Afrin besieged by Turkey: analysis (geopolitical)
By Chris Den Hond
Translate By : Hassan Ghazi
During the round table in the premises of the Syrian Research Center, on “political issues in Syria” on March 18, 2018 in Paris.
“We are in the big game and the Kurds are paying the price” (Gerard Chaliand), “The challenge for Turkey is to obtain regional leadership” (Khatar Abudiab), “What Turkey will put in place there will never be the Afrin before “(Jérémy André)
During a round table held this Sunday in the premises of the Center for Syrian Research on Afrin’s geopolitical issues, Khaled Issa, representative of Rojava in France, Gerard Chaliand specialist in geopolitics especially “irregular” conflicts and Khatar Abudiab , a specialist in geopolitics and professor at Sorbonne University and Jérémy André, journalist of Le Point, analyzed the current geopolitical issues in Syria.
“This morning, Afrin fell into the hands of Turkey and its jihadist allies, who are reborn from their ashes. Another humanitarian drama and ethnic cleansing is to be feared. Erdogan has already announced it. The height of this horrendous story: the 20,000 Yazidi survivors of this appalling massacre in Sinjar in 2014 who had settled in the Afrin region in complete security, are once again on the road to exile. Erdogan said he will not stop at Afrin until he reaches the Iranian border. Will the whole world be silent? ”
“This is not the first time that there is an agreement between Turkey and Russia for Turkey to intervene in Syria. In 2015, before the battle of Aleppo, Russia accepted Turkey to intervene in Jarablous to prevent a Kurdish territorial unity between Afrin and Kobane / Qamishli. Now there is an explicit agreement for the second time in a few years with the usual game: “I give you that, you let go of that”.
Even if Bashar al-Assad had come to Afrin to help the Kurdish forces and their allies and to counter the Turkish army, it would not have changed much, because Erdogan would have anyway wanted to occupy Afrin.
The agreement between Russia and Turkey contains several elements:
The Syrian regime does not intervene in Afrin in exchange: Turkey drops its demand to bring down the Syrian regime.
Idlib: Turkey is already in Idlib and Afrin, so it can turn this area of North western Syria into a big Sunni pocket.
Instead of a regime change in Damascus, Turkey is more likely to target direct or indirect control of the North western part of Syria through rebel and jihadist groups. Bashar Al Assad will have to deal with a Syria that will not be entirely under his control. If Turkey manages to control the Afrin region, it will have access to a fairly prosperous region with a soap and textile industry. And the future of Rojava? For Erdogan, it would be abnormal for the Kurds to keep Kobane and Qamishli in the long term. But not everything is lost, far from it.
The silence and even the green light from the EU countries for Erdogan’s operation in Afrin is also explained by the agreement on migrants. Six billion Euros arrive in the pockets of the Turkish regime to prevent Syrian migrants from arriving in Europe. Erdogan uses this card very finely.
With regard to the attitude of the US, it is feared that an agreement will be reached between Turkey and the US concerning Membij: leave Membij in the hands of forces that are not hostile to Turkey. For Trump, Turkey remains an ally of NATO and he will not want to lose it. For Trump, the Kurds of Syria are only the fifth of his worries, after North Korea, Russia, its domestic problems, Iran. But we are not there yet. We are currently in the big game and the Kurds are paying the price. ”
Khatar Abudiab, specialist in geopolitics and professor at the Sorbonne University
“The challenge for Turkey is not only control of northern Syria, it is also for regional leadership. The Turkish invasion is reviving jihadism . ISIS is a kind of holding company in which many states have actions. We are witnessing a sacred alliance of three nationalisms: Turkish, Arab and Iranian. NATO has seen these jihadists arrive. They did not react. All these people agreed to make Syria a sort of jihadist trash, a kind of battleground between Sunnis and Shiites.
The Kurdish proposal for a federal Syria is the right proposition, not just for Syria, but for the whole region. It is a non-ethnic, pluralistic and progressive solution.
Most of Turkey’s economy is done with Europe. The European Union therefore has the power to put pressure on Turkey. But Turkey blackmails.
Jérémy André, journalist Le Point, who returned from a trip to Afrin with a civilian convoy:
“200,000 people roam in the Northern region of Aleppo in the region held by the regime.
Afrin, how beautiful. Afrin is like exploring the lost world on a landlocked plateau, an utopia, where communities could still live together. What Turkey is going to put in place there will never be the Afrin before. ”
Source : http://rojinfo.com/3920-2/
Translated from original French via Google Translate