil.… Read more »

Lee1
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Lee1

I think there is more to it than that. It is likely a very complicated mess of diplomacy. I am baffled as to why Trump did this and it seems he had a dodgy curry the night before and woke up in a bad mood again. It will come back to bite us as if we need help from the Kurds again in the future (which we almost certainly will) the answer will likely involve a lot of swearing and a big “Hell No!” Turkey are not going to feel too threatened by Trumps sudden turn of face about destroying… Read more »

OldSchool
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OldSchool

Yes the Wonderful ethical EU. Agree their silence is to do with the the so called refugee deal that Merkel needed to save her skin.

Lee1
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Lee1

And the wonderful Ethical UK, US, Australia, Japan, Canada…. Why single out the EU here? Lets not forget that the US are the ones that told Turkey they can go ahead with the operation!

farouk
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farouk

Lee wrote:
“Lets not forget that the US are the ones that told Turkey they can go ahead with the operation!”

Actually they didn’t the US stated that they were pulling their troops out (A stance POTUS has promoted before he was elected) The official Whitehouse statement on the matter was:
“U.S. troops “will not support or be involved in the operation” and “will no longer be in the immediate area,” in northern Syria,”

Without wishing to come across as condescending, it helps if we read what was actually stated and not what the media wants you to hear.

Lee1
Guest
Lee1

Lets put more of that statement in in order to add context. “Today, President Donald J. Trump spoke with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey by telephone. Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria. The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial “Caliphate,” will no longer be in the immediate area” So Trump spoke to Erdogan who told him Turkey would be invading ASAP. Plus Trump retweeted this a few days ago. “Turkey is invading Northrrn Syria. The President… Read more »

Elliott
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Elliott

Our treaty is in the end with Turks and unless God moves the Bosporus and Dardanelles it will stay that way.
The Kurds were going to have to fight ISIS either way and were well compensated and supported for what they did. Saying they are owed anything is astounding.

Lee1
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Lee1

I think that they may be owed the right to live and not be slaughtered… I also think it is a good idea to be nice to allies in the region. After all we may well need their help again in the future (Although they will probably now all be dead anyway)

Elliott
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Elliott

Tell me something, what would you do about it? Demand the Armed Forces of the United States fire on a NATO member? Ask the American, British, or European people to deploy indefinitely to places they don’t care about? For people they care even less about?
This is Middle East nothing is ever simple and the YPG has never denounced the PKK who engage in habits not all that different from ISIS. In this world you must be valuable no President of any country has either the luxury or the right to be altruistic with the lives of their people.

Lee1
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Lee1

Yes, effectively. We should be protecting our allies. Turkey were never going to enter that region while even a handful of US soldiers were there. We can see the anger even from Trumps own senators! He took this decision unilaterally without even discussing it with the US military leaders or other allies in the region. The Kurds are persecuted by Turkey and have been for many years. They are banned from singing, banned from speaking their own language and suffer destruction of their towns all the time. Turkey effectively wiped out one entire town a few years ago then flattened… Read more »

Elliott
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Elliott

So either war or deployments without end? Targeted at what would be formerly allied country. That will go over well with the American people.

Lee1
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Lee1

It looks like the American people are also not Okay with throwing a helpless ally under the bus and sacrificing them to a mad dictator…

Turkey are effectively a former ally right now. They are not behaving like a partner NATO Nation.

David Flandry
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David Flandry

The US left the Kurds to fend for themselves after they helped the US in the was against ISIS. Trump will be a one-term president.

Russjm
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Russjm

so you hit the eu but not the uk, Canada, Australia or anyone else. You are a fool who frequently dévalues any argument by your involvement

Trevor
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Trevor

No comment about this in the BBC website.

SoleSurvivor
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SoleSurvivor

Too busy wetting themselves over Hong Kong

dave12
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dave12

Yet the BBC are covering it every 30 minutes on its 24 hour channel lol.

DaveyB
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DaveyB

My Son has a couple of friends from China (Shanghai). They new nothing of the troubles and protests in Hong Kong. They were also amazed at how much the “news” reported on the Government and ministers in a bad light. They said there was never any bad news or political wrong doings reported with their Government. I guess from this I am just glad we have a “free” press, even though the editors can be highly biased.

Lee1
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Lee1

They have a story about this on their main new pages

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-49978567

They often do not put up the latest situation immediately due to checking the facts first. Other sites put the stories up straight away and are sometime accurate and sometimes have to back track.

Trevor
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Trevor

Still looking on their news site headlines and its not there… But Wales beating Fiji is. So it’s clearly not important to them, and may be it isn’t.

