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Turkey's Move into Syria: Challenging the Kurds, Overthrowing Rojava

category greece / turkey / cyprus | imperialism / war | non-anarchist press author Tuesday August 30, 2016 14:38author by Phil Hearse Report this post to the editors

Turkey's incursion into northern Syria on 24 August was flagged up as a move to drive the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) out of the border town of Jarabulus. But that is just a cover: Turkey's not very secret major objective is to crush the 50,000-strong Kurdish YPG (People's Protection Unit) militia, and overrun the three autonomous Kurdish dominated areas, collectively called “Rojava” by the Kurds.

Two days into the Turkish invasion, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim stated bluntly that this operation would not be ended until Islamic State “and other militants” had been crushed. Already there are reports of fighting between Turkish-led forces and the YPG south of Jarabulus and thousands of Turkish troops massing on the border.

Turkey struck first toward Jarabulus because the government of Islamist president Recep Erdoğan was concerned that the town should not follow the example of Manbic (Manbij), where ISIS was driven out by the Syrian Democratic Forces alliance, which has the Kurdish YPG (Peoples Protection Units) at its core. This was a stunning military and political coup for the YPG.

Within Sight of the Turkish Border


Jarabulus lies within sight of the Turkish border, just on the western side of the Euphrates. A brief glance at a map reveals its strategic significance.

Erdoğan wants to do two things. First, prevent the Kurdish YPG fighters from linking up two of the areas they control – Afrin canton on the west side and Kobani canton the east side of the Euphrates river. If these were linked, the Kurdish dominated area would form a contiguous area – effectively a mini-state – running alongside the Turkish border. On the other side of that border is Turkish Kurdistan, which the Kurds call ‘north Kurdistan’. The possibility of a political link-up between Rojava and Turkish Kurdistan would be immediately on the agenda.

The second Turkish objective is to keep open the corridor to the south which has been essential for Turkey's supplies to Islamic State and other Islamist fighters it backs (and for oil going in the other direction from the ISIS-controlled oilfields).

Erdogan's road to intervening was cleared by two diplomatic coups. First he went three weeks ago to see Russian president Vladimir Putin. Doubtless Putin, acting as the agent of Syrian president Assad, assured him that the Russian-Syrian-Iranian axis do not support the creation of a Kurdish-dominated autonomous region and would not interfere with Turkish action against the YPG and SDF.

More important perhaps was getting the U.S. to back off from its support for the Kurdish fighters. U.S. warplanes have provided cover for SDF-YPG action against ISIS. There have been U.S. Special Forces on the ground fighting with YPG units. This was only ever a short-term tactical alliance, one that the Obama government would obviously ditch the moment U.S. long-term political interests demanded it.

Turkey's medium term goal is to crush the Kurdish YPG, widely seen as the Syrian Kurdish co-thinkers of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) in Turkey. Erdogan's government also wants to definitively crush the three established cantons of Rojava. But it's not only Turkey that doesn't want a self-governing Kurdish area in Syria – this is also opposed by the Syrian government and all the significant Syrian rebel groups. Indeed one of the allegedly ‘moderate’ Syrian opposition groups, the Free Syrian Army, is providing the ground troops alongside Turkish tanks and planes.

However some reports say local people recognized some ISIS fighters coming into the town with the Kurdish tanks. It certainly seems likely that ISIS were tipped off by the Turkish government and moved out to avoid a fight.

According to a statement by the Executive Council of the Kurdistan National Congress, “The Turkish state is operating in partnership with the El-Qaida affiliated Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (previously Al Nusra) and ISIS. Jarablus has been seized through an agreement between them. We believe that, the Turkish state and these terrorist groups will read their attacks across the region.”

Marriage of Convenience for Some


Backing from the United States has been crucial on the ground for the YPG's military victories against ISIS, but Erdogan's regime has been campaigning fiercely to disrupt it. On 24 August, Turkey demanded that Kurdish forces fall back to the east of the Euphrates or face an all-out attack. This was backed up by U.S. vice president Joe Biden, in the wake of his discussions with Erdogan in Ankara, who said that if the YPG did not fall “back across the river” then the U.S. would end its support for them.

