Kurdish crisis and Middle East: After the withdrawal of US troops from Syria, Turkey last week launched a military operation called ‘Operation Peace Spring’ against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, carrying out airstrikes on Kurdish targets. It is noteworthy that American soldiers in Syria along with Kurdish fighters were fighting a war against ISIS. It is known that Kurdish fighters have contributed significantly in defeating ISIS and due to this contribution, there has been strong condemnation of Turkish air strikes internationally. Many human rights experts have criticized Turkey’s move as well as the US. Turkey’s airstrikes have not only damaged Kurdish fighters, but have also affected many ordinary civilians living in that region. At the same time, it is also feared that these Turkish air strikes will reduce the world lead in the war against ISIS.
Start of conflict in Syria
It is noteworthy that civil war has been going on in Syria for the last eight years, in which different groups are trying to gain control over the country. There are mainly 3 sides to the civil war in Syria-
- People who support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
- Rebel fighters who do not want to see Bashar al-Assad in power and
- Islamic State (IS) Group
Before the beginning of the conflict in Syria, many Syrians were complaining and protesting on issues such as high unemployment and lack of political freedom under President Bashar al-Assad. However, the incident that led to unrest in the area and the situation turned completely into a civil war occurred in 2011 when around 15 students were arrested and tortured for painting anti-government. Locals peacefully protested his arrest and demanded his release. But the government used military power to suppress these demonstrations, and on March 18, 2011, the army opened fire on the demonstrators, killing four people. Apart from this, there was a lot of violence during the last visit of these slain persons.
People were shocked and angry at what happened in this whole incident and soon unrest spread to other parts of the country. Initially, the protesters were only demanding democracy and more freedom, but when the government opened fire on the protesters who were holding peaceful protests, people started demanding the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad. In July 2012, the International Red Cross described Syria’s violence as widespread and termed it a civil war.
Rebel fighters and the rise of ISIS
There is no single group of people fighting against President Assad and the army supporting him. It is noteworthy that when the conflict started, it was estimated that there are about 1000 groups who are opposing the government and not supporters of Bashar al-Assad’s policies. One of them is the Islamic State (IS) which joined the revolt against Bashar al-Assad in 2011. The IS is a militant and violent ideology group that used weapons against every person who did not agree with their views. In 2014, it also expanded its territory into Syria’s neighboring country Iraq and then moved to eastern Syria. Now another side had joined the battle of supporters and opponents of Assad.
ISIS and its impact
This faction, which believed in extremist ideology, was once a part of al-Qaeda, but its foundation was laid in the situation after the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. It is headed by Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. The purpose of IS is to create an Islamic state i.e. Khilafat in Iraq, Syria and beyond. Be aware that IS has carried out many major terror attacks across the world in which many innocent people lost their lives. The deadliest attack in 2016 was in Iraq’s capital Baghdad, killing more than 200 people and injuring many.
US role and formation of SDF
In just a few years, the Islamic State became a major threat to humanity almost all over the world and felt the need to stop it as soon as possible. In September 2014, the US launched airstrikes aimed at ending IS. But the challenge before the US to fight the war on the ground and liberate that region from the IS was still left, for this task, the US also related the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (also known as YPG) and the Syrian Arabs. And formed the Syrian Democratic Forces-SDF in 2015. It is noteworthy that the SDF comprised the most Kurdish soldiers whom the US provided both financial and military assistance to fight IS.
Many experts believe that America’s purpose behind the formation of the SDF was not just to defeat the Islamic State, but it also wanted to overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s power with the help of Kurdish fighters. In fact, Syria is a fuel-rich country and the US has always wanted it to be controlled by the US, but this was not possible under Bashar al-Assad, because he was more close to Russia. For this reason, the US formed an army with the help of Kurdish fighters and Syrian Arabs and was given the task of ending the Islamic State as well as increasing US domination in Syria.
Who are the Kurds?
The Kurds are the largest stateless ethnic group in the world, with an estimated population of around 35 million. They live as a minority group in parts of southern and eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, northeastern Syria, northwestern Iran and south Armenia. Kurds mostly speak Persian and Pashto languages and are known as a skilled warrior in world history. The founder of the Ayyubid dynasty, which ruled large parts of the Middle East in the 12th and 13th centuries, also belonged to the Kurdish ethnic group.
Despite such a large number of Kurds, their distinct cultural and ethnic identities, the Kurds have never had their own independent national land. At the Peace Conference in Versailles after World War I, a Kurdish diplomat proposed a new Kurdistan that included modern Turkey, Iraq and parts of Iran. However, the 1920 Treaty of Sevres, under which the old Ottoman dominions were divided, gave very little territory to Kurdistan and annexed most of it to Turkey. After this, Turkey signed the Treaty of Lausanne with the Allies in 1923 and the Treaty of Sevres was abolished and the entire territory earmarked for Kurdistan was annexed to Turkey. Since then the Kurdish people have been demanding a different Kurdistan from time to time.
In the year 1978, the Marxist revolutionary Abdullah Akalan formed the Kurdistan Workers Party with the aim of establishing an independent Kurdistan. The Kurdistan Workers Party waged a war against the Turkish army in 1984 and the war continued until the arrest of Abdullah Akalan in 1999, it is noted that around 40,000 Kurdish civilians were killed during this period. Small strikes continued till 2013, and in the same year the Kurdistan Workers Party declared a ceasefire.
Turkey’s current attack
The Turkish government says that the YPG, ie the People’s Protection Unit, is an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has fought Kurdish autonomy with Turkey since 1984 and has been designated as a terrorist group by the US and the EU is. According to him, this organization is a threat to the sovereignty and integrity of Turkey and therefore it is necessary to end it. It is noteworthy that there are about 12 million Kurdish ethnic groups living in Turkey and Turkey believes that if YPG starts any kind of Kurdish nationalist movement again and demands separate Kurdistan, it will have a clear effect on Turkey and Turkey A feeling of separatism will also arise in the minds of the Kurdish people living in.
Turkey’s purpose behind the attack
Turkey wants to create a ‘Safe Zone’ on its border with Syria. This area is about 480 km. (300 mi) long and 30 km in Syria. Will have spread to With the creation of this safe zone, Turkey plans to provide accommodation for the more than 3.6 million Syrian refugees currently living there. Turkey says that this ‘safe zone’ must be created for peace in the region.
What can be the result of an attack
- ISIS likely to return
It is feared that the airstrikes carried out by Turkey will reduce the gains we have in the war against IS. Apart from this, it is also being said that the fighters who gave us an edge in the war against IS are also being killed.
check latest Post Female Education