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tv   Inside Story 2018 Ep 21  Al Jazeera  January 22, 2018 10:32am-11:00am +03

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now u.s. vice president mike pence is in israel as part of his middle east tour where prime minister benjamin netanyahu called him a great friend but palestinians of the hard west bank protested against his rival it is the highest level u.s. visit since president decided to recognize truth from israel's capital in december . hundreds of thousands of federal employees in the u.s. will have to stay at home as the government shutdown continues all money for federal agencies was cut off on saturday after the senate failed to pass a funding bill a new vote on the spending bill is due in the coming hours. has exploded at a market in southern thailand three people and injuring dozens more that happened in the southern province of yala no one has claimed responsibility it is the first attack of its kind in months in the region. a plan to repatriate hundreds of thousands of one hundred refugees to myanmar which was due to begin on tuesday has been delayed bangladesh and myanmar had agreed to send back around seven hundred
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fifty thousand refugees who fled ethnic violence and rock on stage the repatriation process as expected to take two years as the headlines and side story is coming off next. documentaries. at this time on al-jazeera. a new front in syria's war turkey launches and ground attacks on the u.s. backed kurdish fighters in northern syria but what are the implications of uncoerced olive branch operation and what does it leave relations with washington this is inside story.
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hello and welcome to the program and. incisively began this year asking whether to thousands and eighteen could see the end of in the seventy year long war in syria latest events would suggest the conflict is instead changing course turkey has lost asterix in the north as a direct response to the u.s. decision to back it border security force in the region the force mostly made up of kurdish troops who helped get rid of i still was control of this area of syria neither russia nor syria are happy about the announcement but turkey feels particularly threatened it has violent to quote unquote strangle the force before it's born and it's with that aim that turkey launched the offensive on saturday first targeting the city of offering turkish ground troops crossed into the district on sunday after night of ass riots and artillery fire three in is
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a stronghold for the syrian codas group the white b.g. wish turkey considers a terrorist organization that's because of his alleged ties to the p.k. k. a kurdish group fighting for autonomy in turkey. and took his presence has the next targets will be members of the syrian city recover from ice into thousand and sixteen by a kurdish led force also backed by the u.s. but opposed by turkey stephanie decker has more from the turkey syria border. shortly before sunset on saturday turkey launched its air campaign on africa in turkish officials had said all week that the operation was imminent. much of the president. spoke just a few hours before the jets to call them academy. we would wipe out this corridor will step by step starting from the west africa operation has to factor started in the field this will be followed by ben being much since the promises made it up
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maybe you should look and kept so far nobody could say anything when we do what is necessary. throughout the morning along turkey's western border with the turkish army had brought in bulldozers gravel and concrete blocks appearing to build up their defenses along the border with syria. tank shelled specific locations on the mountain hours later this mountain would be targeted by airstrikes the army made us move from this position a few hours before the campaign officially began this is just one of the locations that the turkish army is shelling out free in is pretty much surrounded turkey to its west and north and there's also been a build up inside syria by free syrian army fighters to the east about three now those are the rebels that turkey supports. turkey and reinforce the f.s.a. with thousands more men over the last few days these buses drove the fighters across the border into syria they will be part of a ground offensive against the y.p. ji the kurdish group turkey considers to be
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a terrorist organization it is also however the group the americans consider their best ally in fighting eisel the international dimensions are vast russia and now wants to pulled out a few hundred military personnel that had enough money in shortly after the campaign started and russia controls this air space meaning turkey could not be flying their planes without russia's consent turkey says it is only targeting what it calls terrorists but there are already reports coming out of africa in that civilians have been affected it seems syria seven year war is entering yet another phase stephanie decker al-jazeera on the turkey syria border. let's bring in our panel joining us from istanbul sinan ogun chairman of the center for economic and foreign policy studies in london going to a visiting fellow of the european council for the relations and in washington d.c.
