OPINION

19/08/2016 - 15:19 0
Is Turkey and Iran Now Plotting Against Kurds in Rojava?

 

Kurdish Question: Hardly reported in the Western media, Turkey, having failed to crush the Kurdish democratic project in Rojava via ISIS is now reaching out to Russia, Iran and Assad to help suppress the Kurds. Below is an excerpt from a recent article in Truth Out detailing Turkey's plans. For the whole article go to Truth Out website, here.  

".......However, Erdogan began searching in May for an alternative policy more in line with Turkey's primary strategic interest in Syria: containing the threat of Kurdish demands for a separate state.

The announced agreement on broad principles for ending the Syrian crisis is only the beginning of a process of negotiations on the details of a settlement, as Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari made clear. "This agreement on the general lines will contribute to creating an environment suitable to solving the Syrian crisis," Ansari said, according to Al Hayat.

It is also possible that Turkey may be planning to use the threat of allying with Russia and Iran on Syria to force the United States to reduce its own reliance on Kurdish forces in Northern Syria -- the main issue dividing US and Turkish policies toward the conflict. But Yildirim had already hinted last month -- before the failed military coup in Turkey and the launching of a new offensive by al-Qaeda's al-Nusra Front around and in Aleppo -- at Turkey's intention to revise its policy toward Syria in order to prevent Kurdish forces in Syria from establishing their own mini-state.

Yildirim said in his speech Tuesday that the solution to the Syrian crisis would require "two basic conditions: first to preserve the territorial unity of Syria and second, establishing a system of government in which all ethnicities and religions are represented."

In the context of the territorial unity issue, Yildirim raised the specter of an international drift toward the partitioning of Syria. "Someone would come and say, I will give the West of Syria to one," he said, "and the south to another and the north to the Kurds."

"This is not possible," said Yildirim, meaning that Turkey would not stand for it.

The Turkish prime minister's reference to the threat of partition in general and Kurdish inheritance of much of northern Syria in particular was clearly aimed at the Obama administration's de facto military alliance with the YPG militia units of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in the war against Daesh. That policy has encouraged the Kurds to continue to extend their territorial control westward along the Turkish border.

Turkey is especially upset that the YPG units have already moved west of the Euphrates River, which was Turkey's publicly announced "red line," and don't intend to stop. Turkey has been demanding that the United States keep its promise that the Kurds will retreat to east of the Euphrates, but the YPG has said it intends to link Manbij -- the city west of the Euphrates that it has just helped recover from Daesh -- with Afrin and then gain control of al-Bab city on the border, thus uniting two previously separate Kurdish zones of control.

Turkey fears that a consolidation of Kurdish power over such a large territory on the Turkish border will embolden the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Turkey to demand its own state. "A Kurdish state in the Middle East," Yildirim declared, "will not bring a solution."


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