When Donald Trump greenlighted Turkey’s intervention to YPG-held area in Eastern Euphrates after a phone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday, he was almost cursed by majority of Democrats and Republicans. Many Americans claimed that Kurds (actually the PKK and its Syrian branch YPG) helped them to defeat ISIS, and wanted him to reverse his decision. While Turkish people were happy with Trump’s decision, they were also shocked with the reaction of Americans.
So harsh opposition is indeed non-understantable. First, some analysts deliberately use the word ‘Kurds’ instead of the PKK to legitimize US support to SDF and force Trump to let US troops stay in Syria. If Turkey is really planning to attack Kurds, one can ask which Kurds they are. Whereas Kurds are a-30 million ethnic group spreading over four countries, the name is reduced to a terrorist group with 30.000 militants at most. In their sense, the PKK represents not only a small minority but all Kurds across the world. For instance, more than fifty mothers participate sit-in protests in front of HDP building in Diyarbakir city of Turkey. They claim that HDP, PKK’s political party, kidnaps their children and delivers to the PKK. Therefore, from American point of view, PKK/YPG is representing even these desparate parents who are staunchly against the group.
In addition, arguing that Turkey will kill Kurds is actually a confession admitting that SDF is just the rebranded YPG. In other words, the US acknowledges that Arabs have little number and role in SDF. Thus, Turkish government is right in terms of targeting SDF. Moreover, some officials, while commenting on withdrawal, unveiled their real intention; creating a Kurdish state on territories of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. Among four countries, Turkey is also a NATO ally. Therefore, the US seriously struggled to divide its ally Turkey. This confession also justifies how Turkey is right for intervention.
Unfortunately, Turkey has been suffering from the PKK terrorism since 1984. Lack of authority due to Syrian civil war gave the PKK the opportunity to found an autonomous state. Besides circumstances in Syria, US support to the group for the sake of fighting ISIS strenghtened it. The PKK is now a more dangerous threat than ever due to endless American military support. For sure, if Turkey does not intervene now, tomorrow will be too late. By the way, Turkey offered the US to fight together against ISIS but the latter refused just because it didn’t want to dispatch casualties to the homeland from Syria. Yet, Turkish army is still sending martyrs to their families due to the PKK terrorism. Therefore, Turkey’s woes are stemming from America’s zero-loss policies. This course is not sustainable and Turkey is just trying to find a permanent solution to terrorism.