TURKEY - AUGUST 24 : An Infographic with the title "Operation Euphrates Shield", created on August 24, 2016 in Ankara, Turkey. The sources said that the operation, called Euphrates Shield, is aimed at clearing terrorist groups from the Turkish border region, tightening border security, and supporting Syrias territorial integrity. (Photo by Ahmet Tamkoc/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The Asayish (Kurdish police) began its aggression against the pro-government militia force the National Defense Force (NDF) on 16th of August when it launched an RPG attack at a checkpoint without provocation. This was not the first provocation the Asayish have committed against the NDF in Hasakah in Syria’s northeast. This has been a long ongoing issue for well over a year with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) doing very little to control the situation.

In fact the YPG had encouraged the Asayish’ aggression against government forces in Hasakah.What transpired were on and off battles lasting days and even including Syrian government airstrikes culminating the United States to boldly state that Syria could not conduct airstrikes within its own sovereign skies without risking a confrontation with the United States who heavily backed the YPG-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Although on the Twitter-sphere I was attacked consistently by the YPG zealots, what has transpired since the expulsion of the NDF and Syrian Arab Army (SAA) from Hasakah?

Firstly, ISIS have led a very successful campaign against YPG positions in the southern portions of Hasakah province.

Secondly, Turkey have begun an aggressive campaign with its Islamist proxies to expel the SDF from the western portions of the Euphrates in an operation named “Euphrates Shield”.

Effectively, since the Asayish and YPG began its aggression against government forces in Hasakah city, the greater repercussions have seen them lose areas of southern Hasakah to ISIS and their campaign to connect Afrin canton to the rest of what the Kurds wrongfully term “Rojava” be destroyed by Turkey’s intervention.

Over a month of fighting ISIS in Manbij in which the SDF lost hundreds of militants, it was only announced today that the YPG will be withdrawing from Manbij leaving only the Arab members of the SDF in the town. Although the YPG have claimed these militants have withdrawn to their bases, it is yet to be seen to what degree the Euphrates Shield operation has contributed to this decision. Latest reports have shown that ISIS have committed attacks against YPG forces south of Manbij today.

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It is well established that the Turkish regime have been engaged in a low intensity conflict with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the country for decades and that the YPG are just an extension of the PKK in Syria. It is no conspiracy that a Kurdish northern Syria constituting of Hasakah to Afrin is desired by the YPG and intolerable to Ankara.

This aggressive pursuit to statehood and the fracturing of the Syrian state explains the Asayish’ provocations with YPG blessing and support against Syrian government forces. However, the arrogance of the YPG would have blinded them to see that a double prong attack from ISIS in southern Hasakah province and Turkey and its Islamist proxies from northern Aleppo province was to be anticipated. Focusing all its energy in expelling government forces that consistently desired and sought a ceasefire with Kurdish forces exposed YPG forces to an ISIS and Turkish-led attack.

However, whilst YPG supporters were celebrating this victory over government forces, the YPG’s biggest backers, the United States, warned the YPG yesterday from advancing west of the Euphrates and to withdraw completely back to the east side of the river. US Vice President Joe Biden stated that Kurdish forces “must move back across the Euphrates River. They cannot, will not, under any circumstance get American support if they do not keep that commitment.” Effectively the “Marxist” anti-imperialist YPG had been betrayed by their biggest ally and largest imperial power the world has ever seen, the United States. This ideological contradiction is often overlooked and forgiven though by the trendy Western-leftists who continuously to unsuccessfully attempt to justify the hypocrisy.

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Today Biden continued to reaffirm Turkey’s Syria commitment by announcing that the Turks are prepared to stay as long as it takes to defeat ISIS. However, YPG and PKK spokespersons have continually claimed that the purpose of the Euphrates Shield operation is to defeat the YPG and not ISIS. This is a fair speculation, however the YPG must question why their aggressive pursuit for statehood at the cost of Syrian unity is completely unraveling.

