Turkey’s offensive in Syrian territory continues with more than 50 tanks still across the border. Ankara announces the killing of "25 Kurdish terrorists". Human rights activists say those killed were civilians. Erdogan and Obama are set to meet in China on the sidelines of the G20 Summit. For Saywan S. Barzani, "proxy wars" are fought in the Middle East "between different countries, behind whom one finds the Americans and the Russians".
Membej (AsiaNews) – The United States "has used the Kurds" and then "abandoned them" as already happened in the past. Such events "have been going for a century,” said Saywan S. Barzani, Iraqi ambassador to Holland and nephew of Masoud Barzani, the governor of Kurdistan.
Speaking to AsiaNews about "proxy wars" fought in the Middle East "between different countries, behind whom one finds the Americans and the Russians," he said that what is needed is "an agreement" between "the two world powers.” Sadly, “They use religion and ideologies for a war of economics and influence".
Meanwhile, in northern Syria, Turkey continues its invasion in violation of international law to stop the advance of Kurdish militias.
Yesterday, the Syrian government sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council of the United Nations accusing Turkey of "repeated crimes, violations, aggression and massacres” against civilians.
Turkey sent some 50 tanks into Syrian territory that continue to push forward, beyond the stated mission, which the US backed, against Daesh (Arabic acronym for the Islamic state). In reality, Turkish forces have not yet hit any position held by jihadists.
The real aim for Turkey’s incursion into Syria appears to be the creation of a buffer zone between Syria and Turkey, something that it has sought for the past five years. This entails preventing the Kurds from setting up Rojava, their own Syrian-Kurdish autonomous province.
Should the latter come into being, along with the already existing autonomous province of Iraqi Kurdistan, would represent the most explicit encouragement for Kurds in Turkey to secede and create the much desired federation of a united and independent Kurdistan.
For now, Turkish military occupation in parts of northern Syria has scuttled that dream, breaking the Kurdish territorial continuity from Ain el Arab and Afrin to in Jarablus and Mirado.
The advance stopped suddenly, after the occupation of some 30 villages south of Jarablus, in the northwestern part of Aleppo province.
Following Washington’s request, Syrian Kurds pulled back to the east bank of the Euphrates, with regrets and resentment.
Among Kurds, the US’s U-turn still smarts. After encouraging them in the past months to occupy Membej and fight Daesh, Washington told them to go back to the other side of the river.
The feeling is that the Kurds who died to free Membej on US behalf died in vain. Now they accuse everyone – Washington, Moscow, Tehran, Damascus, Tel Aviv – of abandoning and betraying them.
According to Turkey, its Air Force strikes killed "25 Kurdish terrorists" and "destroyed five buildings used as" headquarters in northern Syria”.
By contrast, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported dozens of civilians killed as a result of the Turkish bombing south of Jarablus.
Turkish news agency Dogan announced that one Turkish soldier was killed and two were wounded, in addition to damage to two tanks hit by rockets.
For his part, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to meet US President Barack Obama in China, next Sunday, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hangzhou. This is the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders after the failed coup d'état in Turkey.
According to reports from the White House, the situation in northern Syria after the Turkish invasion and "fighting Daesh” will be at the centre of the discussions.
Asked by AsiaNews, Saywan S. Barzani said that "the wars in the Middle East", even the one against the self-styled Islamic State “were manufactured" and are the result of the clash between two fronts.
On one side, we have Iran and Syria, which are under the umbrella of the Russian Federation; on the other, we have Europe, the US, Arabs and Turkey, where, however, there are conflicting interests at stake. They are divided among themselves and pursue sometimes opposite goals.
"We need an international agreement,” Iraq’s ambassador to the Netherlands said, “to bring order to an area of the world where there is anarchy, in which the Kurds have been subject to abuse, violence, genocide and persecution for over a century”.
The Middle East, in his view, "needs democracy, openness, secularism, but also protection by the international community. The West and the free countries must support democratic and open governments . . . Instead, in conflict areas, we find militiamen from more than 102 nations. There is talk about the problem of terrorism, but different interests of international powers are the reality." (PB)