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which had why its director of the center for political military analysis at the hudson institute welcome to you or mr erdogan are like to ask you this what is if that which turkey aims to achieve this cross border operation well does it close your military objective and secondly a political objective the military objective is to eliminate the influence of the syrian people why the which is seen as the extension of the terror organization from this is the pockets of after in there and politically turkey wants to assert itself as a regional actors that will have influence in the medium term over the negotiations for a political settlement in syria ok mr yelled as the surrogate has been talking about a military objective and a political run let's talk
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a little bit with the military aspect of this story which is basically taken on the y p d to id in athlete and members are we talking about an isolated military operation there with the will and there when the idea is evicted from both areas or this is something that could further be extended to the northern is part of syria. well if you listen to the turkish officials the. aim of the operation is declared as eliminating the power of why p.j. across northern syria so they define it in a more broad the way but militarily it's an extremely risky move because we can compare this against the turkish military is displayed. performance in albert for example two years ago when they were carrying out an operation against the demoralized isis in a town which is way too similar smaller than a much smaller than our friend bob and it took the operation took three months and i says inflicted heavy casualties on turkish soldiers at that time and also we can
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compare turkish military capacity in the urban warfare urban clashes inside turkey against probably k.-k. fighters at that time and if you compare this to with afrin which is a much less accessible territory compared to above and a much larger area and turkey will be facing against them and motivated disciplined force which is well armed and in this area is actually a pro predominantly kurdish area so it will all these things will make the military very risk inside syria but also this can inflame the fighting inside turkey between the p.k. and turkey and showed in the past that it can take a little six to prevent turkey from attacking syria mr white over the last six years of the conflict in syria of the y p g which is the military branch of the pew id has been extending its influence from the northeastern part of syria from kabbani. all the way to our three in the aim is to sort of link up all those
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three cantons which considers to be a counter of terrorism so we're talking about an isolated operation or do you think that is now determined this is going to be a very long military operation until the influence of the why p.g. or the idea is undermined. that's a great question and we actually dissed don't know the answer i mean the we've had a series of turkish military operations against curtis forces in iraq and now syria. operate operation ready shield which was the precursor of to the current operation lasted some time but then the turks withdrew i mean that the the challenge and i like the way the first guests frame this as the both political and military dimension the military objective will of course strongly influence how
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long croaky stay there so if turkey can quickly defeat and drive off a lot of the syrian the syrian kurdish forces. and then the syrian government moves in and then they can withdraw but the political issue is complicated in that russia and the u.s. are not happy but will not i think will limit the pressure they'll do to try and reverse this but at the syrian government it kili would be very uncomfortable doing it how allowing a turkish control turkish and claves in their northern reporter for any length of time so this may be resolved quickly at the upcoming peace talks in sochi or through rest an hour geneva or this if the turkish government's willing to to confront the syrian government very small and really and perhaps hurt its relations with the united states and russia then they may decide it's worth staying in and
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the turkish government so in a determination to ignore the pressure of other governments when it when it wants i mean the for the turkish government to be able to advance its political agenda when it comes to this with the oprah she needs to win the war as soon as possible but you know that if they want to go to members they will have to move deep at about one hundred kilometers into syria when you go into a new style environment you're talking about massive wistful that has moved three. sure but i think we're getting ahead of ourselves right now the target is the often region not the member treason and even to carry out a military operation successfully across kjartan region will require a degree of considerable risk and military commitment so right now the challenge for turkey is to accelerate the success of the so creation turkey does not want
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to be pulled in a quagmire a bit like israel was for instance when it didn't fight the hizbullah up saw the object the minute your objective of a turkish authorities is to carry this out as soon as possible and this is what we see with the size of the operation we're talking about on the ration where more than seventy turkish fighter planes are involved in a territory that is very limited and i think the planning is that turkish heavy out of the region will be backing the free syrian army as the main that this but eventually turkish led forces may also be involved so i think right now the target is the african region and turkey will be all the more successful if international actors like the u.s. and russia actually convinced the white keiji to pull back from this region. then
