TURKEY has been given the green light to invade northern Syria by the US following the abrupt decision by the Trump administration on Sunday to pull all American forces out of the region.
This decision, which reportedly followed a telephone conversation between Trump and Turkish president Recep Erdogan, opens the way for Turkish forces to storm in and carry out Erdogan’s long held wish to smash the Kurdish forces that have long spearheaded the war against ISIS.
The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) have been the fighting backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), 11,000 of their troops were killed fighting ISIS which was backed by Turkey.
The SDF fought and defeated the Islamic State terrorists and were hailed as ‘allies’ by US imperialism but on Sunday they were unceremoniously dumped and the way opened for Turkey to send in troops to carry out the massacre of Kurds.
Since August there has been a buffer zone operating between northern Kurdish-controlled Syria and the border with Turkey which is patrolled jointly by US and SDF troops.
This buffer zone was established as a sop to Erdogan – who regards the Kurdish YPG as a terrorist organisation – and a guarantee that there would be no military incursion into Turkey by Kurdish forces.
Equally, it was a guarantee by the US that Turkey would not invade Syria and take on the Kurds and smash them.
The SDF reported yesterday morning that US troops had already started to pull out along the border with Turkey, with SDF spokesman, Mustafa Bali, accusing the US of leaving the area to ‘turn into a war zone’.
Underlying this betrayal of their former ‘allies’ is the fact that since the victory of the Syrian people and its army over all attempts by imperialism to overthrow the democratic government of President Assad the US has cynically used the Kurdish militia to try to form a separate northeast Syrian statelet, autonomous from the rest of Syria.
Now US imperialism is so weak after a never-ending stream of defeats in the region that Trump has decided to pull the plug on the Kurds and abandon them to their fate.
The Kurds are learning the hard way that US imperialism has no allies; they were just cannon fodder to be used in the war to overthrow the Assad regime.
In a statement the SDF said they would defend themselves against ‘Turkish aggression’ and they called on all sects, including Kurds, Arabs and Syrians, to join them.
Nearly a year ago Turkey launched an attack on Kurdish forces in the northern town of Manbij following Trump’s earlier promise to pull US troops out of Syria completely. The Kurdish response to this attack was to invite the Syrian army to enter the town as they are ‘obliged to protect the same country, nation and borders.’
This was the first time that the Kurds had turned to the Syrian government of Assad for protection, and signalled a recognition that the only ally of the Kurdish people is the secular state of Syria.
Syria, under the Ba’athist Party of Assad and his father before him, had a proud record of secularism and tolerance to minorities within the country offering protection to Kurds, Shia, Sunni and Christians.
The attempt by imperialism to drive regime change through creating sectarian divisions and breaking Syria up – as they did in Libya – was decisively defeated. Now, with the US admitting its defeat and Trump ordering a humiliating retreat, Turkey is stepping in to invade and occupy Syrian sovereign territory.
The Kurds have clearly learnt from their error in playing the role of imperialism’s willing proxies in the war to smash Syria – today they can only turn to Assad, the Syrian people and army to defeat Turkey’s invasion plans.
The working class in the US, Britain, Europe and Turkey must stand with the Kurds and Syrian people in demanding the immediate withdrawal of all Turkish troops from northern Syria.
Having defeated the imperialist powers all Syrian people, whether Kurds, Sunni, Shia or Christian, must be allowed to determine how Syria is to be reconstituted, and all military forces not invited by the government ejected from the country.