Once again, tensions between Turkey and Syria has revived once again. The reason dates back decades, sparking up differences between the people of Turkey and Syrian Kurds in the region.
Recently, Turkish forces enthralled upon the Syrian Democratic Front (S.D.F) once again, striking the Kurdish led militia in Syria. The Kurds have always remained outcasts in the region.
The importance of this issue on a global level can be judged by the fact that the United States of America is an ally of both Turkey and the S.D.F.
What is the Turkey-Syria conflict?
How Turkey views the Syrian Democratic Front is completely different from how ‘liberal fronts’ around the world view the S.D.F.
As per Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Syrian Kurds were trying to establish a ‘terror corridor’ in the region.
On this note, Turkey has been continuously targeting Kurds in Syria. This regional conflict, in a small matter of time, can turn into one that is global, and if it is not controlled now, the fire might spread far and wide.
On the other hand, the Syrian Kurds of the Syrian Democratic Front are of the opinion that Turkey is striking the S.D.F, but also putting hundreds of thousands of ‘civilians’ at risk.
To understand this in context, we will have to shed light on who the Kurds are and what Turkey wants exactly.
The relation between Kurds & Turks
The Kurds are one of the largest ethnic groups in the Middle East, but unlike others, they are stateless. Thus, having no home of their own, they reside in Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Iraq, and Armenia.
The Kurds have been fighting for an independent state ever since the fall of the Ottoman Caliphate, but their dream of a free Kurdistan seems unfulfilled to date. This, in turn, has given them their ‘rebellious’ and ‘guerilla’ nature.
On the opposite end, the Turks from Turkey have always been in conflict with Kurds, regardless of their region. While Turkey says its targeting terrorism, many opine that they are scared of a unanimous Kurdistan, a powerhouse right on its border.
Apart from that, Turkey has been fighting the Kurdish Workers’ Party (P.K.K) for a long time.
Why have the Kurds become so prominent again?
The Kurds fell under the spotlight once again when they took on the Islamic Caliphate (ISIS) without anyone’s help at first, before the funding and support from the USA started.
The S.D.F fought off ISIS in Syria, which in turn brought them a lot of power, tech, and money, along with foreign support. This fact did not go well with President Erdogan.
Now, when the dust has settled and ISIS is out of the picture, Turkey has focused itself on defeating the Syrian Democratic Front, the Kurds residing in Syria.
What is happening in Syria now?
In the past month, over 350 fighters of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Front have been killed by Turkey’s military forces in Syria.
Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar dubbed the move as providing security to the region, which includes the Kurds.
More than 64,000 people have been left displaced by the crisis.
How does the world see this conflict?
Russian President Putin is of the opinion that unrest in Syria will revive ISIS. On the other hand, the EU has also slammed Turkey for bringing forth a ‘refugee crisis’ with their actions. The Turkey Syria conflict is making the world talk.
EU President Tusk said that a humanitarian crisis started by Turkey would be ‘unacceptable’. EU believes that the migrants will in time, turn towards Europe to seek help.
The NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has also asked Turkey to show restraint in their persecution of the S.D.F.
Trump wants to mediate!
US President Trump has come out by saying that all their hard work of defeating ISIS is being undone by Turkey. He has brought 3 choices to deal with Turkey which include:
1) Send in thousands of troops and defeat Turkey militarily.
2) Hit Turkey hard with financial sanctions.
3) Mediate a deal between Turkey and the Kurds.
Even though option number 3 seems to be in the best of interest, it seems like financial sanctions on Turkey will be the way forward.
The US will take action against Turkey if it engages in any “inhumane and disproportionate” moves against civilians during its incursion into northeast Syria, a senior State Department official said.
The Turkey Syria Conflict is now heading towards absolute disaster, if not stopped in time.