​​​​​​​Specialist: Ankara seeks to undermine Kurds by intensifying attacks

Interview with BEIRUT - ZIADE ABU GHAZALEH

Dr. Muhammad Nur al-Din, Specialist in Turkish affairs said that the Turkish goal of its attacks on Mount Garê in Başûr Kurdistan (North of Iraq) is to establish a deep security belt in the Iraqi lands, and undermine the Kurdish situation under constant pressure.Early February, the Turkish occupation army began to launch attacks on theGarê  Mountains, in the Right to Self-Defense zones "Medya", a region far from the border between Başûr and Bakûr (Kurdish-populated regions in southeast of Turkey) compared to other areas that were attacked earlier, but it was forced to withdraw on February 14th, after suffering heavy losses.

Why is Turkey trying to expand in this region? What factors paved the way for these repeated attacks, without local or international deterrence? We direct these questions to the specialist in Turkish affairs, Dr. Muhammad Nur al-Din.

* what is the Turkish plan in the region?

Turkey seeks to keep the Kurdish opposition represented by the PKK in northern Iraq under constant pressure to establish security belt free of the PKK affiliates along the Iraqi border with Turkey. Therefore, it launches air strikes and ground incursions, deep in the Kurdistan region, and the late "Eagle Claw 2" operation, comes in this context to cut the link between the PKK's headquarters in the Qandil Mountains in northeastern Iraq, and the northwest Iraq, especially the Sinjar region. Thus, prevent any contact with NE Syria.

* So what were the Turkish goals of the attacks on Mount Garê in Başûr?

The first goal is to establish a deep security belt inside Iraqi territory, a depth of 30 to 50 kilometers along the Iraqi region with Syria.

The other goal is to cut off any link between the Qandil Mountains and the Sinjar region, thus preventing communication between the PKK members in northern Iraq, and the Kurdish protection forces in Syria, and all this comes within the framework of weakening the hostile Kurdish situation and opposition under constant pressure.

* Erdogan's talk a while ago about launching attacks on the Sinjar mountains, far from the border, but they attacked Garê. Despite this, we find international silence about it. Why do you think?

The primary concern, is the Iraqi government on the one hand, and the Kurdistan Regional Government on the other hand, as for the international stances, The United States of America does not object to the Turkish army operations, unlike the situation in Syria, as America cooperating with the "SDF."

As for the other European countries, it can be said that they oppose the Turkish military operations, but they issue statements as they are unable to play certain roles, specifically in northern Iraq, as well as due to the Turkish factor in Europe, whether with regard to Syrian refugees or communities Turkish in Europe, in addition to the narrow electoral accounts within each country, so we see it silent, and in the worst case, it issues verbal statements, so as not to provoke Turkey.

* Was there any complicity from the Kurdish parties or government with these attacks?

There is a division within the Kurdistan region towards the PKK, there is the Massoud Barzani, that is not in agreement with the Workers' Party, but even if we talk about the failure of one Kurdish party or that, from the Turkish attacks on northern Iraq, but I think these parties and the central government are unable to confront the Turkish attacks.

There is no doubt that the ideological differences between the Kurdish organizations and currents in northern Iraq play a role in facilitating the task of the Turkish military operations in bombing these areas.

* What is the impact of the Baghdad-Erbil disputes on these attacks?

The weakness of the central government in Baghdad on the one hand, and the division within the Kurdish parties in northern Iraq on the other hand, provide Turkey with a favorable climate for carrying out military operations against the PKK, but no doubt, the differences allow Ankara to continue violating Iraqi sovereignty, not complying with international. Therefore, from this angle, the only thing that can help to confront the Turkish aggression is Baghdad and the government of Erbil stand in the same position to prevent the Turkish attacks on northern Iraq.

ANHA