Although a potent and effective fighting force that has had many impressive victories against ISIS, the YPG have been completely inept on the political spectrum and understanding geopolitics. Foolishly they assumed they could march their away across northern Syria without any repercussions because of their alliance with imperialist Washington who are are operating illegally in Syria. They were soon stabbed in the back with Washington favoring to appease Ankara who have been warming their relations with NATO-rival Russia.

The refusal of Biden to allow the YPG to connect its Afrin canton to its areas of control east and just west of the Euphrates demonstrates a Washington backstabbing the YPG and no longer pursuing a policy of a united “Kurdistan” in Syria.

Effectively, the YPG sought for a short term gain in its statehood pursuit by expelling pro-government forces in Hasakah at the cost of losing villages in southern Hasakah to ISIS, swathes of territory in Aleppo province to Turkey and its Islamist proxies, and the imperative town of Manbij that the Arab members of the SDF will struggle to hold onto when ISIS decides to push for it again.

Its short term gain will mean its plans for the long term have been dealt a shattering blow. The shortsightedness of its arrogance has meant its slow contraction for its push to Afrin canton, and the YPG only have its self to blame for their predicament. Rather than being cooperative with government forces who have always attempted to maintain good relations with them, they have always sought to undermine them.

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Turkey’s intervention in Syria makes no difference to the Syrian government as the land being taken by the Turkish Islamist proxies is just transferring it from one enemy’s hand, to another. But it has blocked any attempt for the YPG to create a “Rojava”. The Syrian government may have been willing to support the YPG against this double pronged aggression it now faces as it has done in the past where it provided arms and air support to the YPG, but it is unimaginable this could transpire when one considers the aggression the Asayish and YPG committed in Hasakah against the NDF unprovoked.

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The above map by newsmap.pl shows YPG areas in yellow, the green shows the areas that the Euphrates Shield hopes to gain, and the dark colour is ISIS.

The Afrin canton lies to the west in yellow and as demonstrated, if the Euphrates Shield is successful, it will block attempts to unify “Rojava”.

As said by Chris Tchaik, it is the YPG’s inflexibility and arrogance with Damascus that has made Erdogan’s dream of a buffer zone be realized with the blessings from not only Washington, but Moscow too.


The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Al-Masdar News.
 
Paul Antonopoulos has an MA Degree in International Relations, and wrote his dissertation on the Saudi-Iranian Geopolitical Rivalry in the Syrian War. He currently is Deputy-Editor for Al-Masdar News and teaches at Charles Sturt University
 

You can follow him on twitter: @oulosP

 

 

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Member
Regular
Commenter
Upvoted

Anyone who trusts the US foreign policy has to have his head examined. Remember wat happened with the natives of what is now the US. This double talk has been the hallmark of US foreign policy ever since. Stupid YPG/PKK. First they fell in the trap set up by ISIS/Erdogan and now this. Idiots and criminals!

svinebugten@gmail.com
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Newbie
Upvoted
There was no doubletalk. YPG has known this for weeks or months. It was Manbij and the area about. No Al Bab – No Jarablus. They were alone by wishing to take those and connect to Afrian as well. You ans theYPG are lying very 100%. YPG was/are a part of a coalition and not some anarkistic expecting that if US says a and b it means c,d,e. there are others in the area – and now the turks got their big excuse for that intervention. Look at a map. First ISIS, then Azzas rebl.-nusras – or/and Assads. Madnes of… Read more »
•Ðaniel B.•
Guest

turkey always wanted that area to be a no fly zone, when kurds were fianlly approaching it turkey finally intervened

AGRafael
Guest
AGRafael

I don’t think Russia will allow that because the no fly zone will just prolong the war. The no fly zone will be used as an resting area, rearming area, and training ground for the terrorists. Russia would never allow that nor Iran

Member
Regular
Commenter
Upvoted
ziad welds
“the expulsion of the NDF and Syrian Arab Army (SAA) from Hasakah” wrong they are both still there ,but i agree with the rest of your analysis specially about syria not caring if turks come in,as i also believe both syria and russia had pre knowledge of this move despite there weak verbal objection to it as a show to maintain appearance,this way Assad used the kurdish fools a cannon fodder to create a buffer zone between syria/turdgay and now uses the turds to suppress the kurds while keeping his hands clean of it officially ,but all of this to… Read more »
Yonatan
Guest
Yonatan

Ther Kurds trusted the US. Big mistake. Never trust the US – other than to stab you in the back the moment you cease to work solely for their interest.

