January 30, 2018

Afrin: The Kurds Have Been Exchanged for a Gas Pipe


Vadym Volokhov

In each case, sooner or later the question of the price arises. In the case of the Kurds of Afrin it is a “pipe”. A gas pipe.

As of January 28, 2018, the offensive of the Syrian troops in the area of Idlib almost stopped.

On behalf of the “Tigers”' Commander Suheil, a statement has been made that the attack will not be repeated till security around the Abu al-Duhur Airbase will be ensured.

At this, a significant part of the “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) militants are relocated to the Afrin area.


Commander of the Syrian Armed Forces' Mobile Assault Brigade “Tiger Force” Major General Suheil Salman al-Hassan, born in 1970 in Jableh, Latakia Governorate. Hassan is an Alawite.

He graduated from the Syrian Arab Air Force Academy in 1991.

A military commander of a new formation. All the operations carried out by his Brigade were successful.

At the front since 2011. A National Hero of Syria; according to the French newspaper Le Monde, he can successfully replace Bashar Assad.

Parts of Turkish troops and FSA units entered the territory of the province of Aleppo to establish block posts and prevent possible attempts by Syrian troops to block their offensive in the depths of the Afrin Canton.

The question arises: “what has happened?” What has happened is that in recent days there have been two events that can be considered separately from each other, but it is better to consider them together. These events are directly related to the vital interests of Turkey, the United States and Russia.

Ankara allowed Russian “Gazprom” to build a second line of the “Turkish Stream”. According to Chairman of the Board of “Gazprom” A. Miller, both lines will be put into operation by the end of 2019.

Second event: Ankara launched its operation in northern Syria against the Kurds in Afrin, seeking to guarantee the security of its borders with Syria, to suppress the Syrian Kurds of the Afrin Canton (for their “terrorist activity” against Turkey) and to add part of the Syrian territory to Turkey.

That's it! The haggling took place, Moscow made a dream come true and the Kurds have been “poured down the pipe.”

Upon the completion of the construction, “Gazprom” will be able to pump up to 30 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe through two lines of the sub sea gas pipelines per year, of which 15.75 billion cubic meters will remain in Turkey for domestic needs.

Don't forget that the length of the gas pipeline will be 1100 km, of which 600 km has already been laid. It has also become known that the Turkish side began building a receiving terminal for the gas pipeline.

What will be the benefit from this bargaining between Ankara and Moscow?

Firstly, the “Turkish Stream” and the “Blue Stream” coming from Russia along the bottom of the Black Sea, as well as the “Southern Gas Corridor” from Azerbaijan in 18 months will turn Turkey into a “gas hub”, which will significantly increase its political and energy status in Europe.

Secondly, the construction of the onshore part of the gas pipeline will create at least up to 15 thousand new jobs. Besides, the “Turkish Stream” will fully provide Turkey with the gas it needs more and more with each year coming. For example, according to Milliyet newspaper, by 2020, Turkey will need for domestic consumption about 56 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

As for Russia, having launched the “Turkish Stream”, it will not pay for the transit of gas to Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania and Ukraine. At one time, Bulgaria did not let Moscow construct the “South Stream” from Anapa to Varna, which had to transport to European countries up to 62 billion cubic meters of gas per year.


The “South Stream” — unrealized project of a gas pipeline on the bottom of the Black Sea from the Anapa (Russia) to the seaport of Varna (Bulgaria).

The two lines of the gas pipeline were to cross the Balkan Peninsula to Italy and Austria.

Construction began on December 7, 2012 and was scheduled to end in 2015. The capacity of the gas pipeline was 63 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Estimated cost was 16 billion Euros.

On April 17, 2014, the European Parliament passed a resolution to stop the construction of this gas pipeline.

And even more so, under such circumstances, further offensive in the area of Idlib for Russia has become a secondary task. Having betrayed the Kurds, it managed to avoid a conflict with Turkey and received a permit for the construction of the gas pipeline. Now for Moscow, the most important thing is to wait for such circumstances (or to create such circumstances) under which Turkey will again need it, and then Moscow will start haggling again. To date, it has such a chance: Afrin is supplied through territories controlled by Syria and Russian military.

Thus, everything has fallen into a groove: Russia is building a gas pipeline through the Turkish economic zone. Turkey will, if it can, block the Kurdish exit to the Mediterranean Sea through the southern part of the Afrin Canton, and will open up not only an energy corridor for the transportation of oil and gas, but also a military one, which will greatly complicate the USA's access to it.


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