WHY IS TURKEY INVADING SYRIA?
The Turkish Ministry of Defence published a press release stating, “Today, as of 16.00, the Turkish Armed Forces launched the implementation of the ‘Operation Peace Spring’ plan, prepared upon the directive of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.” “The operation is being conducted by respecting the territorial integrity of Syria and in the framework of the ‘Right of Self Defence’ in Article 51 of the UN Charter, resolutions 1373 (2001), 1624 (2005), 2170(2014), 2178 (2014), 2249 (2015) and 2254 (2015) adopted by the UNSC on the fight against terrorism, and the rights of Turkey emanating from international law.”
The statement continues to emphasize “only terrorists and their fortifications, trenches, positions, weapons, vehicles, and equipment are being targeted while utmost attention and diligence is being paid to ensure that civilians/innocent people and historical, cultural, religious buildings and infrastructure in the area of the operation, as well as friendly and allied elements likely to be in the region, are not harmed.”
In 1988, when the Iran-Iraq war was ending, Iraqi forces under Saddam Hussein launched the “Anfal Campaign” against Kurds, killing tens of thousands and forcing hundreds of thousands into exile. On March 16, thousands of Kurdish civilians were killed in a poison gas attack in Halabjah near the Iranian border. The world held the Iraqi regime responsible.
By March 1991, when the Gulf War was drawing to a close during which US-led forces had expelled Iraqi forces from Kuwait, the Iraqi government was suppressing a Kurdish rebellion in the North. Around 1.5 million Kurds fled the ruthless attacks by Iraqi forces, but Turkey closed the border due to security concerns forcing hundreds of
thousands to seek refuge in the mountains.
And so it goes on with Kurds being utilized in imperial ambitions by almost all who have an interest in the region and beyond, suffering their own plight since the late 19th century. This is in a chronology of events on BBC’s website
where details are given of abandonment, treason, back-stabbing and many more events leading to the tragedy of Kurds in their endeavor for their own state. As always, it is the innocent civilians who suffer the most.
After decades of struggle, the process of establishing the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) started after the first Gulf War, with the safe zone created by coalition forces in 1991, and finally, after the death of Saddam Hussein in 2005, Iraq’s constitution recognized an autonomous Kurdistan region in the north of the country, run by the
While the Turkish government vehemently denied recognition of a Kurdish state of any kind in the north of Iraq, Turkish companies became the main suppliers of biscuits to bottled water, from supra-structures to infrastructure, from bed mattresses for newly built 5-Star hotels, hospitals, the KRG parliament and Erbil airport to medical
supplies and consumer electronics. A Turkish construction company built the crossing on the Iraqi-Turkish border between Habur and Zakho, which proudly boasts the Kurdish flag (see photograph 1).
Could it be that Operation Peace Spring is a multi-faceted public relations campaign aimed at establishing the KRG of Syria, albeit at civilian costs on all fronts?