TURKISH “PEACE SPRING” – THREAT TO KURDISH SECURITY

For eight years Syria has been suffering from bloody clashes, multiple casualties, terrorist attacks and foreign aggression. At the same time the Syrian government has made great efforts to stabilize the situation in the country, restore peaceful life and infrastructure. Elimination of Hayat Tahrir al-sham (HTS) and its allies in Idlib province was the last task of the war against terrorism in Syria and regaining control over its territory by the government. However, Turkish military operation “Peace Spring” started on October 9, 2019 pushed away the administration of President Bashar al-Assad from the end of the war.

The North-East of Syria controlled by Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has become another hotbed of tension. Turkey ruled by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan invaded the territory of a sovereign state, saying he did that in order to protect Turkish borders from SDF and create a 30 km buffer zone aiming to send Syrian refugees there.

Actions of Turkey provoked a new local conflict, protests and aggression of Kurds and SDF. Despite Turkish-Russian negotiations on ceasefire in Syria and joint patrols, Erdogan’s army continues to fight against Kurdish units expanding influence in Northern Syria and complicating the situation in the region.

Since 2014 The Kurds have provided security in the North of the country with support of the USA. Western assistance wasn’t so significant but the presence of the Americans in the Northeastern Syria helped SDF control its territories and prevent external aggression. However, since the beginning of October 2019 the situation has changed: secret agreements between the United States and Turkey as NATO members and treacherous withdrawal of American troops from the region worsened moral condition of the Kurds so Turkey succeeded in its military operation.

Ankara’s actions enabled ISIS activity so in a month the terrorists organized dozens of attacks in Northern Syria’s areas controlled by SDF. Furthermore, during clashes between Turkey and SAA with SDF, the Americans conduct their clever policy pumping oil from the fields located on SDF-held areas. All these things lead to panic among the civilians, thousands of people leave Syria in hope of salvation in Iraqi Kurdistan. The only hope of the Kurds is SAA assistance with whom they have been already working together in the Northeastern Syria for several months.

The creation of a buffer zone according to Erdogan’s plan and the resettlement of Syrian refugees from Turkey to this area won’t ease tensions in the region and increase the security of the Kurds. On the contrary, the measures will aggravate crisis and won’t allow to solve the conflict in the near future. Ankara’s main goal is to send the Kurds from the border areas of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor provinces.

The stabilization of the situation in Syria is not compatible with the goals of “Peace Spring”. The security of the Kurds in the region is under threat, and only efforts of the Syrian government forces and SDF will gradually allow to resist the Turkish aggression and create conditions for the expulsion of the enemy from the territories covered by the war for among a decade.

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