Both U.S. and Turkey Are Compromising Syrian Sovereignty
Sept. 26, 2020 (EIRNS)—The appearance of U.S. State Department official James Jeffrey, who has the ostentatious title of Special Representative for Syria Engagement and Special Envoy to the Global Coalition To Defeat ISIS, in Hasakah in northeastern Syria on Sept. 21, continues to make waves. A Turkish security expert by the name of Abdullah Agar told Sputnik yesterday that Jeffrey’s visit and his promise that Turkey won’t interfere in northeastern Syria indicates that Washington is pushing ahead with the plan for unifying various Kurdish regional groups with the aim of dividing Syria and Iraq. Agar claimed that the U.S. is engaged in trying to create a “PKK state,” which of course will be unacceptable to the Turks. Otherwise, Agar says, that by giving the Kurds guarantees against another Turkish incursion, Washington is trying to tip the balance on the ground in its favor and is seeking to integrate opposition Kurdish structures (that is, groups like that Kurdish National Council, ENKS, which are more friendly to the Turks) and formations with the PKK.
Agar recalled that the independence referendum organized by the Kurdish Regional Administration of Iraq on Sept. 25, 2017 did not receive support from the United States. “Then [I.K.R. President Nechirvan] Barzani was in a hurry, and as a result of this haste he lost Kirkuk,” the ex-commando highlights. “However, now as the time and conditions have changed, the situation of destabilization is evident.”
The forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG)—the backbone of the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)—and the PKK are being used by Washington to undermine the political structures of Syria and Iraq and ruin their territorial integrity, Agar argues.
Meanwhile, the Kurdish Democratic Union party (PYD), the party which the U.S. has been building up in eastern Syria and which does have some kind of an affinity with the PKK, is accusing the Turks of having a policy of Turkification of the areas in northern Syria which it occupies. “The Turkish occupation imposed dealing in the Turkish currency in the occupied areas instead of dealing in the Syrian pound, in addition to raising the Turkish flag over the region,” Mohamed Khair Sheikho, co-chair of the Executive Council in the city of Manbij and its countryside, told Hawar News, the pro-PYD Kurdish news agency, in an interview. Sheikho went on: “The Turkish state also entered the Turkish educational curricula into schools in the occupied territories and imposed them on the people.”
Sheikho stated: “All this brings to mind what the Turkish government followed in the areas of Iskenderun in the past, as it imposed the Turkification policy step by step until it took over the area, ignoring that Iskenderun is a Syrian land originally.” Sheikho continued: “In 1939, the Syrian Iskenderun was annexed to Turkish lands through agreements and treaties concluded with the French occupation of Syria, and currently the Turkish state, through its fascist policy, is practicing the same approach.” Iskenderun is, today, a city on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey’s southwestern province of Hatay, but between the two world wars, it was part of the French mandate of Syria until it was annexed by Turkey in 1939, an annexation that has never been recognized as legitimate in Damascus. Sheikho specifically compared Turkey’s policy of Turkification in the regions it occupies in northern Syria to the French policy in the mandate period during which it imposed the French language, the French flag and the French currency on Syrians.
In short, the U.S. is trying to break up Syria for geopolitical purposes, while the Turks are trying to create the conditions for annexing parts of Syria. Ostensibly, they’re opposed to each other, but both are making assaults on Syrian sovereignty.