The Turkish government is insisting on the mistakes it has been committing in Syria over the past five years. The military operation against Jarablus, which was initiated by the Turkish Armed Forces with the pretext of fighting the ISIS, involves qualities that can deepen the war in both Syria and Turkey. Of course, Turkey should wage a more active struggle against the ISIS. Yet, Turkey’s target in the recently initiated operation is not the ISIS, but the Democratic Syrian Forces (DSG), who have been fighting the most effective struggle against the ISIS.
Two days ago we had one of the most terrible consequences of the Jarablus operation. Independent observers expressed that at least 35 civilians had been killed in the Turkish bombardment of the Bir El-Kusa and Siresat villages of Jarablus.
Since the very start of this operation, we have emphasized that its main target was the DSG, particularly the Kurds fighting against the ISIS in Rojava. The reported massacres in these two villages, where ISIS does not have any existence, reveal the aims of the Turkish government very clearly. Rather than waging a genuine fight against the ISIS, the government is trying to undermine Kurdish gains in Syria.
Another unacceptable product of Turkish government’s hostile position toward the Kurds in Turkey and Syria is the walls constructed in Kobane and other places at the border with Rojava. Leave aside constructing walls in the border zones under the control of ISIS, the Turkish government has not even taken routine measures to provide border security in such zones. Given these, the government’s aim in constructing the wall against Kobane is clear to us. This wall will only increase the anger and loss of trust among the Kurds living in Turkey and Syria.
This aggression of Turkish government toward Kurds in Syria will further aggravate the already violent state of Kurdish issue in Turkey. The civilian casualties south of Jarablus and the wall in Kobane are bad indicators of the course of events in the near future.
The international community should urgently take action and say no to Turkey’s unreasonable and aggressive anti-Kurdish policy in Syria that has already produced a heavy cost. Before it is too late, the Turkish government should be convinced to stop its war against the Kurds in Syria and Turkey, establish cooperation and peace with them on either side of the border, and refocus on fighting the real threat; the ISIS.
Vice Co-chair of HDP Responsible for Foreign Affairs
Deputy for Bingol