ANKARA (English English). Erdogan’s new assault on the Kurdish People’s Self-Defense Units YPG is driven by a belief he’ll meet little opposition from western powers, who need Turkey’s support for Sweden and Finland’s NATO bid. Selçuk Aydın writes about this in an article for the publication Middle East Eye.
“Today, western powers need Turkey, and their response may thus be muted to a possible Turkish operation in Syria… Ankara’s last safe-zone operation immediately followed the abrupt US withdrawal of troops from the region. Facing criticism over the withdrawal, the Trump administration subsequently brokered a ceasefire. The difference today is that the Democrats – who in 2019 pressured the Trump administration to impose sanctions on Turkey – hold the presidency, which could make it harder for Ankara to convince Washington to remain silent on a new operation. In the current context, the Ukraine crisis and the western push to expand Nato seem to be Turkey’s strongest leverage.” believes Aydın.
According to him, Russia could offer Turkey certain assurances in exchange for Ankara blocking Sweden and Finland’s Nato bid, thus strengthening Turkey’s hand vis-a-vis Russia, which has military bases in areas controlled by the YPG.
“From a geopolitical perspective, Turkey is thus enjoying optimal conditions for its military operation in Syria – a situation comparable to the 1930s, when Hatay, which had previously been under the French mandate for Syria, joined the Turkish state in 1939 after a referendum. The French agreement with Ankara came in tandem with a Turkish-French treaty guaranteeing Turkish “friendship” during the Second World War.” reminds Aydın.
On June 1, the Erdogan’s regime unleashed another war in northern Syria against the Kurdish people’s militia. The cities of Tal-Riffat and Manbij (Aleppo province), populated mainly by Kurds, were named as the targets of the invasion.