​​​​​​​Dirar: Power seekers on Turkish tank became mercenaries in Libya and Azerbaijan

Interview with Riad Dirar

Riad Dirar said: “The Turkish interventions without forming a framework of the Syrian opposition to block the Syrian Coalition that is drumming on Turkey’s policies, indicating that coalition members are looking for ruling Syria on the back of a Turkish tank. He confirmed that weak-spirited opposition became mercenaries for Turkey in Libya and Azerbaijan.

Turkey has intervened in the Syrian affairs without fail since the march of 2011 popular movement. It supported ISIS and the Jabhat Al-Nusra and other mercenary groups under various names, but it intervened directly after its mercenaries failed to achieve its plans following the formation of the so-called the "Syrian National Army'', the new collective name for all the previous mercenary groups.

As the first anniversary of the Turkish attacks on Serêkaniyê and Girê Spi/ Tal Abyad approaches, our news agency interviewed the Co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council, Riad Dirar, about Turkey's objectives of occupying the Syrian territories, its support for mercenaries and their fate.

The following is the text of the interview:

* In the early of the Syrian revolution, what was Turkey's objective of intervening and supporting the militants?

With regard to Turkey's participation in fueling of events was late because the main role was entrusted to the Gulf countries, "Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the Emirates", which funded through multiple methods that led to weaponizing the revolution and the Free Syrian Army and Islamization was weak, but it raised its head from time to time. At that time, Turkey wanted to play the mediator between the regime and the Muslim Brotherhood for a reconciliation that could secure a form of cooperation.

But after Davutoglu's visit, the mediation failed, and then the escalation began, because the services of Turkey in the beginning by handing over Hussein Al-Harmoush, then commander of the Free Army, is evidence of Turkey's attempt to rapprochement, not escalation.

As time passed Turkey understood its role and progressed in absorbing the waves of refugees and limited the defected officers' role in the refugee's camps to control the game cards well.

Therefore, the Istanbul conference culminated in the moves of Qatar and Turkey in this endeavor in forming an opposition body among them a good number of Brotherhood for controlling the move. The Turkish role began quietly in recruiting this body for its interest that took time. Turkey was looking forward to an outstanding role in Syria, completely different of others for controlling its northern borders at the right time.

Therefore, with the emergence of ISIS, it got great support from Turkey to play the assigned role, because ISIS was the closest representative of the Turkish vision that could receive support.

* After the revolution turned into a crisis, and the direct Russian intervention to support the Syrian government, how did the Turkish goal change?

It seems that the escalated crisis between the West and America on the one hand and Turkey on the other on the military intervention form in the region, where the later did not want a Libyan-like experience military intervention in Syria. Therefore, it was looking forward to Idlib and some eastern regions of Syria, but this did not happen, as weaponizing the revolution was intended for spreading armed chaos.

Russia intervened in order to protect the regime. Before that Iran was intervening aggressively since the beginning of the events; there was competition over Syria from Iran and Russia. When Turkey shot down the Russian plane, it found itself without its NATO allies support against Russia, but it accepted the withdrawal of the Patriot system from it. The West indicated to Turkey that it would have face Russia on its own, causing a new crisis with Turkey.

Erdogan was turning to Russia for rapprochement, at a time when the Syrian regime was losing control on territories, controlling a small part of the Syrian regions. Daraa and the Damascus countryside fell under opposition hands as well as Homs and Idlib. The eastern regions followed neutral approach. Here, Turkey's new role began.

* How has the Turkish intervention affected the Syrian crisis military and politically and the balance of power on the ground?

Turkey was relived with ISIS presence on its borders, where they both had mutual economic relation and logistic support for the organization. This Turkey's role satisfied it of any further action from other political actors.

And Turkey was working on arranging the opposition factions for its interests in the framework of the National Council, and the coalition later that it had established its headquarters in Egypt with the presence of the Brotherhood government. Soon, Turkey became the new center with the fall of the Brotherhood’s authority in Egypt. In this way, the new center enabled the MB of controlling the opposition moves at all levels.

*How is Turkey using its affiliated Syrian militants and where?

Following the Astana deals on De-escalation zones, the partnership role of Turkey with Russia and Iran emerged in decreasing the number of the militants in the so-called de-escalation zones. Where the influence of these armed groups was limited gradually during the conflict phases. Especially with forcing the armed men to move to specified areas in the north of Syria, Idlib, Afrin after their occupation, Serêkaniyê and Girê Spi/ Tal Abyad. All this was going on quietly and cautiously under the policies of the so-called de-escalation with Russian, Iranian and Turkish consensus.

