In early October, soon after the US troops withdrew, Turkey launched unilateral military aggression against the Kurdish-led forces in Syria.
Who are Kurds?
Kurds are the ethnic inhabits of the mountain region which lies in between Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Armenia. Numbering in between 25 to 35 million people, Kurds have continuously demanded recognition of a permanent nation-state, which never had been done.
In Syria, Kurds form about 8 to 10 per cent of the total populations, and they have been denied basic rights since decades, by President Assad himself and before him, his father, Hafez.
In 2011, when the civil war started against Assad, and Syrian forces withdrew from Kurdish region in 2012, the Kurd militias took over the control of the region.
In 2014, when the Islamic terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) launched an attack on Syria, the nation became the battleground of the world.
While Russia backed Assad’s government, the US-led multinational military coalition against the IS chose Kurds as their critical partners.
Why did Turkey launch an offensive?
Kurds largest militia – People’s Protection Units (YPG) with the help of the US-led alliance and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) kicked out IS of some of the quarters of Syria and captured most of the area they claimed as Kurdish pockets.
Turkey since long has been threatening to launch an offensive against the SDF held territories to create a 20-mile safe zone alongside Syria-Turkey border.
It also sees YPG has a threat, as YPG supports the Kurdish rebel group Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) in Turkey.
Moreover, it is also planning to resettle over 3 million Syrian refugees which Turkey is hosting. On the other side, the US decided to withdraw all of its forces without getting involved in the latest development.
Turkey has captured a large pocket of the Kurdish region where Arabs are densely populated. On the other hand, SDF and Syria came to an agreement announcing the US as an enemy and to fight together to repel the Turkish invasion,
What is India’s role?
India, in a statement, said, “We are deeply concerned at the unilateral military offensive by Turkey in northeast Syria.” It also includes that “Turkey’s actions can undermine stability in the region and the fight against terrorism. Its action also has the potential to cause humanitarian and civilian distress.”
This was a sharp reply of India to Turkey as the latter sided with Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir.
Syrian Ambassador to India welcomed the statement of India in support of Syria.