Will the YPG pull back to the other side of the Euphrates or stand and fight? One YPG commander was quoted as saying that the Kurdish fighters would refuse to comply with the Turkish order to move east. Other statements said that the YPG-SDF were in fact moving east to make preparations for an attack on Raqqa – de facto headquarters of ISIS in Syria.

The American alliance with the YPG has always been a paradox. The U.S. backed the Kurdish fighters because it saw them as an effective fighting force against ISIS, in fact spectacularly the most effective force. However, the Kurdish controlled cantons of Rojava have been the site of a spectacular radical social experiment in both democratic self-organization and women's equality as well as ethnic inclusion, absolutely not the kind of thing the U.S. wants to support. So this was always a marriage of convenience, very time limited.

The U.S. says it will stop helping the YPG unless they accede to Turkey's demand and retreat east of the Euphrates, but the more that Turkey directly engages the YPG-SDF forces, the more the U.S. will back off support for the YPG.

Erdogan had for two years demanded the creation of a ‘buffer zone’ along the Turksh border in which Syrian refugees from the fighting could be placed. This was always a euphemism for ‘destroy Rojava’ and drive out the Kurds. Now Turkey is trying to put this into action.

The situation is now extremely dangerous. After the failed coup, Turkish president Erdogan feels he is in an unchallengeable situation. The destruction and massacre of hundreds of thousands in Syria is a grim warning. The West will do little or nothing to prevent a massacre of the Kurdish people and Rojava being overrun if Erdogan unleashes the full weight of his military might against them. The need for solidarity with the Kurdish people has never been greater.

Related Link: http://www.marxsite.com
author by Alternativa Libertaria/FdCA - Ufficio Relazioni Internazionalipublication date Wed Aug 31, 2016 20:43Report this post to the editors


La Turchia muove in Siria: una sfida ai Curdi per rovesciare la Rojava

L'incursione della Turchia in Siria settentrionale, il 24 agosto, è stata interpretata come una mossa per scacciare il cosiddetto Stato Islamico (ISIS) dalla città di confine di Jarabulus. Ma questa è solo una copertura: l'obiettivo principale e tutt'altro che segreto della Turchia è quello di schiacciare la milizia curda YPG (Unità di protezione del popolo) forte di 50.000 unità, e invadere le tre aree autonome governate dai Curdi, chiamate collettivamente "Rojava".

Due giorni dopo l'inizio dell'invasione, il primo ministro turco Binali Yildirim ha dichiarato senza mezzi termini che questa operazione non sarebbe finita fino a quando non fossero stati schiacciati lo Stato islamico "ed altri miliziani". Già ci sono segnalazioni di combattimenti tra forze turche e le YPG a sud di Jarabulus e migliaia di truppe turche ammassate al confine.

La Turchia ha colpito prima verso Jarabulus perché il governo del presidente islamista Recep Erdogan era preoccupato che la città potesse seguire l'esempio di Manbic (Manbij), dove ISIS era stato cacciato dall'alleanza delle Forze Democratiche Siriane, il cui nucleo è composto dai Curdi delle YPG. Uno straordinario successo militare e politico per le YPG.


Sul confine turco


Jarabulus si trova sul confine turco, proprio sul versante occidentale dell'Eufrate. Un rapido sguardo sulle carte geografiche ne rivela l'importanza strategica.

Erdogan vuole fare due cose. In primo luogo, evitare che i combattenti curdi delle YPG colleghino due delle aree che controllano, vale a dire il cantone di Afrin sul lato ovest ed il cantone di Kobanê sul lato est del fiume Eufrate. Se queste due entità territoriali diventassero contigue, l'area governata dai Curdi costituirebbe un continuum territoriale - di fatto un mini-stato - che costeggia il confine turco. Dall'altra parte del confine c'è il Kurdistan turco, che i Curdi chiamano 'Kurdistan settentrionale'. La possibilità di una politica di collegamento tra Rojava e Kurdistan turco sarebbe immediatamente all'ordine del giorno.

Il secondo obiettivo della Turchia è quello di tenere aperto il corridoio meridionale che è stato fondamentale per far passare i rifornimenti turchi all'ISIS e ad altri miliziani islamisti, nonchè nell'altro senso il passaggio del greggio dai campi petroliferi controllati dall'ISIS verso la Turchia.

