"On March 5, the Pentagon announced that Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the area of Afrin had led to an “operational pause” in US-led efforts against ISIS in eastern Syria.
Pentagon spokesman Colonel Robert Manning added that the operational pause had not affected US strikes on ISIS and the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces still control territory it had seized.
Another Pentagon spokesman, Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway, said:
“Some fighters operating within the SDF have decided to leave operations in the middle Euphrates river valley to fight elsewhere, possibly in Afrin.”
Thus, Washington at least admitted that the YPG was the main if not only ground striking force of the SDF. Various US officials had repeatedly claimed that the SDF consisted of some mysterious Arab-dominated forces with some YPG presence.
On the other hand, the US will be able to justify their further military presence in eastern Syria with “we are fighting ISIS” mantra now as long as its operation is on “pause”." SF
The East Gouta operation goes on apace. That ought to be over in a week or so.
In the meantime The Turks and their FSA friends are steadily grinding their way forward toward Afrin City from several directions.
DoD's spokesman states above that ground operations against IS east of the Euphrates have of necessity been ended for the time because many YPG fighters have gone to Afrin to resist the Turks This must be causing a real identity crisis in DoD They are are caught up in an effort to square the circle by standing by "our" Kurds while not getting completely crosswise with Turkey. That is an impossible effort that will break down when "our" Kurds are being massacred by the Turkish Armed Forces. Evidently the SAG and the YPG Kurds still cannot agree on SAG authority in Afrin. That is a recipe for defeat at the hands of the Turks.
Sultan Tayyip I has been making revelatory and deluded statements. 1. He told the US he will give us an Ottoman slap. 2. He said that "we Turks will ride tanks where our ancestors rode horses." 3. He made a speech in which he told a little girl that she will be honored if she dies for the future of Turkey. She cried. 4. He has told reservists that they should be prepared to be called up for combat in Syria.
I think he is far gone in irredentist reveries. It is true that he wants to kill as many Kurds as possible , but IMO he mainly lusts to regain NW Syria. pl