Lee1
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Lee1

I posted a link to the story! Very few other respectable news outlets are reporting the actual invasion either, which leads me to think that it has not really started yet.

dave12
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dave12

I got a feeling Trevor will not listen to any help on this Lee1 and has a agenda with the BBC, reminds of a certain sect of people on the internet

Cam
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Cam

I’m not sure their tanks or APCs are that camouflaged. Maybe some bushes atop might help.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Poor Kurds. Pro western and we shaft them.

Lee1
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Lee1

Indeed, it is a huge mistake.

Herodotus
Guest

Not really, the Kurds are pro Kurdish and thought that they knew which side their bread was buttered on. Would have thought that they would have been a bit more suspicious of the West’s intentions! Weren’t Kurdish tribesmen gassed by the RAF in the 1920s? As for the silence by the EU on the matter, no doubt that this is down to the cowardly nature of EU politicians….you must remember that the EU is responsible for all that is bad in the world. At least, that is the primary school explanation!

Rob
Guest
Rob

Oh come on now, why make this about the “B” word again? I think most people would agree that abandoning your allies is a bad thing. Yes the Kurds needed to fight to save themselves but the US and many other nations were glad they did so as to avoid too many of their own troops being in harms way. To abandon them again (post gulf war 1 being the first) is pretty appalling. Nothing good will come of it.

Herodotus
Guest

I didn’t mention the B word. I was referring to comments made above about the EU’s lack of response…as if Boris had jumped on his high horse and condemned it…has he? Pots and kettles!

farouk
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farouk

H wrote: “As for the silence by the EU on the matter, no doubt that this is down to the cowardly nature of EU politicians….you must remember that the EU is responsible for all that is bad in the world. “ Really, don’t you think that: 1) The EU doesn’t want Turkey to open the flood gates and let in millions of migrants, something they have said they will do. I quote from the BBC last month: “Syria war: Turkey warns Europe of new migrant wave” Turkey has warned it may reopen the route for Syrian refugees to enter Europe… Read more »

Lee1
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Lee1

I may be wrong but the words “you must remember that the EU is responsible for all that is bad in the world” were sarcasm…

Herodotus
Guest

We do not know if Turkey has invaded! We do not know what communications have been made between the EU and Turkey. Does Dominic Raab keep you updated with British diplomatic messages.You clearly have your own thoughts on the matter, but don’t assume that if you don’t know about it then it isn’t happening. You may well be right about Turkey’s intentions, but whatever they are, you can’t blame the EU for them…why even bother?

Herodotus
Guest

Thanks Lee 1. I must apologise to Farouk as the BBC are now reporting the invasion (ergo, it must be true). By the way, to suggest that the EU are not doing anything about it is erroneous. Have a look at this BBC report from Germany.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-49988482

Steve Martin
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Steve Martin

I suspect we are about to see a huge amount of casualties on both sides, if their previous tactics are anything to go by.

farouk
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farouk

Steve M wrote:
I suspect we are about to see a huge amount of casualties on both sides, if their previous tactics are anything to go by.

The turks have started fitting the PULAT Active Protection System to its armour. (its Ukrainian) however unlike the Israel systems the vehicle mounts a unit (think single shot shotgun) at six places . Once used it has to be replaced Google:
Ukrainian APS to Protect Turkish Tanks in Syria
for more info. The problem I see here is if the same place is targeted a second time, then the vehicle will get hit.

Steve Martin
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Steve Martin

The more basic fix would have been to deploy infantry alongside their armour, I completely understand why they’ve gone for an APS though in this day and age. Single use is a pretty big issue I agree.

farouk
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farouk

Steve M wrote: The more basic fix would have been to deploy infantry alongside their armour, Oh I agree , but from their previous incursions into Syria, that Infantry support was lacking. Did make me wonder if the purges carried out on the Turkish army was to blame. There’s a video of a missile strike on a troop of Turkish tanks from 2016 and I simply cannot understand how the tank commanders never mind the troop 1/c parked their vehicles on the brow of a hill in open sight. No forward deployed infantry, few vehicles under/behind /cover or even dug… Read more »

Steve Martin
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Steve Martin

Yeah I’ve seen that one. Makes you wonder how switched on they are.

Lordtemplar
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Lordtemplar

Kick Turkey out of Nato, impose sanctions, stop giving money to Erdogan and his refugee blackmail, give that money instead to Greece and Bulgaria to police the border with Turkey. Also we could get MBDA to supply Kurds with ATGM Turkey has been supporting ISIS and letting radicalized EU citizens join ISIS for too long. If the Kurds are wiped who will fight ISIS on our behalf? The Bosphorous is not really as strategic as some claim. It has always been more important for the Russians to get access to the Med, but now they have a port in Syria.… Read more »

Elliott
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Elliott

The Bosporus and Dardanelles are really that strategic. You cannot seal them off without control of the city of Istanbul and lodgements on the coast of Anatolia.
Kick Turkey out of NATO, impose sanctions and give ATGMs to the Kurds? You do realize the first is politically impossible and the last would lead to war?
How do you propose getting Greece and Bulgaria to police the Turkish border? What measures would you use more internment camps? Shoot those who resist arrest? Let me guess you also virtue signal against President Trump’s wall?

