(Ankara) Last August after a suicide bomb attack on a Kurdish wedding inside Turkey , the Turks went into action against ISIS elements based across the border in Syria and they started their wee military adventure by attacking the Kurds. The same kurds who have (And still are) the most successful people to have taken on ISIS on the Battlefield. Anyway 7 months down the line and the Turks have declared 'Mission accomplish' in regards to Operation Euphrates Shield . The strange thing is taking into account the sheer size of the Turkish military, they actually haven't done much. Here's a map of the situation on the ground and at its furthest penetration the Turks have only managed to advance around 30 miles into Syria. (The distance from Aleppo to Al Bab is around 25 miles)
|Situation inside Northern Syria Feb 17: |
Key: Yellow=Kurds, Green (North) = Turks.Green (West)= Rebels Brownish/Grey=ISIS . Red= Syrian Government Map by Mr Penguin
After spending a couple of months in which to take the city of Al Bab and not exactly advancing much more than that, the Turkish Government have now declared that they have achieved everything that they set out to do and they are calling it a day. With the elections next month in which to grant Erdogan dictator like powers, the last thing the Turkish Government wants is Turkish military losses upsetting the apple-cart.
However whilst stating they have ended their military adventure inside Syria, the Turks haven't mentioned if they will pull out. (Highly unlikely for time been as this will allow the Kurds to link up)