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Rojava Kurds will support Assad in Idlib – if it helps them retake Afrin

By Rudaw 26/7/2018
Turkish soldiers near Turkey’s border with Syria’s Idlib. Photo: Ilyas Akengin / AFP
Turkish soldiers near Turkey’s border with Syria’s Idlib. Photo: Ilyas Akengin / AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdish authorities in Rojava say they are ready to take part in a Syrian government operation in Idlib if doing so brings them closer to retaking Afrin, which was seized by the Turkish military and its Syrian opposition proxies earlier this year.

“One of the steps towards liberating Afrin is that we must put pressure on Turkey and ask them to withdraw from the soil of Syria completely – and our enclaves in particular,” Aldar Khalil, co-president of the executive body of the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM), told Rudaw.

“To evict them, we must try whatever means necessary, be they diplomatic efforts, military means, or through the media,” he added.

The defeat of Turkish troops in Idlib would pave the way for their defeat in Afrin, he said. 

TEV-DEM is the governing coalition in Rojava, the Kurdish-dominated self-autonomous enclave in northern Syria. The Democratic Union Party (PYD), the main party within TEV-DEM, has been excluded from the Geneva and Astana processes, at the insistence of Ankara. 

Preparations for the Syrian government’s Idlib operation are expected to begin soon after President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, with Russian and Iranian backing, retook swathes of territory around the capital Damascus and areas in the country’s southwest.

Idlib province is controlled by the Nusra Front – a former al-Qaeda affiliate – and Turkish troops. 

Rojava authorities are yet to make an official statement on their involvement in such an operation, nor have they been invited to take part by the Assad government, Khalil said.

In recent remarks, Assad hinted his government will soon shift its focus from the south to the north to retake territories from several different armed groups. 

The Turkish army has carried out military operations in northern Syria, dubbed Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch, alongside the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Their stated aim is to clear the Turkish border of ISIS and Kurdish groups, which Ankara consider terrorists.


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Ayman | 26/7/2018
Sorry but Syrian Army is not enough to beat Turkish Army. Russia will definetely not help them and go to war with Turkey considering their good relations and Trade with Turkey. Despite that, Russia and Turkey already have decided over Idlip, it will stay under Turkish Protection.
Bane | 26/7/2018
Really rudaw? Al Nusra is a former al-Qaeda affiliate? They ARE Al-Qaedas branch in Syria. Strict Sharia law is the norm anywhere they control, the once secular liberal Afrin is now Shariastan under Turkish and jihadist occupation. We can thank the Russians for that.
Pete | 26/7/2018
The Kurds of Rojava are the World’s heroes. Good luck to them in Idlib, and in clearing the Turkistani terrorists from northern Syria.
Azad | 26/7/2018
If true then this will officially confirm PKK's status as a terrorist organization. Assad's war crimes against the Syrian people and Sunnis in particular are massive and countless. Tens of millions of Sunnis forced to flee out of Syria. Millions of civilians bombed. Half a million killed. Hundreds of thousands of children buried and burned alive. Hundreds of thousands of civilians tortured and executed. If Assad captures Idlib more millions will have to flee to Turkey and anyone who can't will be detained, tortured and executed for speaking against Assad. What Assad does to sunnis is FAR worse than what rebels do to kurds in Afrin. Assad's war crimes are on a whole different level. As kurds we cannot support a monster. We are famous for supporting humanitarian values in a region full of savages. If PKK steps out of this line then they will become terrorists in the eyes of kurds. Mind you what will happen to the millions of arab refugees from Idlib and Turkey? If they can't sent them home rebel controlled areas in Syria then they will relocate them permanently to southeast Turkey. This is suicide for PKK. Act smart for once.
Eagle | 26/7/2018
Retaking means loosing! Syria and Kurdistan will never be secured as long as the Turks have the slightest upper hand or cutting off the stolen waters from northern Kurdistan. Only solution is real war against turkey. Without that all southern nations will break apart from only the water cause. And the Turks will capture all that area without any fighting.

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Pakistani | 2/16/2019 3:28:42 AM
Turkey is a terrorist state , has been killing innocent Kurds for ages ....
parasitePKK | 2/17/2019 3:54:11 AM
As long as the PKK is there Turkey has the right to defend themselves. PKK is a parasite against the Kurds.
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josfe | 2/14/2019 4:59:43 AM
And this man is a graduate with masters ? A college kid would be more objektive and wouldnt let his own opinion shine through.
David | 2/17/2019 1:36:54 AM
Solid analysis and proposal!
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