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Turkey attacked the YPG Kurdish militias in Syria. Once again, the Erdogan government shows to be an unpredictable actor, says Kersten Knipp. But even more cynical is the silence of Ankara’s international partners.
Turkey denied it: he said that the reports of the Syrian Human Rights Observer, based in London, on the civilian victims of the Turkish invasion in northern Syria in the Kurdish Afrin enclave, are nothing more than “negative propaganda.” the only ones killed by the Turkish air attacks are the armed combatants and that only the “terrorists” are targeted.
The myth of the clean war is one of the most worn out, considering the violence in Syria, which has devastated the country for seven years. The second myth is even more fallacious: the YPG militias as a whole and without exception are “terrorists.” It is true that the fighters of the Popular Protection Units, YPG, are close to the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party). , which in Turkey and in the EU is considered a terrorist group, but the PKK and the YPG are not identical, and the YPG militias have not attacked Turkey, the missiles of their territory that now reach Anatolia are the answer the Turkish attack on a neighboring country.
Currencies of change in world politics
For one hundred years, the Kurds have been the currency of international politics. The most recent chapter of the cynical treatment of them was written during the war in Syria, where they proved to be one of the most effective forces against the jihadist terrorist groups, such as “Islamic State” and others, they contributed, supported and armed by the United States, definitely The battle for the city of Kobane, occupied by EI in northern Syria in 2014, could not have been won without the Kurdish fighters.Also in Iraq, the Kurds repelled the EI and saved the lives of thousands of Yazidis.
Undoubtedly, the territory dominated by the Kurds in northern Syria is not model in democratic terms. But taking into account the entire region, it sets standards and differs from the domains of secular and religious potentates of the region.
The calculation of politicians
It is therefore more shameful that they turn their backs on the Syrian Kurds once more. The Americans, who armed the Kurds militarily and with those they wanted, with a frontier troop of 30,000 people, to prevent the possible return of EI, remain silent in the face of the attack of the Turks. They are apparently fleeing from the conflict with a NATO partner, Turkey, who is joined by the desire for the political end of Bashar al Assad. In Washington they seem willing to let the Kurds down.
It is not clear if Russia, as has been reported, has withdrawn its troops from Afrin. The Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, denied it. But it is true that the new and growing tensions between the United States and Turkey are going to Moscow.
Also in Europe criticism is cautious. The French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves le Drian, was the only one who has clearly expressed himself in this regard, demanding a meeting with the UN Security Committee. The German government, however, has not spoken much about it. Nor on the reports that indicate that the Turkish offensive was carried out with tanks Leopard 2, of German origin.
An aggressive and unpredictable partner
The silence of the West is shameful. In addition to risky, because it allows a government, at will, adopt a very aggressive stance both inside and outside their country. Ankara reacted by detaining around 30 people, according to Turkish media, for criticism of the Turkish military campaign.
It should be noted that the Erdogan government continues its aggressive foreign policy trajectory: first against Russia, then Israel, the United States, for several months also against Germany. And now, not only verbally, but militarily, attacking the Syrian Kurds. The Turkish government is as an almost unpredictable actor and as a partner, at least, unreliable.