The Seven Year Freeze (2017-2024) was a period of time specific to the Middle East in which high tensions rose to new and unforeseen levels. The conflict is seen historically as a direct predecessor to armed conflicts which would then subsequently lead to World War III.
The Seven Year Freeze was a tension between NATO and its aligned forces in the middle east and what would become known controversially as "The Destructive Force", those who either supported and defended the Assad Regime in Syria or those who supported ISIL and other jihadist groups.
Timeline of Events
Pre No-Fly Zone (November 2015 - May 2017)
13 November, 2015 - A series of coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris kill 130 innocent civilians by way of three suicide bombs and shootings making it the second worst terrorist attack in French history. ISIL would soon claim responsibility for the attack. The attack and its large global reaction created irrational fears of refugees flooding from a war torn and dangerous Syria, specifically across Europe. The push towards creating a solution to the Refugee Crisis increased with the attacks.
20 November, 2015 - A Russian bomber aircraft is shot down near the Syria-Turkey border by a Turkish fighter jet. Both pilots who were controlling the aircraft ejected, with one being rescued on the ground and one being shot midair by Syrian Turkmen rebels. According to Turkey, the aircraft had been shot down inside Turkish airspace after it had been warned to change its course while Russian officials dismissed the claim, stating that the aircraft had never left Syrian airspace. President Vladimir Putin soon dubbed Turkish forces as "terrorist accomplices". The shoot down marked the first time since the 1950s in which a Soviet/Russian military aircraft had been shot down by a NATO member.
25 November, 2015 - Turkish and Russian foreign ministers speak over phone, stating that both government would not initiate war as a result of the shoot down.
26 November, 2015 - The Russian government announces economic sanctions on Turkey due to the shoot down, later shelving plans for a multibillion dollar gas pipeline that would have ran through Turkey from Russia.
30 November, 2015 - Across Europe and North America, many politicians and normal people begin suggesting that Turkey and their government are a threat to NATO, and that their inclusion in the group should be questioned thanks to their overreaction to the Russian aircraft flying within their airspace.
15-19 December, 2015 - Republican and Democratic debates are held between United States candidates for president. When asked on the issue of the recent shoot down multiple candidates expressed their desire for the creation of a no-fly zone over northern Syria, notably including democratic candidate Hilary Clinton. They state that the no-fly zone would allow for a safe haven for Syrian refugees inside their country. The Obama administration continues their stance in that a no-fly zone would be ineffective, resource inefficient, and dangerous for the region.
25 December, 2015 - Russian bombers conduct a large and deadly attack on Syrian Turkmen rebel forces in northern Syria in support of the Assad regime. Over 60 die in the attack, including notable leaders of the forces originating from Turkey. Turkey condemns the attack and issues warning towards Russian forces in Syria to both distance themselves from the Turkey-Syria border and to end their strikes on Syrian Turkmen.
2 January, 2016 - Iran, adding to the global reaction to the Russian attack, reiterates their dedication to the Assad regime in ridding Syria of all rebels, commending Russia on their efforts.
8 November, 2016 - Hilary Clinton is elected President-elect of the United States, garnering 55% of the vote against Jeb Bush. Soon after her election, she reiterates her stance on "creating stability in Syria" by instating a no-fly zone in the north. She suggests partnership with Russia on the operation despite their lack of cooperation in American requests for an end to their attacks on Syrian anti-Assad rebels.
29 April, 2017 - Operation Ground Control begins. With large public support from the United States public, a US/Turkish-lead coalition begins their ground offensive in the north of Syria to secure territory and create a buffer zone between Turkey and ISIL/Syrian controlled territory. As is planned, the territory sought out to be captured will be subsequently protected by a no-fly zone.
20 May, 2017 - Turkish, rebel, and American forces complete Operation Ground Control securing territory in northwest Syria. The region of occupation is majorly concentrated with Syrian Turkmen rebels.
22 May, 2017 - The Russian government condemns the completed ground offensive in northern Syria, suggesting that by aiding rebels, specifically Syrian Turkmen, the United States, Turkey, and all NATO forces involved in the operation are "on the side of terrorism". Putin states in a speech made in Belarus that "the no-fly zone approved by NATO will only lead to an increased potential threat".
26 May, 2017 - The Clinton administration officially instates a no-fly zone over Northern Syria in regions secured by American troops and bases capable of continuous air survey. The no-fly zone, Clinton assures, "will create a buffer zone between the complications of Syria and Turkey for refugees and to uphold border security. Not only will the zone provide a haven for refugees, but for rebels fighting against the treacherous Assad regime and ISIL." The United States warns specifically Russia that non-NATO members who violate the no-fly zone will be subsequently shot down.
The Secure No-Fly Zone (June 2017-)1 June, 2017 - 5400 American ground troops begin to be sent into the no-fly zone of Syria to act as protectorates. A NATO coalition, including French, Turkish, Italian, and German forces all contribute to the US-led securing of the region flooding in troops across the Turkey-Syria border.
5 June, 2017 - In a heated phone call between US President Clinton and Russian president Vladimir Putin, it is made clear that Russian attacks against Syrian rebels will not cease within Syria. Despite this, Russia chooses to cooperate with the NFZ, stating that they have "no intention of breaching the secured area for the upkeep of security.
10 June, 2017 - Over 13,000 NATO troops are stationed within the NFZ to uphold their control over the region. The southeast border between the NFZ is heavily guarded while experiencing heavy attack from ISIL controlled territory. Rebel camps and training camps facilities to flood into the NFZ as is allowed by the NATO coalition, planning on beginning an offensive bordering against ISIL forces.