It was only quite recent as Syria enjoyed the Post-IS era as a victorious symbol of Civil War when Turkey announced the De-facto operation to began in Afrin leading to Manbij. It seems that there is a new beginning to an ended Syrian civil war.
Syria is considered to be the “Heart” of Middle East and holds significance because of its Geo-graphical location. Syria was once the power player of Arab world and turned into a playing field for national and international wars with the passage of time. Arab world witnessed a democratic wave in 2011 with the rise of the rebellious protests “Arab Spring”. It was no longer when Syria got wrapped in this wave and Syria started bleeding.
Syria was continuously in a zone of war for about seven years and not lately when people breathed relief Turkey announced the de-facto operation in Kurdish controlled Afrin. Turkeys security concerns demand elimination of all terrorist activities and networks from its long frontier with Syria against Kurds occupied and U.S. backed forces.
Kurds “Kurdistan” an issue being declined since the disintegration of Ottoman Empire as they have been deprived of their identity, language and rights since the very beginning which resulted in frustration among the young Kurds and gave birth to PKK (Kurdistan workers Party) similar to it is YPG- Yekineyen Parastina Gel (Kurdish Peoples Protection Unit) which is backed by U.S. Kurds have been called as “Mountain Turks” by Turkey and they are currently residing in Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria. The Kurdish independence is a security and strategic threat to these four countries and hence unites them against this claim. Kurdistan holds a strategic importance being sixth largest oil reserve and Tigris-Euphrates River. The area is enriched with mineral and natural resources and is significant in this regard.
Syria and Turkey
Syrian and Turkish relations have been suffering since the very beginning including the annexation of Hatay Province to Turkey, the water dispute over Tigris-Euphrates River and the Syrian Civil War. Turkey opposed the government of Bashar-Al-Assad as it believes him to be the supporter of the Kurds Rebel which is causing tension. Hence the relations between the two long border sharing countries seems tensed from the very start.
Regional and the International Actors
The new “trio” emerges along with the Syrian Civil war stating it to be Turkey-Russia-Iran. Although Turkey was against Assad regime while Iran and Russia were his supporters but they all united and brokered Sochi Congress for the future constitution of Syria. And there relation became more evident when dealing with Kurds. The “Kurdish referendum” changed the scenario and united Turkey, Iran and Iraq. Their securitization and desecuritization brought them together. As they feared the wave of “Kurdish referendum” in Iraq in 2017 if had gone successful the wave will spread in other areas and that might result into another “Uprising”.
Turkey and Iran had good relations at the very start tension aroused with the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Turkey has ideological conflict with Iran but both the countries set aside their differences on dealing with political and strategic issues. Both the countries hold good trade relations and are spreading their influence in the region.
Beside U.S. Middle East got new super power with the Syrian Civil war which is Russia. U.S. has been enjoying being the solely super power in Middle East since the regions birth. But presently both U.S and Russia are engaged in power struggle over the Afrin as the east of Euphrates is occupied by U.S. and the west by Russia.
Turkeys Afrin operation got a “YES” from Russia which would otherwise not have been possible as it has provided aid and support to Turkey for its “Olive Branch” operation in terms of partial allowance of using airspace of Syria and by ensuring its support for Turkish backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) in Afrin. The aggressive Kurds have completely recognized Russia as Turkey’s alliance therefore is now relying on U.S. for its support to encounter Turkey. Turkish forces aim neither to occupy the territory nor to hurt the civilians but the result of missile attacks have caused a number of casualties hence Syria bleeds again.
The democratic wave in 2011 brought with it the changes in Arab world and has dragged the region into more proxy and civil wars. Syria is one among those countries who suffered a lot. Now with the De-facto operation in Afrin and Manbij the Syrian refugees will suffer more and ultimately Syria will suffer more. The deconstruction of Syria has reasons be it a political, security or strategic but will the construction also have reasons is yet to be known. The regional and international actors’ should consider the construction of Syria. Turkey, Iran and Russia will bring what next for Syria is yet too early to predict but now it’s the time to stop bloodshed and let Syria breathe.
On contrary, negotiations should be done with Kurds and diplomacy should be adopted as a tool for countering the sensitive issue as more rebellious acts will cause more destruction. Middle East has been in conflict and political turmoil since the very beginning and hence has always been a center of attention. This dangerous direction in Syrian Civil War will either bring change in the region or will be a closing chapter for the book titled “Syrian Civil War”.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy and position of Regional Rapport.