As Turkish military rolled in Northern Syria, there was hue and cry in western and Indian media. This criticism is based on ill-informed audience and lack of knowledge about the issue. Most probably, people are missing forest for a tree. Going back in recent past, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) was peaceful and its member states from Ankara to Aden and from Islamabad to Casablanca were developing like rest of the developing world. After the Arab spring, MENA has been turned upside down. Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and Yemen have become cauldrons of human tragedy.

Kurdish question is an illusion of a homeland for Kurds by carving out spaces from Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq. So those who support a separate homeland for Kurds are actually looking at dismantling of the states that have Kurdish populations - are we looking for a WW3?

Turkish motivation to push into Syria comes from following factors:

Turkey is hosting 3.6 million refugees from Syria, who were displaced by civil war.YPG (People Protection Group), a Kurdish guerilla group is occupying northern Syria and conducts terrorist acts in Southern Turkey.

While Kurds in northern Syria were supported by US and NATO members, Turkey was left in cold to face a two front security problem of refugees on its soil and YPG guerillas attacking the border towns to incite violence in Turkish Kurd areas.

A fancy concept of Rojava(western Kurdistan) started emerging in Northern Syria, where Kurds pampered by the west and Israeli advisors established a de-facto independent state and it was becoming a base for greater Kurdistan, threatening Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Unfortunately this Zionist advice to Kurds to carve an independent nation out of four countries is a recipe for balkanization of the region and whole sale destruction of countries hosting Kurd population. It’s just like asking Austria, Switzerland, France, Hungary and Check Republic to shed territory to form a new German territory.

Turkey wants to push YPG out of a corridor along Turkish-Syrian border upto 30 kms in depth and resettle at least 1 million of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees it is currently hosting in the zone.

It may be interesting to note that Turkey has been there before as far as Kurdish guerrillas in Northern Syria are concerned. Many in Pakistan may not have heard about Adana agreement between Turkey and Syria. Taking help from material avail on website of Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we are highlighting the Adana agreement:

Syria sheltered PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) groups from 1984 to 1998 due to Hatay issue and Turkish dam projects on Euphrates. In the summer of 1998 Turkey threatened Syria with total war, asking them to stop their support to PKK. In autumn of 1998 Syria backed off and kicked Abdullah Öcalan and shut down PKK camps. This agreement was signed in October 1998 with both sides agreeing on the following points:

“Syria, on the basis of the principle of reciprocity, will not permit any activity which emanates from its territory aimed at jeopardizing the security and stability of Turkey. Syria will not allow the supply of weapons, logistic material, financial support to and propaganda activities of the PKK on its territory.

Syria recognized that the PKK is a terrorist organization. Syria has, alongside other terrorist organizations, prohibited all activities of the PKK and its affiliated organizations on its territory. Syria will not allow the PKK to establish camps and other facilities for training and shelter or to have commercial activities on its territory. Syria will not allow PKK members to use its country for transit to third countries”.

If one looks at the evolution of Kurdish YPG, it is a definite offshoot of PKK and has cunningly morphed into SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) and it is backed by western and Israeli forces of chaos. YPG has a tainted past record and Amnesty International report on ‘War crimes by YPG’ was published on 13 Oct 2015 exposing the ‘soft face’ of this terrorist organization. The extract of the AI report are posted below:

“A fact-finding mission to northern Syria uncovered a wave of forced displacement and home demolitions amounting to war crimes carried out by the Autonomous Administration led by the Syrian Kurdish political party controlling the area”.

“By deliberately demolishing civilian homes, in some cases razing and burning entire villages, displacing their inhabitants with no justifiable military grounds, the Autonomous Administration abused its authority and brazenly flouted international humanitarian law, in attacks that amount to war crimes,” .

After going through a historic perspective of Turkey’s incursion into Northern Syria, which we have termed as ‘Ottoman Slap on the face of Terror’, what is the way out?

We think that Turkish demands are genuine; Syria, Iran and Russia would also like to settle the issue peacefully, especially, if YPG is dismantled and Syrian refugees return to their homeland with honour, that’s what Turkey has asked for and that is where Syria should head into.

As far as Pakistan is concerned, PM Imran Khan and Government of Pakistan has openly supported the actions by Turkey to uproot terror networks in Northern Syria. Irrespective of the circumstances, Pakistan will always stand by their Turkish brothers and sisters. Pakistan values Turkish support on crucial issues of FATF and on condemning Indian atrocities in Occupied Kashmir. While President Erdogan will be visiting Pakistan after few days, we hope, both leaders can rise to the occasion and convert the bond of friendship into real brotherhood.