Syrian Kurdish lawmaker urges for dialogue to avert Turkish operation in E Syria

Omar Ossi, a Syrian Kurdish lawmaker, urged the Kurdish militia to embark on a dialogue with the Syrian government to avert a Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria.

Ossi made the remarks during an interview with Xinhua, in which he said that the recent Turkish threats of starting a military operation in Kurdish-controlled areas in northeastern Syria are “dangerous and serious.”

“The situation is so dangerous and would be more dangerous in case of a Turkish incursion into northeastern Syria,” he said.

His remarks come as Turkey is threatening to launch a military operation against positions of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northeastern Syria on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River.

Turkey regards these Kurdish groups that are operating in northern Syria as terror groups that pose threats to the Turkish territory due to the geographical proximity.

Meanwhile, Ossi said that the best way for averting the Turkish military operation is for the Kurdish side to embark on a dialogue with the Syrian government.

He warned that if there was no dialogue or agreement the Kurdish-controlled areas on the eastern Euphrates River region could see a fate similar to that of the Afrin enclave.

In 2018, the Turkish forces and Turkey-backed rebels stormed Afrin and captured it from the Kurdish YPG and SDF.

Prior to that, the Kurds were advised to accept the entry of the Syrian army to Afrin to strip Turkey of the pretext to storm that area.

The Kurdish fighters refused to hand over Afrin to the Syrian army and ended up losing it to the Turkish forces and Syrian rebels.

Now, some Kurdish voices, including Ossi, are encouraging the Kurdish groups to embark on a dialogue with the Syrian government and to stop betting on the U.S. support.

Ossi said that the U.S., which is supporting the Kurdish militiamen in northern Syria, will not choose the Kurds over its alliance with Turkey.

This comes as Turkey and the U.S. were discussing to create a safe zone in northern Syria near the Turkish border while Ankara is also aiming to enter areas on the Eastern Euphrates area.

The Syrian government has rejected the Turkish-U.S. talks about the creation of a safe zone in northern Syria despite the fact that the U.S. ostensibly rejects a Turkish military operation in eastern Syria.

But Ossi said that the Turkish incursion into the Eastern Euphrates could take place within days, noting that it would be a disaster for the civilians who live in those areas.

Meanwhile, the pro-government al-Watan newspaper cited a Kurdish source as saying that the Turkish military operation could be limited.

He said that the Turkish side will not invade entire cities particularly with the presence of the U.S. forces.

It’s worth mentioning that the U.S.-backed Kurdish militias dislodged the Islamic State (IS) from the Eastern Euphrates and that region is largely controlled by the Kurdish forces with the presence of U.S. troops and military advisors.

Additionally, the Kurdish forces control areas near the Syrian-Turkish border in the northern countryside of Aleppo province in northern Syria as well as the northeastern province of al-Hasakah.

Turkey deems the YPG, which is the spine of the Kurdish forces in Syria, as a terror group belonging to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Ankara fears the separatist sentiment of Syria’s Kurds could inspire Turkey’s 14 million Kurds and pose threats to Turkey’s southern border, where the PKK has been active for years.