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that's going to be quite important in determining how long the operation will last the say yet is there why p.g. is backed by the united states of america in fact the u.s. has on pes name operating train training the v y p g in that particular area the turks are very much wet about the situation the been very critical of the presence of the american troops on the border with turkey it was a shift of the narrative now in cut off from criticism into a military action. i think we need to look at the developments in egypt actually to really understand why it happened to now because this attack hasn't as is not an offensive it's not and is not a surprise when i was in northern syria like two months ago this was the talk of the day with fighters and commanders and other people they were all expecting such an offensive but what happened in italy but i mean the turkish offensive in northern italy to against. radical elements there actually didn't
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end up the way the syrian regime or row russian forces wanted to see it so that the syrian regime now is in moving into northern no isn't it libya and poor pushing the rebels and other groups in that area so turkey so that the window of opportunity for turkey to trade something in it live again stuff in or to do some more activities inside syria is actually closing down so that's one factor explains why after two years of threatening for an offensive why to okie acted in this but i think we need to bring in the also the domestic political elements in turkey in order to explain why this diplomatically very challenging military leave very risky and politically very problematic operation and why it is happening now because president i don't say our party is alliance with the right wing political groups in turkey the far right political parties and secularist nationalists required this
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kind of offensive against the kurds and also it will help probably poor politically present out on to galvanize and mobilize his the masses behind him for the two thousand and nineteen election missa why it's the americans now a fait face a challenge here on one hand they consider the wipe easy to be the the most legitimate ally in the fight against isis in syria over the same time they cannot afford to further upset another the region which is turkey what what are the options now for the americans. yes this is been a longstanding problem with the u.s. operations in both iraq and more recently syria and i would say that what they consider what these images the most legitimate i think they consider them to be the most effect of the horses allied with the united states i mean they as you know cleve cover this in earlier programs the u.s.
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tried for years to create its own separate military force there's a lot of training but very ineffective so what we have now is a y p g and the reason why the u.s. is backing the y.p. now is to one for military reasons to make sure there's a force fighting the groups that the u.s. most concerned about isis now qaida there's always a bit of concern that the russians hearing government pro-rata is not that and to for if again we're going to this military slash political framework that was laid out in the opening question i think that the political objectives are united states are to make sure have some say in the peace process it's long as there's a u.s. backed force in syria then the russian syrian arraign in representatives involved in any kind of post conflict scenario in syria have to take the us into account the problem is that as as we know the turkish government is hypersensitive
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about kurds in iraq and syria and possibly iran all that's happened is very high profile in recent years because of its own kurdish minority and the implications in terms that it say if the kurds gain autonomy in one of these countries then that's going to threaten turkish autonomy when i think it one question going back to the question about why now for the first one when trump was elected there was a lot of speculation that his national security advisor michael flynn and other members of ministration would try and reach out to heir to want to sacrifice. the currents turn over the. people who don't pick turkish government wants to send it back for trial that they claim or involved in the coup and so on but that quickly faded and then there is a so recent mis announcement misstatements make clear and clear what what happened but there is a somehow gotten the news that the u.s.
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is going to set up a thirty thousand a man exactly and this is ours is. made up of kurds and that seemed to provoke right and that appears to have provoked a lot of alarm in ankara even though the us tonight it and i think that's where we are now going forward it's just going it's going to challenge i mean the u.s. says yes but still now isn't isn't the scimitar similar in discontent over u.s. role in the region has been go to quite some time i've been hearing over the last few months many statements coming from basically lashing out of the noses of america mr. mr. what are the options now for turkey do you think that this till a wiggle room for settlement with united states of america about how to move forward or do you think the turkish military and political establishment have made up their mind to go to continue the the push whatever it takes. or well i mean turkey or will try to get both at the same plan in the sense that now there is
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poor decision has been made in the turkish government or to start this military campaign so turkey will surely continue just nutri campaign until it is successfully concluded but at the same time do us is turkey's partner in nato or the us has influence in syria sold there is a need to establish the grounds for having a more productive dialogue with the us in particular or for turkey for that security challenges emanating from the instability in syria but also in your act so i think turkey we want to have those two at the same time and they're not necessarily mutually exclusive mysie yielders there's another key player in syria russia it has recently put artistry of from a free the only statement of the back of this mitta operation is
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a short one asking turkey to show restraint is this russia way of saying you know what we have absolutely no problem with you continue your operation against the kurds well if you look at the syria map today the almost one third of the territories being controlled by kurdish led forces in s.d.s. and the rest is mostly controlled by. syria region which is the main ally of russia on the ground and russia would want to i mean it makes sense for russia to involve turkey into this in this equation to put extra pressure on the kurds to make them maybe accept more concessions against the regime such as maybe handing over some oil fields in there as already to the regime or some kodesh officials inside syria actually made said that russia actually offered them or as such i thought that they should leave off into the rich. team handover a friend to the region so that they can prevent a turkish offensive in the region which was which wasn't allowed by which would was
