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Thread: Turkey’s attack on Syrian Kurds could overturn the entire region

  1. #1
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Turkey’s attack on Syrian Kurds could overturn the entire region

    In whichever state they live, the Kurds endure a perilous existence. In Iran, the Kurdish people of the west have suffered significant persecution at the hands of the Islamic republic, while in Iraq, the Kurds of the north were confronted with a well-organised military operation. They also faced a diplomatic initiative that illustrated that, even in the fractious world of Middle East politics, Kurdish aspirations can manage to unify Iraq, Iran and Turkey in common opposition, following the independence referendum.

    Even more strikingly, western powers were also aligned against their Iraqi Kurdish allies who had been so valuable in the fight against Isis. The thinking of western governments was logical – coolly objective even – as they remained committed to their policy of protecting the territorial integrity of Iraq. But, from a Kurdish perspective, they seem to be useful proxies when needed – and friends to forget when not.

    This pattern is again playing out in the far north of Syria, in Afrin, controlled by the Kurdish Yekineyen Parastina Gel (YPG) and their political partner, the Democratic Union party (PYD). For Turkey, these groups are synonymous with the PKK, proscribed in Turkey and in western countries as a terrorist organisation. The groups, by contrast, claim they are wholly Syrian and are committed to Rojava, as they call the region, being autonomous within a future federal Syria. They are also committed western allies in the fight against IS.

    The problem with these arguments is that they all contain an element of truth. No matter how persuasively leaders of the PYD claim that they are not part of the PKK, circumstantial evidence would suggest otherwise. This is not a surprise. The PKK had previously been based in Syria and the government of Syria had embraced a policy over many years of encouraging Kurds there to join the PKK. One day, these fighters were going to return home. So, while this does not mean that the YPG is the PKK, it’s understandable why Ankara would make the claim.

    However, the Kurdish groups have proved themselves politically responsible, administering their territories in the chaotic setting of post-2011 civil war Syria. And militarily, the YPG seemed to have turned into the Middle East’s equivalent of the Spartans. With limited equipment but an abundance of discipline and sheer belief, the forces fought a dogged and ultimately successful defence of Kobane, which history will view as the moment the tide turned against IS, which had, until then, seemed virtually unstoppable.

    Then, as the core of the Syrian Democratic Forces, they rolled back Isis village by village, not only across the north-east of Syria, but also down the border with Iraq as far south as Deir ez-Zor province. Working with western, and especially US, military forces, the Kurds gained experience and skills that would bolster their already fearsome standing.

    Then, as the core of the Syrian Democratic Forces, they rolled back Isis village by village, not only across the north-east of Syria, but also down the border with Iraq as far south as Deir ez-Zor province. Working with western, and especially US, military forces, the Kurds gained experience and skills that would bolster their already fearsome standing.

    For Russia, involvement in Syria offered an opportunity to undermine the integrity of Nato, to further Russian interests in eastern Europe, the Baltic, and perhaps beyond into other theatres. With Russia seemingly helping Turkish operations in Afrin – by granting permission to use the airspace and openly condemning the US for its “unilateral”actions in strengthening the YPG – Moscow could claim to have at least part-orchestrated a beautifully conceived plan. Two Nato members – the US and Turkey or at least their proxies – could end up pitched into a very bloody and protracted conflict.

    Events in Afrin are therefore not solely about the future of the Kurds in the north of Syria. Far from it. They could transform the region – Turkey, Iraq and Iran in particular – and have profound consequences for the west as it confronts the challenge of an increasingly influential, dynamic and capable Russia.

    It’s time for the west finally to face an uncomfortable question – what is it that they want to achieve in the Middle East, beyond glib statements promoting peace, stability and democracy? Sure, it’s a fantastically difficult question, but it needs to be answered. In the absence of an answer, the events unfolding in Afrin, and what might follow, will continue to throw up consequences that can only benefit the interests of others.
    Turkey’s attack on Syrian Kurds could overturn the entire region

    This just happened, btw:

    QAMISHLI, Syria — A female Kurdish fighter carried out what appeared to be a suicide bombing attack on the Turkish military in Syria, destroying a tank and killing several Turkish soldiers with a grenade, Kurdish forces in the area said on Sunday.