Member
Regular
Commenter
Upvoted

Kurds are backstabbers too. Birds of a feather flock together

Member
Regular
Commenter
Upvoted

Forget the Turds.

John Hinsley
Guest

Looks like their web site just fell over!

kit
Member
Regular
Commenter
Upvoted
kit

Even with the Kurds pushing their luck and bullying with their Asayish, I fail to see how you think Turkey occupying Syrian soil, when they supply and support terrorists, is a better alternative.

Member
Regular
Commenter
Upvoted

He never said that

Tony
Member
Newbie
so typical of Washington,to stab the Kurds in the back when they saw Putin and Erdogen settling their differences.The yanks,afraid of Turkey forming an alliance with Russia,maybe leaving NATO and allowing Soviets to put in their defence shied against NATO front line threats. whatever way it plays out the Kurds,who started the fightback against jihadis and ISIS in the hope of finally getting their own homeland,have been stabbed by both Putin and Washington. Turkey with US air support will use this Euphrates Shield as a cover to try to invade Syria and if successful,both achieve their aims,a change of government… Read more »
Castellano
Guest
Castellano

“Soviets”? Its 21st century, man, wake up…

AGRafael
Guest
AGRafael
How does the author know that the Rusisan government supports Turkey’s Operation Euphrates or not? The Russians haven’t really said anything. It’s ridiculous that the US is violating all these international laws while the UN does nothing. What’s the point of the UN when they turn an blind eye to the US violating international laws and committing war crimes? It seems like Turkey made the decision to cozy up with Russia to get the US’ support for their operation. There was no fight against ISIS because they were ordered to withdraw. How do you think they took the town back… Read more »
Member
Regular
Commenter
Upvoted

Exactly….i will add that the hasakah incdent the fast evacution ISIS from jarablus when manbji battle finished and the split of .”FSA” Azaz of the rest FSA were the attemts to create a buffer zone for Turks inside Syria. Now for internal cnsumtion Eufrates shield succed and was vital to proove that Turkish army is strong after coup and ofc US never left Turkey

Member
Newbie
The author is right with his statement. But the engagement of Turks is not the end of Rojava. It depends of the means the Kurds have. If they can acquire or capture enough TOW and Manpads better Main Battle Tanks it would be too expensive for Turkey to attack Kurds. First of all: Rojava can exist good without the small green stripe at turkish corridor shown above. The Question will be, if Turkey attack the YPG generally or not. USA droped the SDF. It is not important if USA only threatend with it. The threat of Biden alone was the… Read more »
svinebugten@gmail.com
Guest
Newbie
Upvoted
You are wrong about making a Rojava anyway and by some better weapons. This cant be won by war. I see/saw the best chance by Kurds being on their own turf taken defensive lines keeping verybody out being friends – or at least no enemies with more than now taking the Eufrat line. Let the others fight about the rest than ánd show You are the most stabile part of Syria. Might be some Assad and a Nusra/rebel territories. They will then have no power to take kurds back. Remeber one very important thing. So many things are destroyed. So… Read more »
Member
Regular
Commenter
Upvoted

Very good analysis. I told precisely that it would happen when the Hasakah conflict started.

Pete
Guest
Pete

“The Asayish (Kurdish police) … launched an RPG attack at a checkpoint without provocation.” I’m calling bullshit on this.

jojo
Guest
jojo

In hindsight, Syria was very very unwise to remove the mines from its border with Turkey.

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