ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Kurdish leaders in Rojava would like the Kurdistan Regional Government to take a stance on Turkey's assault of Afrin.
"We hope the Kurdistan Regional Government will show a clear position regarding supporting Afrin as soon as possible," stated the Democratic Union Party (PYD) co-chair Shahoz Hassan on Wednesday at a press conference in Erbil on Wednesday.
A delegation of MPs from the Kurdistan Region visited Afrin in February. They reported their findings to parliament and
with their Kurdish brethren in Afrin.
"We have our doors open to whomever wishes to go to Afrin and support Afrin. This makes us happy. We hope that the Kurdistan Regional Government will help in this regard for the nation to go to get to Afrin to participate in the nation's resistance in Afrin," added Hassan.
The Kurdistan Regional Government has yet to take a policy stance on Turkey's Operation Olive Branch.
KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said the Kurdistan Region was "seriously concerned
" a week after Turkey launched its January 20 operation.
“Our main concern is the civilians who are in Afrin city. We hope a resolution is found for this problem through dialogue,” he said at the time.
The landlocked Kurdistan Region is heavily dependent on Turkey for imports and oil exports. Its western border with Rojava or Syrian Kurdistan is closed, amid disagreements between the KRG and the PYD.
Edmund Ghareeb, a Lebanese-American scholar at the American University in Washington and a professor at George Washington University, spoke to Rudaw on Tuesday about the geopolitics of supporting Afrin.
"We see that the United States is not in fact doing anything, or saying very much about what's going on in Afrin," said Ghareeb.
He argued that US media has covered the atrocities committed in Ghouta more so than the suffering in Afrin, and this is reflected in statements by the US State Department.
"If you compare [US] positions with what's going on in Ghouta, you see it is a very different way or measure that the United States is using," explained Ghareeb.
So it can be interpreted that "clearly the US considers the Raqqa region, Hasaka, and Qamishli more important probably than Afrin."
Ghareeb also touched on former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's betrayal of the Kurds during the 1961-1970 Aylul revolts in Kurdish areas of northern Iraq.
The United States has attempted to balance propping up the government in Baghdad, support for the Peshmerga of the Kurdistan Regional Government, support for the YPG in Syria, and relations with its "strategic NATO ally" Turkey.
"Or perhaps, they want to see if that will satisfy the Turkish government, and its Syrian allies, the Free Syrian Army, and other forces," said Ghareeb. "Perhaps this way, it will allow the US to maintain its relationship with the Kurds east of the Euphrates..."
Turkey has threatened to “clear terrorists” from Manbij (east of the Euphrates), where US generals have repeatedly made public shows of force with local partnered Kurdish forces.
Through the international anti-ISIS coalition, the United States has supported the Syrian Democratic Forces, which are primarily comprised of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).
YPG is the armed wing of the PYD. The US denies currently supporting the YPG in Afrin.
Through Tuesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 215 civilian deaths since the start of Turkish offensive in Afrin that is in its seventh week. Turkey denies targeting civilians.