In an article with the headline: “Three expert views: a PYD Operation Appearing to be against Daesh”, the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper asked three experts for their views on Turkey’s participation in the Jarabulus operation. The three experts agreed the operation was not aiming at Daesh, but the PYD. [Cumhuriyet]
Here are excerpts from the three views:
Assistant Professor Dr. Behlül Özkan of Marmara University Faculty of Political Sciences Department of International Relations:
Even if this operation appears to have been conducted against Daesh, when you look into it, Daesh only had a miniscule military force left there. As such, this was not a stunning operation against Daesh in military terms. In fact, Daesh has been in that area for months. One has to ask why this operation had not been conducted for months only to be conducted against Daesh now. The reason for this is the PYD having crossed to the west of the Euphrates and its remaining 90 km. away from establishing a Kurdish corridor that will cut Turkey off from the Arab Middle East. This prospect must have set the alarm bells ringing in Ankara weeks earlier in that it was an operation conducted, agreement having been reached with the Assad regime in Syria, Russia and Iran and with the USA’s approval also having been obtained, to prevent this corridor from functioning. In order for this operation to have been conducted, Turkey must absolutely have brokered an agreement with Russia – with Russia being the force that protects Syrian air space. Brokering an agreement with Russia suggests that an agreement was also reached with the Assad regime and Iran. It must be added that there was certainly approval from the USA.
Associate Professor Dr. Ahmet Kasım Han, teaching staff member at Kadir Has University:
I find Turkey’s military operation targeting Jarabulus to be well prepared and well timed in diplomatic terms. … If you consider that in the long term Turkey will be negatively affected by a prospective Kurdish belt, you must also accept that steps must be taken to eliminate this risk.
Journalist Hüsnü Mahalli:
I do not think that it was a very serious operation. Jarabulus is no big deal. Daesh is not very strong there.
I don’t agree with this stuff about a Kurdish corridor. It is not logical. The Kurds lack the influence and strength to establish a corridor. What they are talking about in terms of a corridor is the area from Iraq to the Mediterranean. The Turkish-Syrian border. The PYD and YPG lack the military strength to establish this corridor. It is technically and physically impossible. Turkey will not permit this anyhow.
Nothing has been planned through this operation in the environs of Jarabulus. The Jarabulus operation has happened with Russia’s one hundred percent approval. That is, Turkey and Russia are taking important steps following the Putin – Erdoğan meeting. It is highly significant for President Erdoğan to have commented: “The Syrian people and not us, not another foreign country, will decide on Syria’s future.” Nobody is saying Assad must go any more. Turkey has also acquiesced to the continuation of the dialogue hereafter.