No Effort Should be Spared to Prevent War in Ain Issa
Several days ago, many regions in the northeastern part of the country, especially those around Ain Issa, witnessed a military escalation between the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on the one hand, and the Turkish-backed armed groups on the other. This had been preceded by threats from official Turkish authorities to invade the region, as part of a Turkish series founded on biting off more Syrian territories under the pretext of SDF’s domination in those areas, and the alleged threat they pose to Turkish national security.
The Turkish occupation, whether direct or indirect, through the armed groups operating under its command in this region, in addition to being a condemned and unacceptable act by all considerations, adds a new threat to the country’s unity, as it would lead, if it were to take place, to impose further isolation on al-Hasakah governorate with its demographic structure. It would also sever it from the rest of the country, through controlling highway M4, particularly in light of the expected US tactics with regard to Deir Ezzor and Raqqa.
In light of the seriousness of the existing situation, the possibility of a new humanitarian catastrophe, the displacement of thousands, the expansion of the occupied Syrian territories, and the growing threat to the country’s unity, what is required of the various parties, i.e. SDF as a dominant force in that region, and the regime in what is represents pursuant to international law, is the acceleration of understanding and coordination and establishment of a new reality regarding the map of distribution of the military forces in order to eliminate all Turkish pretexts. The first requirement for that is the positioning of the Syrian army throughout the border region, through a temporary settlement, and through inter-Syrian understandings away from extortion and provocation by any party of the other. More clearly, putting a stop to:
- The delusions of unilaterally imposing a fait accompli on the part of some within the Autonomous Administration, or the continuation of delusions regarding the new US administration, as is understood from the statements of some of its officials; or
- The regime’s continuous pursuit of returning things to the way they were pre-2011 and dealing with the situation as it were merely a security problem and dealing with the situation with an arrogant and provocative logic.
The existing situation there, with all its contradictions, is an extension of the overall situation that has formed in the country during the years of the crisis, and its final solution depends on the overarching solution in accordance with UNSC Resolution 2254 and the understanding and consensus among Syrians in general, as the one and only way to preserve the territorial integrity of Syria and liberate the occupied parts on the one hand, and deliberate all issues on the negotiations and dialogue table, on the other hand, including the experience of the Autonomous Administration.
Accelerating a settlement of this kind is considered a Syrian national necessity first, and a necessity in terms of the direct interests of Syrians in northern Syria with all their components, for their own security, stability, and ability to stay on their lands and preserve their properties, and not to repeat what previously happened in Ras al-Ain, Tal Abyad, and Afrin. This also constitutes realistic support for the forces that made great sacrifices in facing the Turkish occupation and its followers.