NATO Turkey threatens fresh offensive against US-backed Kurds in Syria

NATO Turkey threatens fresh offensive against US-backed Kurds in Syria

Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Turkey is threatening to unleash another military operation against the United States-backed Kurds in Northern Syria – to the dismay of political elites in Washington. Turkey hopes to create a 30-km “security zone” across Northern Syria to the detriment of the Syrian government and Kurdish forces.

The Syrian government is disturbed by Turkey occupying its land and supporting various Sunni Islamist proxies. Hence, the government of Syria demands that America and Turkey pull out their military forces – and stop utilizing various proxies – so that central forces in Damascus can unify the nation. 

It is expected that the government of Syria is opposed to the intrigues of America and Turkey. However, it is strange that two NATO powers can’t come to terms and provide a unified response to the “Kurdish Question.”

Modern Tokyo Times stated last year, “The debacle in Afghanistan, reminiscent of past events in the Mekong Delta, is equally applied to the treatment of Kurds at the hands of NATO Turkey. President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, noting the indifference of former President Donald Trump in the realm of military issues, forced Kurds out of certain areas of Northern Syria by utilizing a patchwork of mercenaries and Islamist terrorists – while the armed forces of Turkey bombarded the United States (US) backed Kurds. Therefore, the debacle in Afghanistan under President Joe Biden will further embolden Turkey to strike various Kurdish factions in Northern Syria and Iraq.”

Ned Price, a spokesperson for the United States State Department, said, “We are deeply concerned about reports and discussions of potential increased military activity in northern Syria and, in particular, its impact on the civilian population.”

He continued, “We condemn any escalation. We support the maintenance of the current cease-fire lines.”

Despite the pressure being put on Turkey by America, Erdogan is adamant that the national interests of Turkey come first – Hungary and the politically divided Croatia have ushered similar ideas concerning collective NATO plans related to the Ukraine crisis and the expansion of NATO.

Erdogan said, “The main target of these operations will be areas which are centers of attacks to our country and safe zones.”

Al-Monitor reports, “Ankara’s 2019 operation, dubbed Peace Spring, was the third of its kind in northern Syria and led some 300,000 people to flee their homes after US forces on the ground were ordered by the Donald Trump White House to evacuate the area.”

Former leader Donald Trump stopped the complete goals of Turkey after he declared that he would “destroy and obliterate” the economy of Turkey – unless Erdogan stopped his anti-Kurdish objectives. However, tensions remain concerning the fragile ceasefire. 

Erdogan (irrespective if people support or oppose him) notes the weakness of the Biden administration – concerning the Afghanistan debacle. Also, he fully understands that America is over-focused on events in Ukraine and the Russian-dominated areas of Donbas (ethnic Russians and Russian speakers from other ethnic groups)

Erdogan said, “As soon as the Turkish armed forces complete its intelligence and security preparations, these operations will begin.”

ABC News reports, “Erdogan’s comments come at a time when Turkey is objecting to Sweden and Finland’s membership in the NATO alliance, citing the two countries alleged support for the PKK and other groups that Turkey views as terrorists, as well as their decision to impose restrictions on military sales to Turkey following Ankara’s incursion into Syria in 2019.”

Turkey is also bombing the Kurds in Northern Iraq. Voice of America reports, “Turkey is vowing to crush the presence of the Kurdish militant group PKK in Iraq. The PKK has used neighboring Iraq as the main base in its war for greater minority rights in Turkey. But as the Turkish military closes in on the PKK, analysts warn that the Kurdish group could turn to Iran, with implications across the region, including US forces in Syria.”

The only certainty of recent foreign policies emanating from America is instability and a gradual reduction in the intrigues of America – after this nation finds another country to destabilize. Hence, how much longer can the Kurds trust America if Turkey attacks the Kurds directly again in Northern Syria?

Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party in Turkey, is extremely concerned by Finland and Sweden applying for NATO membership. He said, “Turkey is not without options. Even leaving NATO should be put on the agenda as an alternative if the circumstances become inextricable. We did not exist because of NATO, we will not perish without NATO.” 

He continued, “How can we be tolerant of these states that still have terrorists roaming their streets? Sweden is the control room of the separatist terrorist group in Northern Europe.”

Hence, from Erdogan promising a fresh military offensive against the Kurds in Northern Syria that will create problems for America – and many politicians in Turkey opposed to NATO expansion concerning Finland and Sweden – it is clear that internal politics and the role of NATO are extremely complex. 

The Kurds are fearing another betrayal – either way!

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