The other day, Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the start of a new military campaign in Syria. As usual, the need to combat terrorism was called a formal reason for it. In this case, the Kurdish National Self-Defense Detachments are considered terrorists. These formations were formed long before the Syrian war by a local political force, the Democratic Union party.
At that time, the detachments of people’s self-defense were closely connected with the Kurdistan Workers Party, which was banned in Turkey and in a number of other countries. It was who helped the Syrian Kurds “build muscle” in the early years of civil conflict in the SAR. Then they turned into quite a self-threatening independent force. And when the Americans paid attention to them, they became one of the claimants for power in almost all of Syria. True, a little later they were pressed down by government forces, which the Russian military, sent to the Arab Republic, thoroughly undertook. But despite this, the Kurds retained almost a third of the whole of Syria. This, of course, can be called their triumph — after all, they were on the path of creating their own state, which their ancestors had dreamed of for centuries, but on the other hand, now the people’s self-defense units have become almost enemy number one for Turkey.
Yes, Ankara immediately mixed them up with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and outlawed them, and even the fact that they operate outside Turkey does not affect the persecution of this organization. In general, several years have passed since Erdogan officially declared war on the Syrian Kurds.
There were already two campaigns against them. One took place in the north of the province of Aleppo, and ended with a split of Kurdish territories into two parts. Then one of the formed enclaves in the north-west of the same province of Aleppo was declared the next target of the Turkish army. And this time, success was not on the side of the Popular Self-Defense Detachments – they suffered a crushing defeat, and many were forced to go west through government territories. Then the Americans began to actively intervene in this whole story. It was to intervene – they themselves did not particularly want to choose between their allies, but it was simply impossible to do without it. And now, when Erdogan already announced another attack on the Kurdish territories near the city of Manbij, Washington announced the intensification of negotiations with the Turks.
The fact is that there are US military in Manbidge, their base is nearby and now the French base. Turks to their interventions can give a start to irreversible changes that run counter to the general plan of the Pentagon. And if Ankara’s rapprochement with Moscow is taken into account, the risks are high that in the not-too-distant future, the northern provinces, with the exception of certain regions, will leave Damascus without any special problems. Of course, Ankara will insist on defending the opposition, but after the defeat of the Kurds in the north, it simply will not remain, except that the Syrian free army, but its influence is limited exclusively to Aleppo, even in Idlib it is unpopular.
In general, the Americans had to intervene. Tillerson (former US Secretary of State – auth.), Who had a long conversation with Cavusoglu (Turkish Foreign Minister), started everything. Finally, they agreed on something. True, each of the parties interpreted their obligations and their benefits differently. For example, the Turks said that an agreement was concluded according to which the Americans pledge to withdraw the Kurds from Manbij. Tillerson did not say anything like that, as did Pompeo who replaced him. And it seems that Ankara hurried with the conclusions – the detachments of the people’s self-defense are still in Manbij.
Washington tried to disguise the presence of Kurdish formations in northeastern Aleppo so that Turkish patrols, who were given access to certain areas, did not record anything strange. However, this was not enough, and Ankara quickly realized that they were trying to fool them. And now northern Syria is on the verge of another war. For several weeks, if not months, Turkey has been preparing for this operation. The equipment is pulled to the borders, the military is at the ready, and the president promises that everything will start from day to day.
Turkish military expert Keram Yıldırım believes that the operation is long overdue, because under the circumstances of today, there is no other solution.
– For Turkey, this is a very fundamental question. Once the United States declared war on international terrorism because of the terrorist attack on the eleventh of September. Well, Turkey has no less reasons. The actions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party killed thousands of Turkish citizens. And now the PKK operates not only in Turkey, but also in Syria and Iraq.
Turkey declared war on terrorism, international terrorism, because it cannot be called otherwise. In Iraq, in Syria, the Turkish army has been fighting for several years, trying to achieve victory over terrorism. About the same, that YPG (an abbreviation of National Self-Defense Detachments from Kurmanji – author) is an independent organization – this is not true. This is the Syrian representation of the PKK, in any case, there are few differences in their ideology. They are equally hostile towards Turkey, and during the years of the Syrian war, attacks on Syrian territory were repeatedly recorded in the Hatay province and other border areas. They produced YPG. This is an obvious hostility, because most of the shells landed in areas where there are not even any military facilities, only civilians.
– And when the offensive begins?
- As to when the campaign starts, nothing can be said. There were already minor skirmishes at the border, and YPG had already reported several times that the border had been broken, war was declared, and so on. But this is not worth paying attention to. Truly, the Turkish army has not launched an offensive yet. If everything is, as Erdogan said, the operation can begin every minute, but I think he is slow and waiting for the reaction of the Americans. It is hoped that they will be prudent and offer something. In any case, they will intervene, because not far from the border, not far from the concentration of the Turkish military, is their base. At a minimum, they need to ensure the safety of this and similar objects. As for the YPG, it is not known how the US wants to deal with them. It is possible that now in the United States they think that it is better to allow Turkey to end with this war.