Multiple reports confirm that the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and their allies the militant FSA are closing in on Afrin’s city center. The Turkish President is so confident about taking Afrin that he boasted “Afrin will fall by the night.” Turkey’s war on the indigenous Kurds of Afrin has created 700,000 new refugees in a matter of weeks.
More than this Turkey has been moving ethnic Turks and Arabs into villages where Kurds have lived for years. Kurdistan 24 reported the following:
Redur Xelil, head of foreign relations for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), of which the Kurdish YPG forces are the leading component, said in an online statement that Turkey was conducting a policy of intentional demographic change in Afrin.
“The Turkish government is settling Turkmen and Arab families in the villages of Afrin that it occupied after forcing out its people and is distributing the belongings of the people of Afrin to the new settlers,” he said.
If the claims are true, the actions would amount to ethnic cleansing. Various forms of forcible transfer of populations, especially of ethnic or religious groups, are considered war crimes by the International Criminal Court.
People in #Afrin are displaced to the caves & mountains, due to the non-stop bombardment of the Turkish airplanes on the Kurdish city. History repeats itself when it comes to Kurds, as the international community are still Deaf, Blind and Speechless over 1 Million Kurds in Afrin. pic.twitter.com/6siK0wnJzJ
— Lawk Ghafuri (@LawkGhafuri) March 14, 2018
Afrin’s Fall is Blow to the USA and Democratic Syria
Allowing the Kurdish population of Afrin to be permanently displaced is not just a stain on the international community, but can be seen as a blow to America’s ability to hold together its anti-ISIS and post Assad vision of Syria. The SDF has been trained by the US to defeat ISIS and form the nucleus of a post Assad democratic Syria. By allowing Afrin to fall to Erdogan’s Turkey, the USA has doomed its ability to call on the Kurds to help push its view of a democratic Syria. It has also allowed a genocidal maniac to continue to gain strength.
The USA’s non-intervention appears to be forcing the Kurds to look elsewhere for help, namely Iran. Without a SDF that is Wetern oriented, the USA risks losing its ability to steer Syria’s future.
Turkish Air Raids May Drag Syria into Afrin Against Them
Ironically the TAF appears to have allowed their determination to finish off the Kurds to possibly be their undoing. Through their continuous indiscriminate bombing the TAF has managed to not only decimate civilian population centers but has now destroyed checkpoint that was commandeered by pro-Syrian-government Shi’ite militiamen located on the road to Afrin in northwestern Syria. The airstrikes killed five pro-Syrian mitiamen connected to the Assad regime. Whether or now this causes Assad to push against Turkey remains to be see, but it is easy to see that where the USA pauses to enter, Syria will decide to do so thus helping the Kurds to shift allegiences to the Russian backed Shiite axis.
Will Syria now come to Afrin’s aid?