Topic:

Kurds

Turkey and China Tie Themselves in Knots Over Syria and Xinjiang

| November 1, 2019

Turkey expects Chinese support for its incursion into Syria against the Kurds, but in return, China expects Turkey to turn a blind eye to its persecution of Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang. Turkey’s refusal to fully recognize Kurdish rights is thus intertwined with China’s brutal crackdown in its troubled northwestern province. Both parties justify their actions as efforts in the fight against terrorism.

A Strategic View of the Turkish Campaign Against the Kurds

In light of recent regional events in general and the Turkish invasion of Syria in particular, Israel needs to reconsider the underlying strategic rationale not only of its covert activities in the neighboring countries but also its more overt conduct. Otherwise it could find itself, in case of war with the northern axis (Hezbollah, Iran, and Syria), winning battles but having trouble ending the campaign with a strategic achievement.

Implications of the US Withdrawal from Syria

| October 30, 2019

The withdrawal of US forces from the Kurdish areas of northern Syria will help strengthen Iran’s standing in the country, make Russia the leading power in the region, and possibly lead to the resurgence of ISIS terror. All these outcomes will have far-reaching policy implications for the Middle East’s pro-Western actors and for the war on jihadist terror.

Clarity Amidst Chaos: The Implications of Trump’s Syria Policy

| October 27, 2019

The American withdrawal from Syria has produced chaotic results – but as with many aspects of President Trump’s presidency, it offers an opportunity to view realities with a new clarity. The nature of Turkey under Erdoğan, European weakness, and the unwillingness of America to support indecisive military missions have been revealed. These realities demand new approaches to European defense and to Middle Eastern engagement and disengagement.

Turkey’s Invasion of Syrian Kurdistan as Seen from Tehran

| October 25, 2019

Though it prompted angry reactions from senior officials in Tehran, the Turkish attack on Syrian Kurdistan offers both pros and cons for the Islamic Republic – and the potential positives likely outweigh the negatives.

Turkey and the Kurds: What Goes Around Comes Around

| October 23, 2019

Turkey, like much of the Middle East, is discovering that what goes around comes around. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appears to have miscalculated the fallout of what may prove to be a foolhardy intervention in Syria and neglected alternative options that could have strengthened Turkey’s position without sparking the ire of much of the international community. His strategic error is rooted in a policy of decades of denial of Kurdish identity and suppression of Kurdish cultural and political rights that was more likely to fuel conflict than encourage societal cohesion.

Turkey’s Pyrrhic Victory in Syria

| October 22, 2019

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is wrong to think a cross-border military operation into Syria will solve an ethnic conflict that dates back to the early nineteenth century. The recent history of violence between Turkey and the Kurds together with demographic considerations explain why a military campaign is unlikely to resolve the conflict.

Crafting a Regional Policy to Contain Erdoğan

| April 23, 2019

Turkey poses a long-term threat to the security of the Middle East. Containing Neo-Ottomanism requires a defensive policy that integrates Greece, Cyprus, Israel, and the Kurds into a regional alliance.

The Messages Behind the Iranian Missile Strike in Iraqi Kurdistan

| November 20, 2018

A missile strike on September 8 in Iraqi Kurdistan conducted by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) on the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran killed 18, including the father of this author, and injured another 40. Though Tehran claims the strike was retaliation for an attack on a military post that had been claimed by an armed Kurdish group, the threat posed by the Iranian Kurds to the Islamist regime is not sufficient to justify such a violent attack. The strike was likely a message intended not only for the Iranian Kurds, but for the Saudis, the Americans, and the Israelis as well.

Turkey’s Syrian Battleground

| March 21, 2018

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been the main beneficiary of a newfound feeling of glory among Turkey’s increasingly nationalistic masses. The main loser is the YGP, which has sought to consolidate control over Kurdish areas of Syria in the hopes of forging an autonomous state. But in the Syrian war theater, alliances are fragile and complex. Russia has given Turkey a limited free hand in its engagement in northern Syria, mainly in order to deepen Turkish-US and Turkish-NATO divisions. But Russia is not Turkey’s strategic ally.