Il via libera all'intervento turco viene aperto da due fatti di carattere diplomatico. In primo luogo il viaggio di tre settimane fa di Erdogan in Russia per incontrare il presidente russo Vladimir Putin. Senza dubbio Putin, in qualità di alleato del presidente siriano Assad, deve aver assicurato Erdogan che l'asse russo-siriano-iraniano non appoggia la creazione di una regione autonoma curda e non avrebbe interferito con l'azione turca contro le YPG e le SDF.
Ancora più importante forse era stato ottenere dagli USA una sorta di marcia indietro rispetto al loro supporto per i combattenti curdi. Gli aerei da guerra statunitensi hanno fornito la copertura per l'azione delle SDF-YPG contro ISIS. Ci sono state forze speciali combattenti degli Stati Uniti sul terreno a fianco delle unità YPG. Ma questa è sempre stata solo un'alleanza tattica a breve termine, pronta ad essere regolarmente affossata dalla amministrazione Obama qualora gli interessi a lungo termine degli Stati Uniti lo avessero richiesto.

L'obiettivo a medio termine della Turchia è quello di schiacciare le curde YPG, ampiamente viste come i Curdo-siriani collegati col PKK (Partito dei lavoratori del Kurdistan) in Turchia. Il governo di Erdogan vuole anche schiacciare definitivamente i tre cantoni nella Rojava. Ma non è solo la Turchia a non volere una zona curda autonoma in Siria - a questa vi si oppongono anche il governo siriano e tutti i più importanti gruppi ribelli siriani. In effetti uno dei presunti gruppi "moderati" dell'opposizione' siriana, il Libero Esercito di Siria, sta fornendo le truppe di terra a fianco dei carri armati ed aerei turchi.

Tuttavia alcuni reports dicono che le popolazioni locali avrebbero riconosciuto alcuni combattenti ISIS entrare in città con i carri armati curdi. Certamente sembra probabile che ISIS sia stato avvertito dal governo turco e si sia spostato per evitare uno scontro.

Secondo un comunicato del Consiglio Esecutivo del Congresso Nazionale Curdo: “Lo Stato turco sta operando in collaborazione con la milizia di Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (ex-Al Nusra) affiliata ad Al-Qaeda e con l'ISIS. Jarablus è stata presa grazie ad un accordo tra le parti. Noi riteniamo che lo stato turco e questi gruppi terroristi porteranno i loro attacchi in tutta la regione.”

Un matrimonio di convenienza per qualcuno


Il sostegno degli Stati Uniti è stato fondamentale a terra per le vittorie militari delle YPG contro ISIS, ma il regime di Erdogan ha condotto una campagna feroce per contrastarlo. Il 24 agosto, la Turchia ha chiesto che le forze curde si ritirassero ad est dell'Eufrate se volevano evitare un attacco turco a tutto campo. Questo è stato quanto sostenuto dal vice-presidente americano Joe Biden, sulla scia dei suoi colloqui con Erdogan ad Ankara, affermano che se le YPG non si fossero ritirate "dall'altra parte del fiume", allora gli Stati Uniti avrebbero messo fine al loro sostegno.

Le YPG si ritireranno verso l'altro lato dell'Eufrate o resisteranno e combatteranno? Un comandante delle YPG avrebbe dichiarato che le unità curde si sarebbero rifiutate di rispettare l'ordine turco di muoversi ad est. Secondo altre dichiarazioni, le YPG-SDF si stavano in realtà già spostando ad est per fare i preparativi per un attacco a Raqqa - de facto il quartier generale dell'ISIS in Siria.

L'alleanza americana con le YPG è sempre stata un paradosso. Gli USA hanno sostenuto le unità curde perché le vedevano come una forza di combattimento efficace contro l'ISIS, ed è stata infatti spettacolare la loro efficacia, più di altri. Ma, i Cantoni curdi della Rojava sono stati protagonisti di un grande esperimento sociale radicale sia per l' auto-organizzazione democratica che per l'uguaglianza delle donne, così come per l'inclusione etnica, cioè assolutamente non il genere di cose che gli Stati Uniti intendono sostenere. Quindi questo è stato sempre un matrimonio di convenienza, molto limitato nel tempo.

