Middle East

Kurds Seek Bashar al-Assad’s help, question US’s relevance in Syria

In an unexpected tun of events, Kurds  in Afrin, the enclave facing Turkish invasion have urged Bashar al-Assad to send troops to protect Syria’s sovereignty from the “Turkish occupier.”

Armed with Heavy weaponry including artillery, air support and main battle tanks, Turks have invaded into the Syria region to destroy Kurdish terrorists, who, Ankara accuses to be hand in glove with PKK the banned Kurdish Worker’s Party in Turkey. The local, US trained and armed YPG units are able to offer little resistance to the massive armed intervention from the second largest NATO power which has been called, almost ironically, ‘Olive Branch’.

The military operation launched has already strained relations between Turkey and  US. The latter has been supporting the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) which Ankara sees as an extension of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), which is outlawed as a terrorist entity in Turkey. Ankara says the operation is aimed atpreventing Kurdish “terrorists” from gaining a permanent foothold and subsequent autonomy. It was launched amid reports of a US plan to create a 30,000-strong Border Security Force (BSF), which US later denied under Turkish pressure.

The latest development,gives up Kurdish aspirations for self-governance at least in the Afrin region and at the very least ruptures demand for Autonomy in the greater Kurd areas. If Demascus chooses to respond to the call  , this could end the US aspirations to unseat Assad once and for all. The autonomous authority governing Afrin said in a statement on Thursday that
“While we insist that we will continue to defend Afrin against rabid external attacks and will confront the Turkish attempts at occupying Afrin, we invite the Syrian state to carry out its sovereign duties towards Afrin and to protect its borders with Turkey from attack”.  Earlier, before commencement of operation Olive Branch, the Syrian government had also warned Turkey against launching a bombing campaign in the Syrian province of Afrin, saying its air defenses may be used.

The US, which has directly armed the YPG, used it as the its principal force against ISIS and provided the air cover for the ground operations in Raqqa, has done little to stop the Turkish onslaught. Russia, too, opened the airspace to Turkish fighter and bombers for the operation.

Till the time of writing this article, the Syrian government has not answered Kurdish calls for an intervention, while Turkey continues to maintain that it too respects sovereignty of Syria and occupation is temporary in nature.



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