Turkey's Syrian invasion should be stopped

The economy is plagued with high inflation since 2018 and the debt levels are on the rise. Its currency, lira, is losing its value.



By Christiane Waked

Published: Tue 29 Oct 2019, 7:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 29 Oct 2019, 9:34 PM

The Turks are doing all they can to achieve their ambitions at the expense of others. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is planning to dislodge Kurds from their homes in northeast Syria and annex half of Rojava to create a buffer zone. Its military is conducting ethnic cleansing in the area and targeting the minorities in the region such as Assyrian, Yezidis, and Arab population. All this is happening while the world leaders are watching in silence.
Truth is, Turkey never had to pay for any of its crimes which has emboldened successive governments to use the military to advance their political agendas with impunity.
Turkey is committing an ethnic cleansing and also violating the sovereignty of Syria. Syrian ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja'afari has called the Turkish initiative an "aggression" against his country and asked for the "withdrawal of all illegitimate foreign forces" from Syria. According to Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, more than 300,000 civilians have been displaced from northeast Syria since Turkey began its invasion.
The military action along the Syrian-Turkish border is to create 'safe zones' for millions of Syrian refugees, many of whom are presently in Turkey and are a burden on the Turkish government. The economy is plagued with high inflation since 2018 and the debt levels are on the rise. Its currency, lira, is losing its value.
A buffer or safe zone could help Erdogan's government in two ways: provide land for relocation of Syrian refugees who are currently in Turkey, and secure Turkey's borders. But the Turkish government's greed knows no bounds. It wants to annex 120-132km strip of land on the Syrian-Turkish border.
Military occupation of such a massive piece of land and using it as a relocation platform for Syrian refugees would drastically alter the demographic composition of the border area. This could pose new challenges in the region which predominantly has a Kurdish majority.
Such a change could lead to clashes in the future between the Kurds and the Arab refugees. But the most dangerous part is the fact that Turkey resurrected Daesh in Syria through its mercenaries.
It could happen again.
There is no political solution in sight as yet for Syria, and rise of Daesh at this time would make matters worse. The extremist group doesn't just pose grave dangers to Syria but the region on the whole.
Meanwhile, the world seems to have forgotten the valiant Kurds. The attention of the world media has now shifted to Lebanon where millions of Lebanese are out on the streets protesting against dire economic conditions.
It is our moral duty to denounce what is happening in northeast Syria. The international community and media must use their voice to support Kurds. They should act quickly to prevent more killing.
Turkey must be held accountable for the ethnic cleansing it has embarked upon again. These events must be documented and the world must ensure that its government doesn't get away this time, or in the future. It cannot use the military to advance its plans under any pretext.
- Christiane Waked is a political analyst based in Beirut


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