Al Monitor: For the past several years, Turkey has feared and sought to prevent two things in Syria: the United States’ partnership with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria and a role for the Kurds in the settlement process that would eventually make their de facto autonomy permanent.
Despite all its efforts, Turkey has failed to stop US military aid for the YPG-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Now it seems to be losing also the second chapter, in which Russia is the lead player.
Ankara has signaled readiness even for dialogue with Damascus, but preventing a Kurdish role in the solution process via the Russian track is becoming increasingly difficult. more…
Opinion: As ISIS is pushed down to the Sinai desert, Syria is being re-figured. Once again Vladimir Putin is right in the middle of things, thanks in large part to Barack Obama’s bungling of the now infamous Syria red line of 2013.
Obama virtually removed the United States from the Middle East, and subsequently, new alliances between Russia and Turkey, Russia and Iran, and now Russia and Kurdistan are being formed.
Enter Donald Trump who has done what Obama failed to do and armed the Kurds to take on ISIS. The US has suggested it will stop the funding once ISIS is cleared out.
The Turks and Kurds have hated each other since the World War I. When the Ottoman empire collapsed, Turkey was formed as a republic that included Arabs, Turks, Jews, Greeks, Kurds, Armenians and a few other minorities.
While the Ottoman Empire had been a multi-ethnic state, the new Turkey was based on Turkish nationalism and did not get along with non-Turkish groups. And, while most ethnic groups formed their own state, the Kurds were unable to do so and tensions have been building up including armed conflicts for years.
There are between 25 and 35 million Kurds that inhabit a mountainous region straddling the borders of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia. They make up the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East, and adhere to a number of different religions and creeds, although the majority are Sunni Muslims.
In fact, the Kurds find Arabs to be their enemy, not Jews.
With that as a backdrop, Assyria (Northern Iraq and Syria) is listed in the Psalm 83:8 alliance of nations that will attack Israel in a still-unfulfilled prophecy, which by the wording, it seems even the prophet was surprised: “Even Assyria has joined them” .
That is the baffling part. Why would Kurds join an Arab army they do not get along with, to attack Israel, with whom they do get along?
Perhaps the answer lies in Isaiah 17:1, 14. The great prophet wrote that Damascus would become undone as a city. That in one evening, there would be terror, and by morning the city ceases to exist.
Damascus is the world’s oldest inhabited city. According to Wikipedia, Kurds make up between 7-10% of the 1.7 million people of Damascus, which is approximately 150,000 Kurds.
Perhaps Isaiah’s prophecy is the spark that starts Psalm 83 and somehow, rightly or wrongly, Israel gets the blame?
(see the Psalm 83 alliance here)