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an accepted by the white b.g. and in another interesting thing is that the focus of the battle inside syria has shifted very recently from. isis to power play between russia and the us and also an endgame in syria now we have two main forces on the ground that will probably either fight or negotiate a settlement in syria and russia wants to play as you point out in force his own yes mr weiss we're talking about three players with different agendas in syria turkey which supports the opposition and is keen about ensuring security all the border russia was supposed president bush other less of you know this is of america which been which has been the main backer of the kurds is there any concern that if the conflicts continue the potential for a nickel for tension between the three key players is very high no i consider that the actual risk of a direct conflict between the parties minimal there may be another incident like
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the turkish shooting down of a russian airplane although more likely the reverse of russian in syria than a turkish plane but i think that would be managed the problem we have in syria is not just those three players i could think you know we can easily think of a dozen players that are all involved the syrian and russian alliances close but assad has his own agenda the iranian equation is very much are concerned the united states it's less concern for turkey and russia sees iran at least in syria's an ally but there are differences of course israel's question is the iraqi government's desire to sear the border. and so on so there are just about it and then there's a local combatants the opposition forces which are all divided and it's easy for them to want a miniscule way one of the big three powers we talked about i mean. would like to have the turks as involved. further in washington ankara divide the
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opposition on the other hand there are various groups that have different agendas so this is a real mess the whole syrian problem that is why the fighting continues in. front of the emergency meeting of the united nations security council. to stop the missi operation if the international sentiments goes against this operation will uncover to consider this move. or not i think that turkey is now or ready to face whatever consequences international there may be or until it decides on its own to end this operation but we should also all nor that the war start or the operation was conditional on some sort of a between ankara and russia even that this is a region under russian influence or saw or if this is going to be tabled at
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un security council or at least for good coming days or i would expect a mosque or two back on president and that in some way or another can change over time but as things stand i think the discussions at the un security council are not like deterrent against ankara mr you'll does this raise with a question which should be now the top priority for the international community this conflict in the northern part of syria or solving the syrian conflict on its own i think you know the focus of the conflict now is slightly moving into into this region because if as i said the s d f y p g is the second largest power on the ground if they are weak and if they. are involved in battles against turkey state and political troubles in the region then we might see other groups like the previous lost their power power in iraq and other places can pop up
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a couple pop out up because of you know y.p. g.'s attention being focused on turkey so it can further destabilize the region i think the main focus of the international community should be to mediate between the s.d.f. turkey russia. and the us i think europe which is very become more like a less relevant actor and of fight despite being bearing. brunt of the fighting in syria with the refugees and attacks in iraq could play a significant role here by mediating between these forces because of actually their economy power political. leverage on russia turkey and others and tokyo and the kurds are two potential allies of europe in the syrian conflict john sinan going to yield is richard weiss thank you very much indeed for your contributions of program and thank you for watching you can see the program again any time by
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visiting our website dot com for further discussion go to our facebook page that's facebook dot com forward slash a james i sorry you can also join the conversation on twitter our handle is. from me on the whole team here by phone now. the latest news as it breaks the government of mali so maggie has pushed to have a series of laws that if as will make argentina's economy more competitive with detailed coverage in two thousand and sixteen when the government struck something doesn't rattle the cost of college or jumped by sixty percent the queues disappear at least for a year from around the world the military and the establishment in the capital bangkok know that it's very difficult for them to win support in parts of thailand like this. personal stories of lebanese villages on the border with israel
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the blue line runs through this period their daily struggles and the moment when we go get emergency forces stop us when we go there they're sure that those who are void and peaceful protests do reason in the place of the interior means the friends and resistance that at this new time it's means not for night and freedom life on the edge of cross border tension lebannon living on the blue line at this time on al-jazeera. our jews here. and. where every.
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now. it's the school election and the candidates are pulling out oh the stops votes i can i make you have named him. gifts and the outcome as i say if he's telling me has an opinion society. a good solid vote at this time on al-jazeera. turkey says its offensive in northern syria would stall stablished a security zone along the border.

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