Are Syria and the Kurds allies now?

Are the Islamists NATO allies again?

In Western geopolitics, Islamists are more important than Kurds and women. comment

On April 15, 2021, the airport of the Kurdish capital Erbil was attacked with a drone. Initially, no one confessed to the drone attack. However, the pro-Iranian Iraqi militia Aulijaa al-Dam (Guardian of the Blood), which had already claimed a similar attack on the airport in February 2021, welcomed the attack.

At the same time, Turkey and its Syrian-Sunni mercenaries attacked the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern Aleppo, where hundreds of thousands of displaced Kurds found refuge after the illegal occupation of Afrin in March 2018.

There have already been various attacks on Kurds in the past: In revenge for repeated attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities, Iran incited Shiite militias against Kurds in Iraq. As a result, Iraqi Kurdistan lost nearly a third of its territory to the Iraqi army and Shiite militias in 2017. Iran accuses the Kurds in Iraq of supporting "anti-Iranian Zionist-American aggression". At the same time, Iran holds Israel responsible for the acts of sabotage on its nuclear facilities. So the Kurds have to be punished.

The Syrian Kurds, on the other hand, are being punished by Russia for cooperating with the US. Russia - as the protective power in Syria - allows Turkey to use Syrian airspace to attack Kurds from the air. The Kurds don't stand a chance against the Turkish Air Force. In Syria, Russia and Iran are cooperating very closely with Turkey, including against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Kurds in Iraq and Syria are punished because they cooperate with the USA and because they defend "Western" values ​​such as democracy, minority rights, women's rights and freedom of belief.

What is the US doing? You are letting Iran attack Iraqi Kurds and other minorities. Turkey in particular is allowed to do what it wants with these minorities in Syria. They are driven out or - as in the case of Afrin - slaughtered.


What is happening in Afghanistan right now should be seen in this context: In Afghanistan, people, especially women, are left to the Taliban tyranny. Even if the German Federal Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) says that NATO has achieved its important goals in Afghanistan, the reality remains different.

The British-Pakistani journalist and author Ahmed Rashid is right when he says that "the Taliban will not agree to any peace or ceasefire agreement ... the Taliban have never promised anything. The Americans have all made concessions. They have that asked Afghan President Ghani to make concessions, but we have seen nothing positive on the part of the Taliban. "

Against this background, it appears that the US and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan is related to other factors. Apparently there are strategists in NATO who believe that with the help of Turkey, the Taliban and all Sunni Islamists could be unleashed on Russia and China.

Qatar and Turkey

The active role of the Arab emirate of Qatar in the mediation between the Taliban and the USA is also in the context of the new classification of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood - whose main supporter is the Arab emirate of Qatar - by NATO. The relocation of the venue between the Taliban and the USA from Qatar to Istanbul is a further indication that there is a close connection between the withdrawal of NATO from Afghanistan and the new assessment of the Islamist group.

Because Turkey under Erdogan controls the most important Sunni Islamist parties, organizations and armed groups worldwide in close cooperation with Qatar. In return for the fact that Turkey controls and "operates" the Islamists in the spirit of NATO, Turkey is given a free hand in the war against Kurds and other minorities inside and outside Turkey.

As for the Taliban, they can do whatever they want with women in Afghanistan. Nato does not seem to be particularly interested in Erdogan's position on the issue of women either. The best-known Afghan women activist Belqis Roshan repeatedly warns of an unholy alliance between Erdogan and all sorts of radical Islamist groups that want to introduce Islamic Sharia law, in which women's rights have no place, everywhere.

Geopolitical instrumentalization

According to the will of the above-mentioned NATO strategists, the "main occupation" of the Islamists should only be fighting Russia and China. As has often been the case in history, the religion of Islam is to be used again as a "weapon" against political opponents. Because of this, the geopolitical roles of the Sunni Islamists seem more important than the fate of the Kurds and women.

It remains to be seen whether Turkey, as a Sunni Islamic regional power, will risk taking action against Russia and China. Today's Sunni Islamists are not the same as they were during the Cold War. China, too, is ruled by others these days, by turbo-capitalist communists. The idol is not Karl Marx, but Confucius.

In Russia, too, the situation is different. Power there is no longer based on Marx or Lenin, but on Russian orthodoxy. Besides, Russia has the best relations with Israel. So it will not be easy to position Muslims, in this case Sunnis, against the Russians and the Chinese. During the Cold War there were no social networks that were accessible to all strata of the population.

Back then it was easier to tell Muslims that the Russians and Chinese were "infidel atheists" and that "all communists would work for Israel" because Marx was a Jew. I heard a lot about this thesis, which is widespread in the Arab-Islamic world, as a young man in Aleppo in the early 1970s.

Even in the case of Iran, the self-declared protective power of all Shiites, it will not be easy to mobilize the Sunni Islamists against the hated Shiite mullahs. Turkey, which in turn sees itself as a protective power of the Sunnis, has always had many interests in common with Iran and above all a common enemy: the Kurds.

Therefore it will be almost impossible for the USA and the West to turn Turkey and the Sunni Islamists against Iran in the long term. Iran also has good relations, not just with Hamas but with various other Sunni groups.

Risky strategy

Therefore, any NATO strategy that aims to win over the radical Sunni Islamists under the leadership of Turkey will fail and have catastrophic consequences. Turkey will be much more oriented towards Russia and China and will cooperate very closely with Iran.

The fear of undemocratic systems in Moscow and Beijing is understandable and justified. The massive and systematic human rights violations by the governments in Russia and China must neither be relativized nor played down.

Nevertheless, many dangers to world peace and people in western cities come from the Islamic world, from a radical political Islam of Sunni and Shiite characteristics, the control centers of which are mainly in Istanbul and Tehran.

The main sources of anti-Western thought, anti-Semitism and misogyny are not primarily to be found in Moscow or Shanghai today, but in Istanbul, Tehran or Islamabad.

Turkey can only be used as a bulwark against China or Russia if it ends its eternal enmity with the Kurds, and not just with one Kurdish group, but with all Kurds - including the PKK. Turkey can only act as a permanent global player if it is neither vulnerable nor susceptible to blackmail.

A Turkey that is tied up in every nook and cranny by "Kurdish problems" will hardly succeed in becoming a factor of stability. Therefore Turkey will continue the zigzag course between Russia, China and Iran on the one hand and the West on the other. At the crucial moment, however, Turkey will not go to war on the side of the West.

Dr. Kamal Sido is Middle East advisor for the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP)

(Kamal Sido)

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