As Kurds progress against ISIS, Turkey fears Kurdish autonomy in Syria

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Kurdish fighters of the YPG and YPJ bidding farewell to a comrade killed during clashes with jihadists in Aleppo countryside. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Qamishli, Syria – The Turkish military and security commanders held several meeting earlier this week to discuss the latest developments in northern Syria, amid fears of the establishment of a Kurdish autonomous entity by Syrian Kurds.

According to Turkish local media, the meetings were held with attendance of leaders of the Turkish General Staff and the intelligence service.

The Turkish fears arose after the Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) were able to defeat militants of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) in several areas in northern Syria, which led to the liberation of major Kurdish-populted cities and towns and linked several Kurdish areas near the Turkish border. 

According to Turkish officials, the recent gains by Kurds are aimed at opening a safe passage towards the Syrian coast and prepare the ground for the declaration of “Syrian Kurdistan”.

On Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan touched on this matter during his return from Azerbaijan, where he expressed concerns about the advance reported by the Kurdish forces in Tel Abyad city in northern Syria, pointing out that it may pose a threat to Turkey in the future.

Speaking to ARA News, the Kurdish journalist Reshid Sekvan said that domestic protests and political changes throughout the region have made the Kurds critical players on many fronts, particularly in Iraq, Syria and Turkey.

“The U.S.-led coalition’s support for the YPG forces in Syria has caused tensions between the U.S. and Turkey, a NATO member. The remarkable progress made by the Kurdish forces against terrorists of the Islamic State, especially in Kobane, Hasakah and Tel Abyad, has led some experts to demand the United States to remove the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Turkey) from its list of terrorist organizations, especially that the PKK supports the YPG forces against IS in Syria,” he argued.

Sekvan pointed out that the YPG forces in Rojava (Kurdish areas in Syria) and the Peshmerga forces in Iraqi Kurdistan “have paid worthy blood for liberating their areas from IS terrorists and these fighters’ blood will definitely draw the map of Kurdistan in the Middl-East”.

Turkish authorities believe that an autonomous Kurdistan made around Turkey’s borders will stimulate Turkey’s Kurds to demand independence similar to their peers in neighboring countries. 

 

Reporting by: Egid Yousef 

Source: ARA News

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