Gli USA dicono che non sosterranno più le YPG a meno che non accolgano la richiesta della Turchia di un loro ritiro ad est dell'Eufrate, eppure più la Turchia preme direttamente sulle forze delle YPG-SDF, più gli USA potrebber ridurre il loro appoggio alle YPG.
Sono due anni che Erdogan chiede la creazione di una 'zona cuscinetto' lungo il confine turco in cui poter collocare i profughi siriani in fuga dai combattimenti. Questo è sempre stato un eufemismo per 'distruggere la Rojava' e scacciare i Curdi. Ora la Turchia sta cercando di mettere in atto questo progetto.

Ora la situazione si è fatta estremamente pericolosa. Dopo il fallito golpe, il presidente turco Erdogan si sente di essere in una situazione vincente. La distruzione della Siria ed il massacro di centinaia di migliaia di siriani è un sinistro avvertimento. L'Occidente farà ben poco o nulla per impedire un massacro del popolo curdo e la Rojava potrebbe essere invasa se Erdogan dovesse scatenare la potenza militare del suo esercito. La necessità di solidarietà col popolo curdo non è mai stata così urgente.

Phil Hearse

(traduzione a cura di Alternativa Libertaria/fdca - Ufficio Relazioni Internazionali)
Link esterno: http://www.marxsite.com

 
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Greece / Turkey / Cyprus | Imperialism / War | en

Sun 26 Feb, 05:42

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jarablus.png imageTurkey-FSA Take Jarablus From IS Without Fight 03:30 Thu 25 Aug by Kurdish Question 1 comments

Turkish troops and so-called 'moderate Islamist' Free Syrian Army (FSA) militants have entered Jarablus town centre and taken over all government buildings from Islamic State. Reports say almost no clashes took place between the two sides as IS militants had evacuated the city days before. Footage from FSA militants also shows that there is no civilian presence left in the city in Syria's north.

ypg_support_poster_by_party9999999d8kih0n.png imageYPG: We have no connection to the Ankara bombing. Turkey prepares the ground to attack Rojava 06:57 Fri 19 Feb by Kurdishquestion.com 2 comments

The General Command of the People's Defence Units (YPG) has released a statement in response to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu who blamed the YPG for yesterday's attack in the heart of Turkish capital Ankara which left 28 people dead and 64 others wounded.

174555_600.jpg imagePeople in Diyarbakir protest Merkel visit in Turkey 21:34 Tue 09 Feb by Mesopotamian Ecology Movement 0 comments

Today (8.2.2016) a group has gathered in the Sümerpark area in the city of Diyarbakir in order to protest the German chancellor Mrs. Angela Merkel who is visiting Turkey. The protestors criticized Merkel for her double faced policy on the refugee crisis and particularly the deal of the EU with Turkey.

tacanka_ankara.jpg imageWe know those responsible for the Ankara bombing 20:04 Wed 14 Oct by Various 0 comments

They painted our red and black flags and banners with blood and flesh of our comrades. Those responsible for the massacre are out there. We know them from Haymarket, Bloody Sunday, Mayday 1977 Istanbul Massacre, Reyhanli, Gezi Uprising, Roboski Massacre, Diyarbakir Dungeons and Suruç. We know them from the daily exploitation of a thousand year. They stand before us merciless, smirking.

Although it has been orchestrated by the hands of ISIS gang, we know that, just like the Suruç Massacre, state and AKP who is holding state power in their hands are those who are in fact responsible for this massacre. We have seen once again that AKP is capable of doing everything not to lose the power and weaker it gets, more brutal it will get.

Below are two further statements from anarchists groups in the Turkish state on the Ankara bombing.

11760166_1645652792317271_2694342465056829967_n.jpg imageOur Sadness Will Be Our Anger, Kobanê Will Reconstructure 00:33 Wed 22 Jul by Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet 0 comments

Yesterday, nearly three hundred people set off from different cities, with the call of Federation of Socialist Youth Associations; in order to rebuilt Kobanê, which was tried to be looted by the ISIS. Today, arriving Suruç (Pîrsus), just before leaving for Kobane, these young people made a press release in front of the Amara Culture Center in Suruç (Pîrsus). At the end of the press release, a bomb exploding in the middle of the crowd, silenced many hearts which had been beating with the hope of reconstruction.

uluderekatliami_1.jpg imageDevrimci Anarsist Faaliyet's on the Turkish State's Massacre in Sirnak 23:50 Sat 31 Dec by Devrimci Anarsist Faaliyet (DAF) 0 comments

