Jan. 8, 2019
Anyone following Turkish media cannot help seeing the long lines of military transport vehicles – tanks, artillery, troop carriers and auxiliary vehicles – making their way south towards the Turkish-Syrian border. The Turks have no plans to attack Syria – their objective is to nip in the bud Syrian Kurd aspirations to establish an autonomous entity south of the border, the region in which the Kurds reside.
This is not the first time Turkey has invaded the region northeast of Aleppo, Syria. Two years ago, Turkey conquered the border city of Jarablus in order to break the westward contiguity the Kurds had attempted to create in order to have direct access to the Mediterranean Sea.
Now Turkey threatens to conquer the city of Manbej, south of Jarablus and northeast of Aleppo, in order to consolidate its control over the Kurdish region and destroy any hopes of permanence for Kurdish autonomy born in the shadow of the chaotic period that began to envelop Syria in March 2011. Turkey’s designs against Syria received a shot in the arm two weeks ago from US President Donald Trump, who handed Erdogan an open check to do whatever he wishes to do in Syria.
It would be foolish to underestimate Erdogan’s intentions.