The Astana and Sochi de-escalation agreements led to a quid pro quo to hand over lands to the Turkish army and its mercenaries, in exchange for limiting the armed men influence. This is what has happened continuously. The Turkey moved from the West allies to Russia and Iran through the Astana agreements.

*Can we evaluate the Turkish policies of the demographic change in Syria, as an attempt to annex Syrian territories? If this is true, what can we call the pro-Turkey mercenaries of the opposition?

Turkey had started sorting the coalition movement, so those who left the coalition came out because they were not satisfied with the subordinate role, and those who have remained until now are the ones who are looking for personal benefits to rule on the back of the West or Turkey tanks.

And the militant movement was controlled by the Turkish intelligence, eliminating the Free Army role and highlighting the Islamist militant movement. All of this was with the support and approval of the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2013, Riad Al-Shaqfa said in a press interview that “the Turkish army is a Muslim and we are satisfied of its intervention in Syria.” This position has what it follows from the entire Islamic political mentality that sees Turkey as an extension of the caliphate system.

For its part, Turkey has been working to present a vision in this sense, embodied in Erdogan's imperial ambition of reviving the Milli era for annexing the neighboring countries territories, starting from Syria and extending to Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and recently Azerbaijan.

All this interference indicates that Erdogan's imperial ambition is beginning to take its toll and is actively appearing on the surface, while he is extorting the conflicting countries, whether in Syria or other regions, "Russia and America", in order to obtain through that more support or ground in the roles he plays.

* In light of the increasing crises of the Turkish regime in the eastern Mediterranean, Libya, and the Azeri-Armenian conflict, in addition to Syria, what is the fate of the Turkish plan in Syria and its affiliated factions of opposition ?

Erdogan's imperial ambition led him to such practices, this is evident in the continuous progress towards this goal, but for Syria the clear matter was the direct occupation. unfortunately, there is satisfaction from the competing countries, Russia or America, which started with the barter, starting from Jarablus and then Afrin, reaching Serêkaniyê / Ras al-Ain and Girê Spi / Tal Abyad.

These trade-offs made Turkey control the region and the weak-minded feel that they were gaining, but they were losers when they became mercenaries for Turkey in the neighboring countries, so they are killed in Libya and Azerbaijan, and all over the world.

The politicians of the coalition drum for these Turkish trends and adopt Turkish agendas to confront the positive change movement that the people of Syria are doing at home, which are working to manage the file in a balanced, calm and honest manner, because the solution is not military but political, and the formation of the Autonomous Administration is only for the sake of that solution, to determine the next position on the form of Syria, which is based on decentralization and the democratic system.

This issue faces Turkish policies, so Turkey is constantly working on understandings through Sochi and Astana to eliminate this project. This work continues, and requires a careful political confrontation so that the region is not affected by the size of the Turkish target that it wants to seize.

* How can an end to Turkish interference in Syria, and what is the role of the various parties in that (the government, opposition from home and abroad)?

Turkish interventions will not end and will not stop, and I believe that confronting them is done by insisting on the understanding of the opposition forces about confronting any interventions, whether from Turkey or elsewhere. These opposition forces must meet on a unified word to put pressure on the coalition whose cards are in the hands of Turkey; it no longer has a Syrian interest. The opposition forces can form a framework that can take international support, isolating the coalition representatives and drawing a new policy for a new framework that takes international recognition.

At that time, this framework of opposition forces at home or abroad, with the Syrian Democratic Council, which represents a group of political forces and has a fighting military force, enabling its sons to make understandings with the Syrian government to reach a political solution for the future of Syria.

I believe that Turkey will sabotage any such act through its affiliated followers and militarily force in Idlib, Aleppo, Jarablus, Girê Spi / Tal Abyad, and Serêkaniyê / Ras al-Ain, and therefore we must work to pressure the international community to get it out and take it out the mercenaries working under its control.

How can the Syrian crisis be resolved?

The solution in Syria is a political solution, the military solution is a wrong and lost solution for all. Only those who benefit from it always are the external interveners, and the Syrians must unite their word in the opposition and go to the world to recognize their role. They have to accept the political solution with the Syrian government. The solution can come with a truce and understandings that work to reach the building of a new political and social contract, and these understandings can coexist until things stabilize and there becomes the possibility of returning a single Syria within the framework of a single government that manages the country's affairs and works on reconstruction, the return of the displaced, development and stability.