There were no cold barrel behind them, it was not an avalanche that would fall from the mountains. They were running away from the fear of imprisonment, from genderme who has just stopped them, that was not snow that would pour down from the sky, it was bombs of F16s. There were no time to reach a ridge for shelter, F16s were much more faster then them and they sheltered behind the first rocks that they saw…

uluderekatliami.jpg imageDeclaration for the Turkish state's massacre in Kurdistan 19:07 Sat 31 Dec by Lise Anarsist Faaliyet (LAF) 0 comments

35 people were murdered (whose ages between 16-18) with the bombings of turkish state.

text4 year sentence given to Tarhan 09:10 Sat 05 Nov by War Resisters Association 0 comments

Conscientous/Total Objector Mehmet Tarhan’s Demands Granted. Tarhan ended hunger strike on day 34 (in 3 Noevmber 2005).

textOn the explosions in London 07:10 Thu 21 Jul by OAE (OADE) - Greece 0 comments

Statement of Federation of Anarchists of Greece (OAE) on the terrorist attacks in London, agreed in its 8th General Assemply.

textTarhan hunger strike ended 11:07 Thu 23 Jun by War Resisters' International 0 comments

From Athens Indymedia

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textErdogan policies have played a major role in the Region Jul 14 by Zaher Baher 0 comments

This article covers the policy of Erdogan and his political party (AKP) in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Rojava and Iraqi Kurdistan. The article shows the reasons as to why Erdogan supports Isis, the reason for invading Mosul and why Kobane has been chosen to be invaded but not Jazeera? The article also states the success of Erdogan polices during the war in the region since 2013 and predicting his peace policy in the future can be on the expenses of Rojava's Cantons.

imageThe Massacre of Kurds in Sirnak: Turkish State Terror in Action Jan 03 by José Antonio Gutiérrez D. 1 comments

This unjustifiable carnage has again exposed the true face of state terrorism in Turkey. This slaughter exposes the hypocrisy of Erdogan, whose regime has its hands soaked in Kurdish blood while he speaks cynically of human rights in other countries. But it also highlights the hypocrisy of an "international community" that is shocked by the repression in Syria, while it assists the silent slaughter of the Kurdish people. The Kurdish people are now mobilized to define their political project of liberation and to resist the four States which occupy them and oppress them (Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq). The slightest sense of decency and humanity should impel us to show solidarity with them. [Castellano] [Français] [العربية]

textLetter From anarchist prisoner Feb 12 by Volkan Sevinç 0 comments

The guards have brought your letters when I was in the open-air-area. The guard gave the letters which are full of love and comrades’ salutes. “There are so many letters that our eyes hurt when reading them all.” he said jokingly. I said, “I am a political prisoner, it seems like you will get tired of the letters I receive.”

textThe Kurdish Question Dec 13 by Michael Schmidt & Lucien van der Walt 3 comments

This study of recent anti-imperialist resistance in Kurdistan, looking back to the anarchist resistance in the Ottoman heartland in the period before the formation of the Turkish state, consists of extracts – kindly proof-read in part by Will Firth – from the forthcoming book by Schmidt & van der Walt, Global Fire: 150 Fighting Years of International Anarchism & Syndicalism, Counter-power Vol.2, AK Press, USA, scheduled for release in about 2011.

textThe national army and the exemption papers Jan 22 by OAE (Press Office) 0 comments

The initial title of this statement was “For the national army and exemption papers (I5) from it”

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imageYPG: We have no connection to the Ankara bombing. Turkey prepares the ground to attack Rojava Feb 19 2 comments

The General Command of the People's Defence Units (YPG) has released a statement in response to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu who blamed the YPG for yesterday's attack in the heart of Turkish capital Ankara which left 28 people dead and 64 others wounded.

textOn the explosions in London Jul 21 0 comments

Statement of Federation of Anarchists of Greece (OAE) on the terrorist attacks in London, agreed in its 8th General Assemply.

textTarhan hunger strike ended Jun 23 0 comments

From Athens Indymedia

textOADE on nationalist parades May 18 OADE - Greece 0 comments

Leaflet distributed by OADE this 25th of March against the nationalistic ghosts of the Great Greece

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