Thursday 25th January
And just when you thought that at least one conflict might be nearing a resolution, namely Syria – along comes Turkey. Well, of course Turkey has always been involved, from funding various ‘Rebel’ groups to fight Assad to holding the EU to virtual ransom over Syrian refugees. And they have a leader who is a right -wing demagogue, who, after the failed coup against him, has arrested any opposition at all. His Authoritarian rule is almost absolute.
Turkey has always had a problem on it’s South-Eastern border with the Kurds. A people with no nation state, though they do have a semi-autonomous bit of Iraq. Turkey has long branded the Kurds as terrorists, and therefore legitimate targets. Actually there is quite a significant population living inside Turkey’s border, but they also spread over Iraq and Syria and even a few in Russia.
The Kurds have been instrumental in defeating ISIS in both Syria and Iraq, and are brilliant fighters. They now ‘occupy’ a large swathe of Northern Syria. Gradually, and with Russian help Assad has been defeating the various ‘Rebel’ groups, in fact ISIS was just one of these, and it was funded by Saudi Arabia and America and (you guessed) Turkey. Well, of course, we all know how that adventure turned out.
But now Turkey has weighed in against the Kurds in Syria, sending in bombers and tanks to clear them out. But America has been helping the Kurds to defeat ISIS, and Nato, of which Turkey is a member, has also given tacit support to the Kurds.
So, the fighting is getting worse again. Add to that the fact that Germany is threatening to stop selling Arms to Turkey (Oh, why wouldn’t all of us) and America is also strongly opposed to this new ‘invasion’ of poor Syria. Russia, who have also allied themselves to the Kurds are pretty pissed off too. Assad and the Kurds are threatening to shoot down any Turkish planes (possibly with Russian help).
It could all get very messy. Britain is, as usual, sitting on the sidelines and saying nothing.
But what a crazy world…..especially as it will be ordinary civilians who will get killed and made homeless yet again.