Lordtemplar
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Lordtemplar

Bosphorus is not strategic since its only importance was Russian access to the Med. Russians now have a port to the Med via Tartus in Syria. Please explain why you think this is strategic? Just saying so doesn’t make it so If needed any traffic via Bosphorus can easily be blockaded via Bulgaria and Greece. Missiles, ships, subs, planes can all easily make sure of that. We do not need Turkey, who is getting closer to Russia; so expecting them to act against their new found friend is optimistic The land border between EU and Turkey is less than 300… Read more »

Elliott
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Elliott

Why am I in favor of doing nothing? Because at the end of the day it is none of our God damned business. The Turks and Kurds have been killing each other for hundreds of years. It is not our affair. The YPG has NEVER repudiated, condemned, or even cut ties with the PKK. A known terrorist organization that has a habit of blowing up soccer stadiums, airports, and other civilian targets. Why should I care about ISIS if I am breaking bread with another terrorist? As for what actually “destroyed” ISIS? Bombing massive amounts of bombing targeted by special… Read more »

dan
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dan

I feel bad for the innocent people the Turks will kill but am glad Trump got our boys out of this hell hole. These idiots have been fighting each other for a very long time and will continue fighting for many decades to come. Trump needs to pull our boys out of Iraq next or we’ll be stuck in that hell forever.

Airborne
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Airborne

The Turks are pretty crap at soldiering, tactically pretty inept and use of conscripts reduces effectiveness. Since 2016, in Northern Syria they have been getting their arses kicked pretty effectively. However, and a big however, they do have a decent airforce, and their army has mass, and numbers, and that can be a quality of its own! The Turks are now doing what they have been planning all along. With Russian help, they have spent the last couple of years hitting shit loads of Kurdish targets with air strikes and Arty, while reducing strikes against ISIS. The Turks will do… Read more »

Elliott
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Elliott

Pretty much the most likely way it will play out.

Lordtemplar
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Lordtemplar

Aren’t they flying old F16C/D models? Hardly state of the art but i guess it will do the job in northern Syria without any opposing airforce or AA threat. Didn’t the Greeks down a Turkish F16D with a Mirage 2000 back in 1996? Turkey likes to boast it’s the second power in NATO, since it has thousands of tanks but most are m60 and m48 Pattons, some old leopard a4 bought second hand from Germany. And of course an impressive 400k personel, but in reality its 77k pro and the rest conscripts. Turkish army is a sad joke with mostly… Read more »

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

Who cares if they see themselves as “the second power in NATO”, lots of countries like to big themselves up. They’re maybe not at the cutting edge of military technology but probably enough to give the Kurds a hard time. Especially if their new BFF is happy to support them.

Lordtemplar
Guest
Lordtemplar

Russia has said it was against this Turkish invasion, so has Iran. Putin is more Iran and Assad’s buddy and having the port of Tartus. Syria and Turkey are not allies, and Russia is clearly on Syria’s side. Don’t forget not so long ago Turkey shot down a Russian plane. Erdogan is just the useful idiot to piss off the US and cause trouble within Nato which pleases Putin

Andy P
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Andy P

Lordtemplar, all good points and I hope you’re right mate. Apart from the F YOU to NATO (and particularly the US) Turkey could be a very useful ally to Russia so if in the balance they thought Turkey was a better option they may hedge their bets and look to keep both onside or drop Syria for Turkey.

Just spitballing really, we’ll see what we get.

Ulya
Guest
Ulya

Andy, Turkey will not be a Russian ally, not in the west way of formal alliance, they have agenda, we have agenda, we will work together where mutual benefit happens but with knowledge that Turkey will play East and west against each other to get the best deal, all understandable and expected. It will come down to who has better diplomats and can offer Turkey more

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

You could be right Ulya, each piece on the board will be doing their own thing. There does seem to be a bit of ‘distance’ opening up between Turkey and The West. If they have some kind of regime change, that might change again.

Basically it’s a big soap opera really, just with potentially dire consequences.

Elliott
Guest
Elliott

You haven’t ever been bombed or shelled have you?
Also their F-16s are in the process of being upgraded to Block 50+ standard. In addition they have plenty of helicopter gunships to provide additional CAS. Further you can be reasonably assured their rules of engagement are going to be a hell of a lot more permissive with air and artillery fire.

dan
Guest
dan

Something tells me the Turks aren’t going to like all the TOW missiles that the Kurds have. lol