human rights watch

torsdag 23 mars 2017

Bayık: If SDF liberates Raqqa, Turkey's influence will wane – PART I

Bayık: If SDF liberates Raqqa, Turkey's influence will wane – PART I
KCK's Bayık pointed out that no project that excludes Kurds will accomplish in Syria. He said the US and Russia do not want Turkey to enter Manbij, noting that the US doesn't trust Turkey with regard to its policy on Syria.
Thursday, March 23, 2017 12:30 PM

Evaluating the Raqqa operation and the developments in Rojava and Northern Syria, KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Executive Council Co-President Cemil Bayık stated that the Turkish state bet on the wrong horse in Syria.

Bayık said the US and Russia do not want Turkey to enter Manbij, noting that the US doesn't trust Turkey with regard to their policy on Syria.

KCK Executive Council Co-President Cemil Bayık answered ANF's questions on the developments in Rojava, Northern Syria and Kurdistan. First part of the detailed interview is as follows:

What kind of a new page will the liberation of Raqqa by Syrian Democratic Forces turn over in Syria and how will this influence the balances of power in the country? What will be the political and diplomatic gains in the coming process?

There continues a major dispute over the Raqqa operation. Turkey will not be influential in its Syria policy unless it takes part and plays an effective role in the Raqqa operation. By having an effective part in the Raqqa operation, Turkey seeks to choke the Rojava revolution and increase its influence on Syria. In order to participate in the Raqqa operation, Turkey has resorted to all kinds of blackmailing to the US and the coalition forces. It also tried to benefit from the contradiction between the US and Russia, the US and Iran and Syria. However, due to the fact that Turkey's policies do not give much confidence, coalition forces did not lean towards Turkey's participation in such an important campaign.

On the other hand, Russia, Iran and Syria set eyes on Raqqa after the evacuation of the rebels in Aleppo. The most recent initiative on Palmyra is a part of this. However, Syrian Democratic Forces and coalition forces had launched the Raqqa operation previously, which resulted in them having the initiative on this campaign.


For sure, the Raqqa operation is critical and it will have an impact on a large territory that involves Deir ez-Zor and extends up to the Iraqi border. In this regard, the Raqqa campaign bears the means to have influence on Syria in generaland on Iraq-Syria border, and thus to have an impact on Iraq's policies as well. From this point of view, a major struggle on the Raqqa operation continues. Turkey's aiming Shengal together with KDP is also related with the Raqqa campaign and with who will take east Syria under control. The gangs' attack on Shengal was kind of an attempt by Turkey to sabotage the coalition forces and SDF running the campaign together. Their goal was to stall SDF forces and thus to frustrate the Raqqa operation. However, these efforts did not yield results because SDF already have a remarkable force on the ground. Raqqa is already encircled from three fronts and ISIS activity takes place mainly on the southern and southeastern front.

Still, SDF forces that are in alliance with coalition forces in the Raqqa operation stay ahead of the game in consideration of the facts that the Northern Syria Federation is prevalent in significant areas up to the Iraqi border, and Shaddadi and Hawl is under the control of Northern Syria which is also in a position putting pressure on Deir ez-Zor

Turkey's impositions have not been accepted because Turkey entering Raqqa will mean the obstruction of a radical change in Raqqa. Turkey's engagement in Raqqa means an increase of the influence of undemocratic and anti-democratic fundamentalist gangs in Raqqa. In this regard, there exist quite significant political differences between the capture of Raqqa by Syrian Democratic Forces and its capture by Turkey or other forces, and this will also have different political consequences. It is important who will have control over Raqqa, and Turkey's non-participation in this campaign will restrict its influence on not only Raqqa but the rest of Syria as well, and this will strengthen the position of democratic forces in Syria in general.

Liberation of Raqqa by Syrian Democratic Forces will mainly mean securing the Democratic Northern Syria Federation at a significant level, and bring about the effectiveness of democratic forces on the border regions between Syria and Iraq. On this basis, this will ensure the emergence of a regime on a democratic basis in Syria. Syrian Democratic Forces growing stronger will mean the prevailing of democratic forces in Syria. Whether with an agreement or consensus, a change in Syria that will based on democratization will reveal the shaping of a new Syria. In this regard, it is important who will liberate Raqqa.

Undoubtedly, with the liberation of Raqqa ISIS will lose significant strength. With the weakening of IS

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