Ankara (GPA) – There has been a lot of fanfare for the Russia-Turkey negotiations in Syria, but it won’t be enough to unreliable actors such as the Turkish-backed rebels.
Unprecedented optimism has hit the anti-imperialist media sphere lately when it comes to actions made by the notoriously unreliable actor, Turkey. Most of this noise has been coming from the typically pro-Russia independent and state outlets.
Following the recent decision by US President Donald Trump to initially “remove” US forces from Syria to Iraq (although he later re-deployed them to Syria’s oil-rich Deir Ezzor). While this move by the US to move in on Syria’s oil fields it’s going to cause irreconcilable differences with the US (and by extension NATO) this is a subject for another time.
What we will be focusing on for the purpose of this article is the fact that no matter who brokers a peace deal in northern Syria there is an uncontrollable element that nobody seems to have a concrete solution before. These unreliable negotiation partners under the Turkish umbrella have (and do) deep ties to many rebel groups with ties to organizations including Al Qaeda, IS, HTS (and all whitewashed under the banner of the Free Syria Army).
While now, as to be expected, the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) now known as the Syrian National Army (SNA). The groups, regardless of what Turkey has said and agreements made by Kurdish fighters in the People’s Protection Units (YPG) to move from the stretch of the border region that Turkey now seeks to occupy and repopulate with displaced Syrian Arabs.
This new “safe zone” has been on Turkish President Erdogan’s mind for some time now, really coming to fruition once it was blatantly obvious that the Turks were seeking to totally defang or completely neutralize and YPG presence. Despite efforts by both the Barack Obama and Donald Trump regimes to try to smooth things out between the Kurdish authority in northern Syria and leaders in Ankara. While maybe this would’ve been possible at some point, over years of very public praise of the Kurds by Trump, Obama, the national security apparatus did not fall on deaf ears in Turkey. This conflict between the US support for Kurds and the Turks’ very real anger over this clearly positions the YPG at similar risk as the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), which is a terrorist group throughout NATO.
With the Kurds repeatedly billed and greatly over-sold by US media as the only altruistic force in Syria, intersectional heroes, and the “strongest ground force” fighting IS in Syria this has put Washington under some public pressure to find a way out of a potential Turkish-directed slaughter/ethnic cleansing.
Since this solution isn’t going to come from Washington reaching out to Damascus, Tehran, or Moscow, the only country that leaves for the US (and other western powers) to apply pressure to is Turkey. However, there is some bad news when it comes to Turkey (and even more so their Syrian proxies and that is, regardless of if and when they may have helped imperialists in the past, they are nothing like reliable negotiating partner.
Turkish Backed Rebels Have No Laws
When it comes to the groups that western media deem the “Turkish-backed rebels” or the SNA, this is a broad generalization covering a host of smaller militias started at various times throughout the Syrian war. Most of these groups on their own, despite receiving arms and training from the US, Israeli, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, European nations and others ended up being pretty incompetent which resulted in most of them consolidating into larger groups and later all being chased to Idlib province by the legitimate Syrian Arab Army.
Once trapped in Idlib, which basically amounted to the trash compactor scene from Star Wars, pressure started to build from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) on the ground and their Russian allies in the air. This “slaughter” of terrorists was highlighted in western media and finally, after enough humanitarian buzz was caused, Turkey decided to step in for the rebels to build a deconfliction zone in Idlib, possibly saving thousands of terrorists.
These terrorists, or at least those who consider themselves of a part of Turkish-backed FSA and SNA forces, despite the reality on the ground, still support an overall goal to remove Syrian President Bashar Assad from power. These rebels seem intent to fight to the end when it comes to the SAA but now it seems the Turks -whose observation posts dot Idlib pretty regularly – have new plans for the Idlib vandals.
Many of the Idlib jihadists and others have been called up and transported by Turkey yo help with Ankara’s project of colonizing northern Syria with refugees returning from Turkey. While the Turks may be agreeing to ceasefires ad things of that type, they continue to project soft power through new schools, post offices, and municipal buildings being built in northern Syria. The rebels, on the other hand, handle what the Turks can’t.
While NATO member Turkey has a limit to the war crimes they can get away with, a non-state actor like the SNA is the perfect outlet. While Turkey may have agreed to, and may even be taking some steps, with Russia and others to deescalate the situation in northern Syria, the vile criminals calling themselves a “National Army” are running around committing crimes.
Since the beginning of Turkey’s “Operation Peace Spring” last month the SNA has been on an atrocity binge with no end in sight. Whether it is killing Kurdish politicians or making YPG captives impersonate animal noises, it is obvious the groups that make up the SNA are primarily ABSOLUTE GHOULS.
This is an unfortunate fact, but it is also one that is unlikely to change, God willing, the Syrian war truly is nearing some kind of solution after all these years of bloodshed. There have been millions of lives lost to fighting the takfiri scourge of the last few years. While we should cheer diplomacy on a meta scale it is important to remember there are just some parties who aren’t civilized enough to be invited to the table.