A majority of media outlets outside of Turkey and some neighbouring states falsely claim that Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch and a forthcoming/post-US withdrawal operation to neutralise terrorists in Syria east of the River Euphrates is designed to target “the Kurds”. Likewise, many US political leaders including National Security Advisor John Bolton claim that Washington seeks assurances that a new Turkish anti-terror operation in north-eastern Syria won’t harm “the Kurds”.
The fact of the matter is that far from being a unified socio-political monolith, Syrian Kurds are deeply politically divided with the main political opposition to the radical YPG/PKK terror organisation being forced largely outside of areas in eastern Syria where the US has allowed the YPG/PKK to rule the roost with the help of American air cover. The YPG/PKK is the sworn enemy of many opposition groups within Syria as well as those forced into exile with the Kurdish National Council (ENKS) constituting one of the largest and most respected of these Kurdish anti-YPG/PKK groups. The ENKS has a long history of opposing YPG/PKK terrorism and has looked to partner with Turkey in order to liberate parts of their homeland from YPG/PKK occupation.
Indeed not only do members of the ENKS see Turkey as a potential liberator rather than an oppressor of Syrian Kurds, but ENKS representatives also met with officials in Moscow early last year.
One should never forget that Turkey currently hosts over 2.6 million Syrian refugees. Of the over 2.6 million are 475,000 from east of the River Euphrates. These refugees include not only Arabs and Turkomen but also ethnic Kurds who have been forced out of their homes due to the YPG/PKK’s war of terror. Beyond this, during the YPG/PKK’s cooperative efforts with the US in the eastern Syrian city of Raqqa, the YPG/PKK terror group actively promoted ethnic cleansing against the indigenous population. For the victims of this ethnic cleansing, the differences between the YPG/PKK and Daesh (ISIS) meant little if anything. In an article from 2017, geopolitical scholar Andrew Korybko wrote about these worrying developments which continue to this day in the following way:
“There’s no “delicate” way to say it – what’s happening in Raqqa right now is the large-scale ethnic cleansing of the city’s majority-Arab population through chemical weapons and indiscriminate bombing in order to create the on-the-ground conditions for ‘legitimizing’ the expansion of the Kurds’ ‘federalized’ statelet (the ‘second geopolitical Israel’). The Mainstream Media is holding back from openly announcing the obvious in a frail attempt to obscure its grand strategic plans until the day arrives when they’re undeniable, but also of course out of the self-interested pursuit to avoid being implicated in worsening the Immigrant Crisis.
As for most of the Alt-Media, they’re very reluctant to recognize that Russia’s policy of engagement with the Syrian Kurds has totally failed to pry them away from the Pentagon, so there’s a certain degree of wounded pride involved which is taking some time to overcome. Furthermore, by recognizing the US-Kurd campaign in Raqqa as ethnic cleansing, it would put enormous pressure on Russia to stage a “humanitarian intervention”, which to remind the reader, is beyond Moscow’s military mandate and could dangerously draw it into an Afghan-like quagmire and potentially lead to nuclear brinksmanship with the US, both of which the Kremlin will do anything to avoid.
Sadly, what this translates to in reality is that the Arab cleansing of Raqqa will probably go unnoticed in most of the global media, though it might emerge as a politicized subject after the campaign is completed. For now, however, it seems like both the Mainstream and Alternative Medias are content with only discussing the US’ chemical weapons use and indiscriminate bombing during this campaign, which is interesting to note because Western Mainstream Media usually never talks about such truths. Therefore, this in and of itself should be a glaring indication for all observers that the West is desperately trying to deflect from the ongoing ethnic cleansing that’s happening on the ground, though hopefully, Alt-Media will call them out on it sooner than later”.
It is worth noting that earlier in the same article Korybko writes the following:
“I wrote about this relationship in my article about the Kurdish-Daesh-Saudi connection in Syria and Iran, which also makes it abundantly clear that my professional use of the word ‘Kurd’, unless otherwise and explicitly specified, always refers solely to Kurdish militant groups, NOT the peaceful and law-abiding majority of this demographic”.
Thus, Korybko’s analysis makes it perfectly clear that one can and should separate the peaceful populations of north-eastern Syria which includes ethnic Kurds, from the YPG/PKK terror group that has committed atrocities against their own ethnic “brethren” as well as against the majority Arab population of cities like Raqqa as well as against Turkomen and Christian minorities including Armenians.
It should also be remembered that from a purely ideological point of view, it is shocking that a self-processed anti-communist US administration should align itself with YPG/PKK terrorists whose own ideology of collectivist, pseudo-anarco ultra-feminist Marxism that would make most Trump supporters shudder with contempt. Furthermore, it should not be forgotten that members of the violent Trotskyist US based Antifa group have travelled to Syria to fight beside the YPG/PKK.
Beyond this, the YPG/PKK has a well documented history of recruiting child soldiers, including young girls to fight among their ranks while the group’s main source of income is raised from the lethal narcotics trade. Such a group is not representative of any one ethnicity and regional Kurds, Turks and Arabs realise this to be true even if the YPG/PKK’s useful idiots refer to the terror group as “the Kurds”.
It is also helpful to recall that in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Turkey’s President Turgut Özal was in fact of a Kurdish ethnic background as are millions of patriotic and law abiding Turks whose experience facing the blackmail, violence and intimidation tactics of the PKK is well known.
When the horrific track record of the PKK is taken into account and when one remembers that the 40,000 in Turkey killed by the PKK represents a number of deaths that is 37,000 more than the number of Americans who perished on 9/11, one can begin to ascertain the scope of the PKK’s war of terror launched first against Turkey and now against Syria via the PKK’s local arm, the YPG.
Therefore it is nothing short of inflammatory for people like John Bolton to suggest that Turkey must be restrained from harming “the Kurds” when the reality is that for over forty years, a terror group slandering the name of ethnic Kurds has slaughtered 40,000 Turks in a campaign of supreme violence. Such remarks also serve to inflame tensions throughout the regions by painting a false picture of Turkey’s warm relations with millions of Syrians who call Turkey their temporary home.
Any terror group that killed 40,000 innocent people would be rightly reviled by the sons and daughters of those who were killed under the PKK flag of death. This is why Turkey’s outrage at the fact that its NATO ally America continues to fight for the rights of the YPG/PKK terror group is not only legitimate, but is in many ways remarkable in terms of its restraint.
There is no such thing as a “good terrorist group” and in so far as this is the case, the YPG/PKK is certainly among the worst.