Observers of Erdogan’s policy revealed that he completely relied on his intelligence service and went ahead with its plan to insert HTS into the map of Afrin to achieve several goals. He ignored the advice and position of the Turkish army, rejecting and warning of the consequences of getting involved in changing the “sensitive” reality in the region, which it occupied in March 2018.
The sources indicated that Erdogan realized suddenly, after ten days of the raging conflict in Afrin between his mercenaries and HTS, the error of intelligence calculations after the international reactions condemning the move, especially the position of the US administration. He entrusted the Ministry of Defense in his country with the task of temporarily turning to correct the mistake by instructing HTS to withdraw its military columns in front of the media lenses to calm the internal tension among the residents of the occupied areas and the reactions to the measure and its ill-considered consequences.
The sources confirmed that Erdogan did not completely retreat from his plan to float Al-Nusra internationally as a “moderate” organization and impose his model of judging Afrin and Aleppo’s northern and northeastern countryside after he realized the bad output of the operation. However, he slowly braked and began betting on the implementation of plan B for the operation, which requires hiding the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda under the cloak of its allies of Ankara mercenaries inside Afrin and maintaining its control over the city and its countryside through public security and the management of checkpoints affiliated with the organization. This is all pending the Turkish regime re-evaluating the plan to start again in achieving its agenda.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.