The bigger update, however, centers on the conflict brewing between Russia and the U.S. over Syria's renewed use of chemical weapons against rebel forces. US SECSTATE Rex Tillerson placed "ultimate responsibility" for the renewed chemical warfare upon Russia, accusing the Russian government of "shielding" the Al-Assad regime from full exposure of its war crimes and crimes against humanity from 2013 to the present. Strong words. This is the kind of thing - in northwestern Syria no less - that could lead to the kind of catastrophe foretold by Jeremiah.
21 January 2018: Turkish artillery and jets bombing the Afrin district of Aleppo Governorate as part of their proclaimed "Operation Olive Branch" have been met by stiff resistance from the Kurds of the YPG militia. This morning the Kurds stuck back at the town of Reyhanli in Turkey's Hatay Province to the west and the town of Kilis to the north with rocket fire. With the Turkish bombardment killing Kurdish civilians, the Kurds decided to return fire in an eye-for-eye fashion upon Turkey itself. Turkish hatred of the Kurdish people is reminiscent of the Turkish hatred of the Armenian people and the resultant genocide of the early 20th Century. Is history repeating itself?
There is also a key distinction to be made in this part of Syria for the benefit of our readers in their understanding of the war. The Free Syrian Army (FSA) here is more correctly identified as the Turkish Free Syrian Army (TFSA), and is not to be confused with the Free Syrian Army operating in other battlefields of the Syrian Civil War. The TFSA was re-branded the Syrian National Army (SNA) by Turkey in May of 2017 during its Operation Euphrates Shield (OES), the purpose of which was to prevent the Kurds of northern Syria from establishing contiguous territory under their control along the length of the Turkish border. Members of the TFSA/SNA are primary Turkomen and Arabs and are without question a proxy force under Turkish government control. They fight against the SDF/YPG within the U.S.-led CJTF-OIR. This would appear to make the life expectancy of Turkish membership within NATO one of very limited duration should things go from bad to worse.
It must be noted that since the start of the Syrian Civil War, this region of Syria has not seen major warfare erupt until yesterday. The relative peace enjoyed by hundreds of thousand of civilian populations on both side of the border came to an abrupt end when Turkey's Islamist warlord Erdogan launched his grossly misnamed 'Operation Olive Branch' at 5 PM local time yesterday. The objective of this Turkish aggression is genocide of the indigenous Kurdish population and the destruction of the US-allied YPG. In sum, Turkey has unilaterally widened the war in Syria.
The U.S. is "very concerned" with Turkey's military invasion and is pressing the Turks hard to limit the scope of Operation Olive Branch, recognizing that it unnecessarily and severely hampers the central goal in the war against the Islamic State. (U.S. State Department press release).
20 January 2018: Northwestern Syria slowly turned into quite the expected conflagration this week thanks to the Islamist warmonger of Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The U.S. practically begged Erdogan to stand down on his threats to the Kurds (YPG militia) in Afrin.