The free state of Idlib

*Map by Seta

With the excuse of cleaning up the militants in Idlib, Russians and SAA bomb and displace people without considering whether they are children, elders or militants. The Assad regime, Iranian, Lebanese and Iraqi Shiite terrorists and even PKK / YPG do not leave stones on stones with the air support of the Russians. Such evil forces are killing their neighbors they once lived with. The only visible difference of those neighbors is that they are Sunni while, otherwise, they speak the same language, live in the same land and belong to the same race.

The PKK, even if it is a race apart, on ​​the other hand, is a secular structure like Assadists. The terrorist group even won the sympathy of some fools in Turkey just because they were secular. The PKK / YPG is fighting alongside Assad in return for autonomy as it seems. We should note that they were always together. If there was no cooperation between them, why would only Idlib be bombed but Kobani be left untouched? Why does Assad regime call Sunni armed groups as terrorists but not YPG? Perhaps, it is because they are not terrorists in the eyes of Assad.

Concerning the purpose of the Assad regime, it is obvious that their only problem is to oust all Sunnis from Syria. Today, almost all 3.6 million Syrians in Turkey belong to the Sunni creed. The remaining Sunnis either took refuge in neighboring countries such as Lebanon and Jordan or migrated to other countries or gathered in the Idlib region. If you count the total number, you can see that it is equal to the sum of all Sunnis. This being the case, if those in Idlib are forced to migrate, Syria will be pure Nusayri, a derivative of Shia Islam. Besides, while autonomy will be given to YPG,  neighboring countries will have to undertake the responsibility of displaced Syrians.

There is a Sunni cleansing in Syria that Iran has supported and that the Assad  regime has implemented. The regime is hostile to Sunni people that even their tombs are looted or destroyed. People have to migrate desperately since they know that they will die under the persecution of Assad. It is clear that they cannot live under the rule of Assad. Therefore, it is necessary to recommend new and permanent solutions. One of these suggestions is the establishment of an autonomous state in the Idlib region in Syria. However, since Assad seems to remain in power, this solution will hardly be implemented. In order for autonomy to be possible in the presence of Assad, a strong international pressure is required, which does not seem possible.  For instance, America has been supporting PKK in the east of Syria for years but for Idlib, it has done nothing till now. Even its media ignores Idlib while still lamenting YPG.

On the other hand, Idlib is practically detached from the Assad regime. Currently, while militants are actively fighting, there is no administration that will rule the city and the adjacent area. Hence, it has become essential to switch to a state-like structure from now on. What is more, since Idlib region can be annexed to neither Turkey nor Assad, regional and international actors need to start thinking about the possibility of a free state.  Because, for example, even if refugees will return one day, it will be difficult for them to live in a place where there is no authority. However, if there is a political authority, the return of refugees will be easier and voluntary as they will find a structure that offers security and social services.

In fact, this proposal will divide Syria in the context of sectarianism but there is no other way to protect those who are victims of sectarianism. We wish that a Muslim country would not be divided but in a country where the rulers of the country kill their brothers, there is no other solution left. The Turkish government and international actors should start thinking about this issue loudly, and meanwhile, Turkey must appoint a leader together with a cabinet to the opposition-controlled region at least for facilitating the administration of the region.

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About the author

İbrahim Karataş

İbrahim Karataş

İbrahim Karataş is a columnist at Yeni Akit, a daily newspaper based in Istanbul.

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