The mystery of the Russian invasion of Syrian Kurdistan

Damascus — March 20 occupied by the Kurds in the Afrin district of the Aleppo governorate, located on the North-West of Syria, Russian troops entered. Reuters interview with a senior representative of the people’s protection Units (YPG, Kurdish illegal armed groups) Raguram Hellem revealed that Russia is going to build a military base in the village of Kafr Gin and begin training Kurdish troops.

This statement caused concern in Turkey, which considers the YPG a terrorist organization. The Ministry of defense in Moscow were quick to refute claims Radura helis, but what do the Russian military in ‘ afrīn and what are the goals of Russia in its cooperation with the Syrian Kurds?

The Kurdish Canton of Afrin is the North-Western part of the province of Aleppo. From the West and North, it borders with Turkey, from East — with the territory, came under the control of Turkish troops and Free Syrian army troops as a result of the operation “shield of the Euphrates”, to the South with the troops of the Syrian Arab army, and from the South-West — militants of the movement “Hayat Tahrir al-sham”, located in the province of Idlib. Located to the East of the main territory of the North-Syrian Federation of direct contact at the Canton no. The population is currently more than 300 thousand people, predominantly Kurds but also Arab refugees from other parts of the country.

During the Syrian civil war in 2012, the Kurds have seized all government institutions in Afrin, and in January 2014 declared autonomy. Formed from the local population, the people’s protection Units fought with the Syrian opposition and ISIS in the East in the town of Azaz. The territory of the Canton had been attacked by Turkey, and the operation “shield of the Euphrates” was carried out mainly in order to prevent the reunion under the control of the Kurdish regions in Northern Syria. The fact that the Ankara people’s protection Units considered a terrorist organization close to the PKK party.

This statement is not so unfounded. The Kurdish population in Syria are mainly refugees from Turkey who were hiding in the mountains along the border of reprisals from the Turkish authorities. The first wave went to Syria after the defeat of the uprising of Sheikh said in 1925. Then in 1938 moved to the Kurdish tribes that supported the rebellion in Dersim. However, the biggest wave of migration occurs at the end of the twentieth century, the war between militants of the Kurdistan workers party (PKK) and the Turkish government. Syria was a patron of the Turkish Kurds, hoping for the collapse of Turkey and the return annexed in 1938 the Hatay province. Even the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan had lived a long time in Syria and Lebanon were training camps of militants.

However, with the Syrian government, the Kurds have an uneasy relationship. Damascus denied reasonable persons in the issuance of passports, Kurds were deprived of the opportunity to receive education in their native language and have their own media. Everything changed with the beginning of the civil war. The Kurds expelled Syrian officials and formed its own government, which began to implement anarcho-Communist ideas of Abdullah öcalan.

In ‘ afrīn further progress in economic reforms. The region’s economy is extremely weak, except for the cultivation of olive trees there’s nothing there. Having read Marx, Mao and öcalan, the local authorities decided to abolish private property. All products are distributed centrally, with residents going to tax to support the self-defense groups.

With the leadership of the North-Syrian Federation in the Qamishli Canton of Afrin relationships are difficult. The Mejlis of democratic Syria, led by commanders of the ALAC from the mountains of qandil, not willing to share the profits from the sale of oil and wheat with his brothers from the West. Do not get them and serious help from the Americans — all the US military bases located in the East, because there is progress in the offensive against ISIS (banned organization in Russia — approx. ed.) in Raqqa and Deir AZ-Zor.

However, in the course of the operation environment and subsequent clean up Aleppo Kurds have had good relations with the Russian command. Supply Afrin is now conducted through the territory controlled by the Syrian army, and the city of Aleppo-Sheikh Maksoud and does is completely surrounded by Syrian troops. Thus, apinska the Kurds depend on the Syrian government much more than from the leadership of the North-Syrian Federation in Qamishli.

/Currently Damascus with the help of their Russian allies started the operation to return to the district of Afrin under the authority of the Syrian government. Russian troops arrived there mainly for the same purpose with which they are in the East of the area Manuja — to prevent clashes between Kurdish people’s protection Units and the Turkish-Arabian troops involved in the operation “shield of the Euphrates”.

Speaking about “Russian military base” speaker YPG Redur Khelil greatly exaggerated. The Russian military will really be in ‘ Afrīn and, possibly, to train the militia. However, this is not done to support Kurdish self-determination, and for the speedy return of the territory of the district under the authority of the official Damascus.

This fundamental difference between the presence of Russian troops in the area from the us. United States with the coming to power of President trump finally abandoned the idea of peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis through reconciliation of the warring parties and stopped the implementation of the “plan B” which essence is reduced to the partition of the country into spheres of influence on the model of Iraq. The presence of American troops in Northern Syria supports the separatist sentiments among the Kurds. The Russian troops as allies of Damascus, on the contrary, give the Kurds the opportunity to return to Syria, while maintaining cultural autonomy. Now these two projects for the future of the Kurds will join the competition, and win the one who will be able to provide the population with better conditions of existence.

For Turkey, the least threatening is the Russian project. If Afrin will be able to return under the authority of the Syrian government, over the actions of the people’s protection Units, the liability will have to bear the official Damascus. The fighters most probably will be transferred into the category of a particular volunteer structure, for example, the Syrian national self-defense Forces, to obtain maintenance from the Syrian government and controlled centrally from Moscow.

In this case, nothing will prevent Turkey to open the border and establish a much-needed area of trade, which will support the local population and make its position better than their compatriots from the East, except far Americans have no help.