Ankara-Washington agreement flaunts Syrian sovereignty
The US-Turkish agreement to establish a so-called buffer zone in northern Syria is shameful for Ankara, revealing the falsehood of its objecting to US policy towards Muslims and confirming and stressing the United States’ hostility towards the Arab world.
The agreement is a treacherous act that violates the borders of an Arab country under the false pretext of promoting peace in some geographical corridors and giving hope to millions of refugees.
Most of the refugees do not conceive of returning to Syria as a form of forced settlement in an arbitrary geographical strip. They see it as returning safely to the villages and cities where they used to live. The refugees subject to this agreement are not the ones who have become immigrants in many other places but rather those who ended up being useless to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s strategy, the ones who are of no use to Turkey after it had encouraged thousands of Syrian refugees to take into Turkey their skills, tools and savings and even granted many of them Turkish citizenship.
Among the refugees who have served their purpose are individuals who have been involved in the fighting in Syria, the same ones indoctrinated and pushed to join extremist and terrorist groups and whom Ankara has deemed of no use to it now and wants to send back to their families inside Syria.
For large numbers of Syrian refugees, what prevents them from going to Syria is that their homes have been reduced to rubble and that they have no prospects for a decent livelihood in their old towns and villages. The geographic strip that the Turks and Americans agreed to make safe is not exactly a development zone for those looking to work and settle.
The Syrian refugees do not need buffer zones or isolated areas, co-guarded by Americans, the same Americans who have been standing in the way of peace in the region.
The issue is not merely the expectation that this heinous act by the Americans and the Turks will perpetuate the armed conflict in Syria and whose first victims are going to be more refugees.
From the very beginning, Ankara betrayed the Syrian people’s uprising against dictatorship by pumping terrorists into Syria. It injected a flow of individuals who turned out to be even more bloodthirsty than the Syrian regime. The democratic and social demands of the Syrian revolution became a battle for survival against dark and criminal forces.
Erdogan’s manoeuvres and his Islamist approaches to the situation in Syria contributed, along with Russian and Iranian actions, to the survival of the blood-soaked regime in Syria.
That regime will not accept less than nominal control over all territory of “its” country. If any part of Syria remains under a foreign occupier, that is not acceptable to the regime and there will be no end to the war in Syria until the undesirable body is ejected. Only the Russian invader will be welcomed and even the Iranians will eventually be kicked out to please the Israelis.
The Syrian regime is in favour of that formula and sees in it a guarantee of the minimum conditions for its survival, just as Erdogan says that the buffer zone formula, in agreement with the Americans, can achieve the minimum level of the interests and goals that once filled his dreams without actually rubbing the Israeli neighbour the wrong way. It wouldn’t have been possible for the agreement with Washington to emerge if it didn’t fully conform with Tel Aviv’s requirements and agendas.
The Americans went to Syria through the false pretence of claiming to protect their vassals among Kurdish nationalists whom they had betrayed many times before. For the Americans, an agreement with Erdogan means granting safety to the Kurds in return for their submission.
The US-Turkish alliance, which seeks to carve out and dominate a part of Syria, has hidden and more sinister goals related to gas resources discovered in northern Syria, along a transverse line from its coast and sea borders to its desert on the eastern border.
For all parties involved in the war on its territory, Syria has become a cake of which everyone wants a piece. The regime in Damascus must be content with playing the role of the generous host, who smiles at those who have agreed to sharing of the Syrian cake. This regime has done everything it can to make the Syrians who remained in their homeland favour the Russians over the Iranians and the Turks.
In historical and legal terms, the world will view the US-Turkish agreement as violating the sovereignty of an Arab country and transgressing its territory, whether through the strange foreign presence on Syrian territory or through continuous Israeli bombardments or through establishing alien corridors and enclaves within the territory.