Freitag, 9. Februar 2018

Background on Erdogans War on Syrian Kurds

The western response to the atrocities of Tayyip Erdogan against the enclave of Afri in Syria has been largely silence. The media does not provide context or background on Erdogans war. The german government continues to deliver weapons to turkey even though german tanks are now used in a genocidal war against civilians in the northwest of Syria, where turkey together with jihadist forces try get rid of the kurdish people once and for all. As usual I refer to the sources I trust, my "personal bubble" of left intellectuals, for sane information on the background and assesment of this war.

Vijay Prashad, expert on middle east politics, Professor of International Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, writes:

"Turkey made the inevitable move into Syria with air strikes and artillery bombardment of Kurdish positions along the Turkish-Syrian border. Turkish and allied troops have entered Syria, moving towards the town of Afrin. The policy, which Turkey has made clear, is to remove Syrian Kurdish control over the land along the border which the Kurds call Rojava, or Western Kurdistan. The Kurds - organized as the YPG and the YPJ as well as the Syrian Democratic Forces - are well dug in with a network of tunnels and hardened bunkers to give them the ability to fight off the invasion. But, since there is no air power with them and little hope of resupply from any direction, the Kurds will likely be defeated by Turkey and its proxies. Kurdish leaders believed that the United States would protect them, either with air power or with a UN Security Council resolution. None are forthcoming. Both Damascus and Washington, DC, for different reasons have abandoned the Syrian Kurds.  

One of the key elements of the story is that Syria is being slowly eaten into by its neighbours, each of whom are building secure zones to their own benefit. Turkey and its proxies hope to create a cordon sanitaire that would push the Kurds towards the Iraqi border and deeper into Syria. ...."

Time will tell if his pessimistic outlook will be confirmed. The YPG had some years to prepare for this long expected move by turkey. Meanwhile  Erdogans army is still suffering from the cleanup after the alleged coup and he needs a victory very badly to cater to his ultra nationalist base at home. If the Kurds manage to hold on long enough to cost Erdogan his domestic support, they win. Furthermore, Erdogan will not be able to guess the american response, and things will be totally different if Assad and Putin continue to use this attack as an opportunity to bring the Kurds of Syria to submit to Assads rule, or reach any kind of compromise both forces can live with. As of now, the Kurds are the only group in Syria not yet in total enmity to Assad. 

The attacks on Afri could therefore as well bring Erdogans downfall, says Hisyar Özsoy, of the Democratic Party in Turkey (HDP) in his interview with Tariq Ali: