What is Required to Prevent a New Turkish Military Invasion?
Political Editor Political Editor

What is Required to Prevent a New Turkish Military Invasion?

Many areas in northern Syria, especially in the northeast, are experiencing turmoil, and the impact of Turkish artillery and aerial strikes has left a number of victims and pushed thousands to leave their areas out of fear of the possibility of a new ground invasion by Turkish forces.

In parallel, there is very intensive diplomatic movement and continuous communications by all the relevant sides, in hopes of preventing further deepening of Syrians’ tragedy, which indisputably will become worse in case a new invasion takes place.

If we ponder the positions of the main international and regional forces that are influential in this file, what is most noticeable is the ambiguous American position, which says one thing and its opposite at the same time, and at the highest levels. For example, last Tuesday, after the Turkish declaration of the “claw-sword” operation (last Sunday), and shortly therefore, there was a statement by the White House saying: “Turkey is facing a threat on its southern border and it has the right to self-defense”, which could be understood to mean an American support for the operation, or at least a green light thereto. The same day, the Pentagon issued a statement saying: “the US Central Command announced that the US opposes any military action that leads to destabilization in Syria”, which could be understood to carry a message that is opposite to the one issued by the White House.

Anyone following US position over the last few years with regards to Turkish military operations that took place on Syrian territory, would not be surprised by this contradiction. This is not the first time where two very contradictory positions are expressed, the result of both of which is a push towards a military operation from one side and from the other side an attempt to control the limits and outcomes of that operation. This is exactly what happened during Trump’s presidency more than once.

Broader Backgrounds

Many lean towards reading Turkish behavior from the angle of the Turkish authority’s current situation and the preparations it has undertaken for the 2023 elections, which are about seven months away. In this sense, the Turkish aggression, which has started and can expand, seems to be part of an election machine for Erdogan. In our opinion, this reading, while might not be entirely untrue, is not at the center of the issue and not the most important therein.

If we try to deal objectively with the Turks’ talk about the imminent threat to their national security, and linking that threat to SDF/SDC, then there is no doubt that the Turkish authorities – at least – greatly exaggerate in portraying SDF/SDC as a threat to its national security, if we do not want to say that it is fabricating this threat, as SDF’s military and political weight does not allow it to actually threaten Turkey’s security. Nevertheless, there is what could really threaten Turkey’s and the entire region’s security, which is the focused exploitation that the US is trying to aggrandize in the Kurdish cause throughout the region, including inside Turkey, northern Iraq, inside Iran, and in Syria, where the threat is objectively the lowest.

In other words, the Americans, in the context of preparing the proper ground for their inevitable withdrawal from the region, are seeking to push it towards implosion so the quagmire they have created therein continues after their departure. This is also so that the region does not become a stock for its two biggest competitors: China and Russia. This is because stability in the Middle East will be the right recipe for new trade roads to prosper, ones that the US does not control.

The scene become more complicated if we look closely at additional relevant elements. The situation in Iran is also unstable, and the threat source there is certainly not SDF or SDC, but it is partially US attempts to exploit the Kurdish cause starting from northern Iraq all the way to inside Iran.

A Permanent Landmine

Not resolving the Kurdish cause justly in all four countries has been for more than 50 years one of the factors for intervention and explosion that is exploited primarily by the West, to pressure these countries and their peoples, and to spread American policies in the entire region.

The People Will Party’s program document, entitled “The Kurdish Issue and the Peoples of the Great East”, looked at length and in detail at this issue. The introduction of this document said:

“The handling of the Kurdish issue is gaining special importance today, especially in a time when the crisis-burdened US imperialism is escalating its actions of fueling the feelings of ultra-nationalism eliciting another opposite ultra-nationalism as a reaction. US imperialism is also escalating the situation up to the point of feeding some separatist and divisive tendencies, which serve as ‘clefts’ favorable for imperialism to complement the functional role of those other secondary clefts of the sectarian type”.

This landmine cannot be completely diffused without a just solution to this issue, at the local levels and overall, in a manner that preserves each countries unity and independence. While reaching this solution is still up in the air until more proper historical circumstances are in place, what is definite is that the entry point to the solution is expelling the Americans from the entire region. This should happen in parallel with effectuating internal patriotic and democratic changes in the regimes of these countries in a manner that permit creating true popular representations. What is known is there are no animosities and faults among the peoples of the region as is exploited politically. To the contrary, the peoples of the region, with their different nationalities are more capable of understanding and harmonizing with each other than the current regimes, and even more than the current political movements whether in the regimes or the oppositions.

However, if the comprehensive solution is relatively distant, then partial solutions are still possible, the main one of which is reaching internal national understandings in each of the four countries. When it comes to Syria, regarding this particular matter, i.e., the Kurdish issue, despite all the complexities, things are simpler than in the other three countries.


The priority today is preventing a new ground invasion. The clear solution now is to hand over the borders to Syrian border guards. If it is necessary to withdraw heavy weapons to 20-30 km from the borders, this also can be achieved through an intra-Syrian consensus, including an agreement on a concrete formula of a new relationship between centralization and decentralization that guarantees the unity of the country and opens the doors to its subsequent development. As for the nature of the forces that can fill the vacuum, which should be Syrian forces, this also can be agreed on among Syrians themselves with the help of the Astana track.

In other words, all pretexts should be blocked, and the American promises to prevent the operation should not be trusted, as these are promises that have already been made and have been breached over and over again. As for the Astana track, the final communique of the last meeting, while it did not have a good effect on the Autonomous Administration, which is natural and expected, nevertheless what should be appreciated about it is that it was neither devious nor fraudulent, and said things as they are. Therefore, there should be serious work to search for a solution with the Astana sides, by blocking pretexts and through reaching an understanding with the rest of the Syrian forces, which also need to stop making demands that are insuperably difficult that make the options equal for SDF/SDC.

In general, preventing a new aggression is still possible, and it requires creative and new initiatives that would spare bloodshed. It would also allow for transforming what has been achieved by fighting ISIS into a platform towards a comprehensive political solution that includes real and practical implementation of a new formula between centralization and decentralization in the entire country.

(النسخة العربية)