    If confirmed, it would be the first case of a suicide attack by the Kurds against Turkey’s forces in Syria since its ground troops crossed the border earlier this month.

    The Kurdish bomber, identified as Zuluh Hemo, 20, had fought under the nom de guerre Avesta Habur, according to a statement from her military organization, the Women’s Protection Units, or Y.P.J., which is part of the Syrian Democratic Forces.
    Female Kurdish Fighter Kills Turkish Troops in Likely Suicide Bombing in Syria

    This is her, reportedly


    I support the Kurds. Make the Turkish scum bleed. And their local lapdogs also.
    Thanks from pragmatic

  2. #2
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Veteran Member Micro Machines Champion, Race Against Time Champion Tedminator's Avatar
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    They also faced a diplomatic initiative that illustrated that, even in the fractious world of Middle East politics, Kurdish aspirations can manage to unify Iraq, Iran and Turkey in common opposition, following the independence referendum.
    The Kurds sounds like an ally for Israel.

  4. #4
    Established Member Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tedminator View Post
    The Kurds sounds like an ally for Israel.
    Overall.. the Kurds had been a RELIABLE US Ally in the Area...the Turks have tilted AWAY from us as they devolve to a dictatorship. Trump... who LOVES autocrats.. abandoned the Kurds who'd been the boots on the ground to defeat ISIS. This is the WORST message to send to whoever TRUSTS us.
    Thanks from Hollywood and The Man

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    Member allegoricalfact's Avatar
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    Half the inhabitants of Istanbul are Kurds - there is no border divide between most Turks and Kurds, look into their history, they agreed to become Turks. Americans are now fighting under the Kurdish flag in Syria where before this proxy war began only a small one figure percentage of Syrians were Kurds - so it is also a nonsense of an excuse for a war - a war for what? For what? The US has promised the Kurds a homeland in at least two other instances - but always left them hanging - Is that what they are fighting for - a Kurdish Homeland? To cut into Iraq, Turkey and Syria again by war? Huh? Again - as most US troops from the area are being moved back into Afghanistan as we speak?

    As thousands of bodies lay rotting in the City of Mosul still - six months after the NATO months long bombing of it - they have no hospitals or schools, no medical equipment - have just been left to cope by themselves in the rotting, booby trapped, debris of what was once a City - Syria was not defeated like Iraq and Libya, turned into chaotic bandit's country where in Iraq there was once just one Saddam but now there are thousands, one on every street corner, where life in Libya was good but now it is hell on earth - Syrians are going home and rebuilding their country because all of their civil structures/institutions, as well as their army, are still intact - Iraq has nothing left to rebuild itself with nor clear its streets from the bodies of the women children and old people that our bombs killed.

    The Obama/Clinton legacy is even worse than that of Bush - which is what even Turkey, which has played too many sides in this game, is right to fear. But the US is cornered now - in a nasty pit - it will leave.

  6. #6
    Member allegoricalfact's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    Overall.. the Kurds had been a RELIABLE US Ally in the Area...the Turks have tilted AWAY from us as they devolve to a dictatorship. Trump... who LOVES autocrats.. abandoned the Kurds who'd been the boots on the ground to defeat ISIS. This is the WORST message to send to whoever TRUSTS us.
    IS is/was an American proxy army - The US has betrayed the Kurds more than once before - no-one trusts America, they/we just fear America but maybe, just maybe your time as a generous giver of war is almost done.

  7. #7
    the "good" prag pragmatic's Avatar
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    What a cluster fuck. The Kurds have been instrumental is shutting down ISIS. But the animosity between the Turkish government and the Kurds is never going to go away.

    Not sure if there is anything that outsiders (US, Russia, Syria) can do to help the situation.
    Thanks from The Man

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