By Aram Mirzaei
It’s been 8 weeks since Turkey together with its jihadist forces launched operation Olive Branch to clear the Afrin region of US-backed Kurdish militias (YPG). During these weeks, YPG forces have been taking a beating, losing well over 70 % their territory, including Afrin city itself.
It should hardly come as a surprise to anyone who has been following the situation that the Turkish backed jihadists would eventually capture the region. The Turkish Air force has been flying freely over the skies of northern Aleppo without Washington, YPG’s benefactor uttering a single word, despite being a close NATO ally with Ankara. This says a lot about who Washington cares for in Syria.
For some reason, the YPG leadership keeps counting on Washington to help them, despite Washington being a close NATO ally of Ankara’s. Last month, on several occasions, Damascus offered the YPG terms for the entry of Syrian government troops into Afrin, to act as a guarantee against Turkish aggression. These attempts to reconcile would all eventually fail to materialize in anything else than the entry of a few pro-government paramilitary units. According to reports, Damascus had demanded that the YPG hand over their heavy weaponry so that Syrian government troops could enter and re-establish security over the region, this was however denied by the YPG leadership, citing that their own commitment to the fight would suffice to beat back the Turkish-backed forces.
Over the weeks as the YPG has been losing ground to the Turkish-led jihadist advance, YPG-linked social media accounts have somehow shifted the blame onto Russia for these events. According to these accounts, Turkey only began its aggression after receiving a “green light” from Russia. This contradicts the fact that Turkey is an ally, or vassal of Washington’s if you will, and that Turkey’s aggression on Afrin has NATO’s “full support.”
The Syrian Kurdish leadership, following an age old tradition, had just like Masoud Barzani’s KRG placed their hope on the “International Community’s” good will to protect them. Once again, the “international community” failed them, because they have failed to analyse the political realities of the region and once again, incompetence among Kurdish leaders has led to this situation where young Kurdish men and women have been used as tools and sacrificed for nothing. But unfortunately, blaming Russia seems to be a syndrome for anyone who is allied with Washington.
58 days into Operation Olive Branch, Afrin city fell to the Turkish-backed jihadists without any kind of resistance. Pictures of the Jihadist forces roaming the streets of Afrin city, smashing cultural monuments deemed “un-Islamic”, while raising the Turkish flag on top of administrative buildings have circulated on various social media platforms. Looting will probably also take place, just like they looted Aleppo for Ankara’s benefit.
This can’t be deemed anything but a tragedy for the civilians who have fled in the hundreds of thousands to nearby government controlled areas. What is even more tragic is that the YPG leadership would rather hand over Afrin city to Jihadists without a fight, than handing over control to Damascus, the rightful sovereign of this land. This can only mean that Washington had a say in this disastrous YPG decision, as Washington is the only one who benefits from this.
In any case, Kurdish stubbornness has struck again and shattered the hopes of a people once more.