View from Turkey: US insincerity in combating terrorism in the Middle East

Helping PKK-affiliated factions to form a force in northern Syria will pave the way for Daesh to act more freely in the region

The United States plan to charge terrorist factions in northern Syria with enhancing security has brought the role of Daesh and the international struggle against it to the global agenda. Since the rise of the Daesh terrorist group, it has gradually become more obvious that it is a very useful tool on certain fronts in the region. Although we saw that it played different roles in the region, at the end of the day it always paved the way for its so-called enemies. For the Middle East, the concept of being enemy or ally thus has a changing factor. It can be said that the changing regional balances may be the reason for it, but I believe it has a deeper cause than it seems.

For instance, Daesh attacks in European countries led to anti-Muslim and anti-immigration sentiments reaching their highest level. With the existence of the deadly group, it became very difficult for anyone to even say they are a Muslim or an immigrant in public. Simply put, there is an attempt to damage the perception of Islam thanks to Daesh.

However, the worst use of Daesh has been in Syria. The international coalition for the fight against Daesh backed PKK-affiliated Syrian terrorist groups in the guise of cooperation against Daesh. In the long run, the plan was simple – to open a space for the PKK and its Syrian fractions in the region. The U.S. supporting the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed People’s Protection Units (YPG) is for that goal. To legitimize their policy of helping terrorists groups, they claim that their efforts are only to eliminate Daesh.

Meanwhile, in the past years, they accused Turkey of providing assistance to Daesh, despite Ankara having been one of the first countries that declared Daesh a terrorist group and then fought against it. Those accusations were to prevent Turkey from suppressing the terrorist group, since Turkey, under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is the strongest country that has the power and courage to fight against Daesh.

Even though they apologized for these claims in some international meetings, they did not stop using that card since Turkey is highly determined to continue its struggle on the ground against Daesh. For example, in the Raqqa and Mosul operations, there was an attempt to isolate Turkey. And then what we saw in the aftermath of the operations were only some images showing the departure of Daesh factions from Raqqa. These images also confirmed that the YPG’s role in the fight against Daesh is a lie. Currently, Ankara is giving an important diplomatic struggle against the U.S.’s plan to form an army of terror consisting of YPG forces in northern Syria. Unless Washington stops supporting these two terrorist groups, it will reveal its insincerity in the fight against Daesh and other regional terrorists. Otherwise, criticizing it for using terrorism as a proper tool for its various aims would be very legitimate.


Categories: Arab World, Asia, Turkey, United States

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