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Yet another betrayal of the Kurds

Strangely, it seems Pakistan has emerged as the only country, or one of very few countries at best, to have supported Turkey’s latest push, with very lethal intent, into Syrian territory. But that is because President Tayyip Erdogan backed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Kashmir stance at the UN, not after weighing the delicate balance in the Levant, nor giving any thought at all to the thousands of Kurds made homeless and dozens already killed in this latest chapter of the ugly Syrian war. All Arab states, which along with Turkey participated in the international effort to throw out Syria’s President Bashar al Assad some years ago, the EU and even America are either warning, condemning or sanctioning Ankara for what is clearly coming across as an exercise in ethnic cleansing of the Kurds along the Syrian-Turkish border.
Let’s not forget that these very Kurds did much of the fighting on the ground, in partnership with the American military, to clean certain northern Syrian enclaves of ISIS hordes only very recently. Now, suddenly abandoned by Washington – in typical fashion – they’re not only fighting to save their women and children but also watching helplessly as ISIS fighters they rounded up over the last few years break jail and regroup. Yet Islamabad appreciates Ankara’s gambit as an essential step to bring normalcy to the region; all because Erdogan spoke for Kashmir – something indeed worthy of appreciation – in New York. No doubt Erdogan will be feted for all such accomplishments when he visits Islamabad later in the month. Alas, such are the demands of modern diplomacy if you’re a bankrupt, broken down, state held afloat by the good will of powerful pariahs and deep pockets of lending institutions.
Truth be told, Erdogan has been itching to re-enter the Syrian war ever since he was rudely sidelined by Syrian military gains, duly aided by the Russian military, and especially after the standoff with Moscow that left the Turkish strongman red-faced. And taking it out on the Kurds will only give Ankara the chance of killing two birds with one stone. Some say in Syria, again, plus the opportunity to rid the world of some more Kurds that Erdogan just can’t stand.
But the Kurds are no strangers to betrayal. In the last century alone they have been stabbed in the back by remnants of the Ottoman Turks, European powers as they divided the Ottoman mandate after WWI, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Syria, and the Americans. Each time, as now, they lick their wounds and retreat to the mountains to rise anew. Hence the popular saying that “Kurds have no friends but the mountains.”



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