ALI HASSAN-MEDIA HANAN
QAMISHLO– “Turkey has a phobia of the Kurds, Turkish plans to attack Afrin are linked to the situation in Idlib and the creation of a new force along with distant goals,” said the academic writer and researcher in the Turkish affairs and director of the Center for Strategic Studies in Beirut Muhamad Noraddin, adding that the attack cannot be carried out without a Russian green light and if Russia had given permission, it would be a strategic mistake.
In an interview with the Hawar News Agency, the academic writer and researcher of Turkish affairs and director of the Center for Strategic Studies in Beirut, Dr. Mohammad Noraddin assessed the Turkish threats to occupy Afrin and the reason for Afrin’s selection at this time. He also referred to the positions of the international forces and the Syrian regime, that the attack on Afrin could renew the military conflict inside Turkey, and stressed that if the attack occurred without the green light of Russia, it means the collapse of Astana and putting Turkey at greater risk.
The interview is as follows
Turkey has sent military reinforcements to the border of Afrin province and bombed it several days ago, and officials are threatening to invade. What does Erdogan fear? Why Afrin at this time? What is Turkey doing right now?
The Turkish phobia of the Kurds is limitless and it considers the aggression and racism of all those who are Kurds. Afrin is part of this Turkish hostility to the Kurds, but why at this particular time? I think it is linked to more than one reason. The first is the situation in Idlib and the pressures of the Syrian and Russian armies to eliminate Jabhit al-Nusra in that region. Turkey rejects this and is responding by threatening Afrin.
It is also trying to respond to the declaration of the International Coalition to establish a force of 30 thousand fighters in north-east Syria, which is of concern to Turkey, and is linked to long term goals where Erdogan aims to strengthen his position in the presidential election in 2019.
In the case of attacks on Afrin and Manbij as Erdogan threatens, how will this affect the already complex Syrian situation? What are the possible scenarios?
I think if Turkey actually entered into a war against Afrin and did so, this is one of two, either it will be a green light of Russia on the grounds that Russia has observers and some troops there and it is the link with the Kurds there, and therefore Turkey took many accounts of Russia’s position on this matter. If Russia gives the green light to this, it will be a strategic mistake in Russia’s relationship with the Kurds, where there are no Kurds left in the field situation, only in Afrin, while the other Kurds in northeastern Syria are to the American side.
But if Turkey entered without Russia’s consent, I think that would mean the end of the Astana agreements and this Turkish-Russian understanding, in addition to the Turkish-Russian-Iranian understanding.
It is not clear that Turkey will add additional areas inside Syria to its authority and add more force and influence to it in more than one direction in the direction of the Kurdish region, the Syrian state and Russia. I think that if this happens, Turkey in one way or another, but this is of course linked to whether Turkey succeeded in occupying Afrin or that the Kurdish fighters will have another word.
The Kurds will not stand idly by about these attacks and will defend Afrin with all their might. But what about the great powers? How will the position of Russia and America from Turkey in the event of such attacks?
I think the United States will not move and it cannot move because it is far from the region, but if Turkey enters against Russia, it will be affected by the strength of Turkish-Russian relations and will enter a new phase and will be affected by the agreements of Astana.
As for the Syrian state, I think that it will not be able to play an effective and influential role. But if Russia, Iran and Syria are opposed to this step and Turkey has taken this step, I think that Turkey will become more isolated at home and will face greater risks before it will have more extensive and stronger field papers.
Turkey has internal problems and is governed by the Emergency Law. What is the effect of this Turkish plan on the domestic situation in the country? And why?
Erdogan, in light of the continuation of the rule of emergency declared since the failed coup, it will not be easy for him to continue ruling under these provisions that marginalize the parliament and under pressure on the opposition in all its forms and freedoms. Erdogan wants to strengthen nationalism as usual and I think he will succeed with the support of Nationalist Movement and with the support of the Republican People’s Party, also to hit the Kurdish situation in Syria, which the Turks threaten to their national security.
Is it possible that Erdogan’s move will become a reason for his opponents to rise up against him within the country? And why?
I do not think so, because there is no serious opposition to opposing the attack on Afrin and its occupation and carrying out a military operation in the Kurdish areas where the Americans are located in Kobani and other areas, and the Democratic Peoples Party led by those who are divided between the prison and the dismissal from the municipalities. The future of the Kurdish issue in Turkey, where the national extremism will increase by the Turks and hostility to the Kurds in Turkey and thus solving the Kurdish issue is not seen on the horizon, and this may result in the re-renewal of direct military clash between the Turkish state parties and supporters of the Kurds and the Kurdish movement for the Turkish interior.