Turkish Ethnic Cleansing in Northern Syria
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Launched cross-border on October 9, east of the Euphrates River, Turkish aggression is all about President Erdogan's aim to annex northern Syrian territory.
So-called "Operation Peace Spring" has nothing to do with peace, nothing to do with protecting Turkey from cross-border attacks, nothing to do with combatting ISIS and likeminded terrorist groups Ankara supports.
Clashes continue between Ankara-backed terrorists and Syrian forces, no ceasefire as falsely declared by Turkey on October 22.
Turkish forces continue ground and air attacks after the artificially declared ceasefire. According to Kurdish YPG commander Mazloum Abdi, Erdogan wants northern Syria ethnically cleansed of Kurds.
A London Independent report said Turkish-backed jihadists in northern Syria are involved in "summary executions, mutilation of corpses, threats against Kurds and widespread looting," adding:
What's going on "resulted in a mass exodus of Kurds and religious minorities from" from their home areas.
Displaced Kurdish civilian Muhammad Amin said "(t)hey are shooting Kurdish people where they find them."
An Arab resident told a Kurdish neighbor: "When they come, they will kill you. There were two Christian families in our village who left for the same reason."
Since Turkish aggression began, there's been widespread killings, confiscation, and looting of Kurdish property.
Kurds remaining in harm's way or trying to return home after displaced risk death.
A Kurdish woman said "(s)ome Arab neighbours called us to tell us the fighters have looted our house and taken it as a headquarters. They have taken our land and our equipment too. They have taken everything."
Following Turkey's Operation Olive Branch aggression in March 2018, a Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry (COI) said the following:
"(A)rbitrary arrests and detentions (by Turkish forces) became pervasive throughout Afrin District (Aleppo)."
There were "credible allegations of torture and ill-treatment, often targeting individuals of Kurdish origin, including activists openly critical of armed groups and those perceived to be so."
Well over 100,000 Kurds remain displaced from areas attacked by Kurdish forces last year, ethnic cleansing ongoing during Turkey's current aggression.
In late October, Erdogan called Syrian territory bordering Turkey "not suitable for the lifestyle of the Kurds" — code language for wanting them displaced and dispossessed of their property.
According to World Peace Foundation research director Bridget Conley, the ongoing "Turkish incursion into northern Syria demonstrates clear hallmarks of ethnic cleansing," adding:
"Turkish government statements indicated an intent to displace the Kurdish population and replace it with Syrian Arabs, and pursued this policy with repression and human rights abuses."
Displaced Aliya al-Ahmed said "I don't know how to tell you, but I will try to describe it. It's like they sent us down the well and cut the rope."
On November 26, Turkey's National Security Council said Operation Peace Spring "will continue until it reaches its goals…"
According to Southfront, "(t)he Turkish side seeks to continue its military operation in Syria's northeast and clear it from the Kurds, most of whom it describes as terrorists or terrorist sympathizers," adding:
Erdogan aims to resettle "radical" Arabs hostile to Assad in northern Syrian territory controlled by his regime.
He's playing the Russian and US cards simultaneously to serve his own revanchist interests.
He threatens peace and stability in northern Syria, using a nonexistent Kurdish threat to advance his aims, employing jihadist fighters to pursue them.
Time and again, Erdogan proved he's an unreliable ally. Damascus has two enemies to deal with — US and Turkish occupation of its territory.
Endless war continues in parts of the country as long as this situation remains unresolved.
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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."