Kurds and their desire for independence

Historically, the Kurds are the most divided people, who do not have their own state formation. Living in three countries - Iraq, Syria and Turkey - they are separated by their borders. But, nevertheless, the Kurds do not lose hope to create their own state.

After the American invasion of Iraq, Kurds began to build their state quickly in conditions of weak central authority and silent support of the United States. As a result, in recent years, Kurds have possessed an unprecedented autonomy in Iraq, which allowed them to even independently dispose of oil from existing deposits on their territory. In December 2014, the government of Iraqi Kurdistan and official Baghdad concluded an agreement on the sharing of oil produced in the Kurdish territories, some of which Kurds sold on the international market through Turkey. And then they began to make claims to the oil-rich province of Kirkuk.

Meanwhile, the decision of the Kurds to hold a referendum on independence against the will of the more powerful countries, led them to failure. Immediately after the referendum, the Iraqi authorities began to think about the introduction of an army into the Kirkuk province. On the night of October 16, Baghdad launched a military operation, as a result of which the Iraqi army "took away" significant disputed territories in northern and eastern Iraq. Experts believe that Kurds lost even more than they had in 2014. The Kurdish project in Iraq failed miserably. The Iraqi government has regained everything that the Kurds have accumulated for more than a decade, and the US has done nothing to help its Kurdish "allies." As in Iraq, the hopes of the Syrian Kurds for the state grew on the basis of the war in Syria, in condition of a weak center and with diplomatic and military support from the United States. During the war years, the Syrian Kurds acquired wide autonomy in northern Syria on the border with Turkey, and now they have illegal military bases of the United States and independence from Damascus on the controlled territory. At the same time, the Syrian Kurds, replacing the IS and other terrorist groups, also have occupied territories with predominantly non-Kurdish populations. In March 2016, the Syrian Kurds proclaimed the creation of the Federation of North Syria (Rojava), consisting of three regions or cantons - Jazira, Euphrates and Afrin. Official Damascus did not recognize the new state but expressed readiness for talks on Kurdish autonomy.

It should be noted that in Turkey, which is a unitary state where there are no national autonomies, Kurds are deprived of schools and universities in their own language, and their political and civic activists are persecuted and arrested. Ankara considers the representatives of the Kurdistan Workers' Party to be terrorists, which created many civil, public, professional and political organizations, entangling them with a network of Kurdish communities. The Turkish authorities believe that the Kurdish groups, including the Democratic Union and the People's Self-Defense Forces, with the support of foreign countries and the Kurdistan Workers' Party are going to form an independent Kurdish state in the north of Syria on the border with Turkey. According to Ankara, the Kurdistan Workers' Party has created in Turkey something like a parallel state with its army, taxes, underground and legal cultural centers, as well as civil associations. That's why last year Ankara introduced troops to Syria, occupying a large territory between the Kurdish cantons of Afrin and Jazira, to prevent them from uniting. And on January 20, 2018, Turkey has launched a military operation called the Olive Branch and attacked the Kurdish formations of the "People's Self-Defense Forces" and the Democratic Union Party in the Syrian city of Afrin. Afrin is an important stronghold of the Kurds in the north of Syria, and the Turkish authorities said that the military operation will continue until the Kurds leave it. Moreover, the Turkish troops will continue their offensive on the Syrian territories after the capture of Afrin and will pursue the Kurds up to the Euphrates.

Ankara warned that Turkey would launch an operation against the Kurdish forces in advance, demanding that the Kurds leave their positions within a week. Moscow advised the Kurds in Afrin to go under the control of Damascus to avoid Turkey's attack and defeat of the Kurdish forces: in this case, the Syrian state will become a single entity responsible for its northern border. Damascus's claim was the return of oil deposits in Deir ez Zor. However, the Kurds did not agree to moderate their territorial ambitions and refused the offer, hoping for US assistance.

Also, Kurds and the most influential force in the Syrian Kurdistan - the Democratic Union party, refused to participate in the Congress on the Syrian issue in the Russian city of Sochi on January 29-30. The task of the forum is the creation of a commission on the Syrian constitution and the adoption of final documents.

It should be noted that a major influence on the Kurds is provided by their main sponsor - the USA. It is the US that is trying to persuade the Syrian Kurds not to engage in dialogue with Damascus and to encourage separatist sentiments among them. Washington has long been heading for the creation of alternative authorities on a large part of Syrian territory. And the US statement about the establishment in the north of Syria of a military formation of the "border security forces" from among the "Syrian Democratic Forces", mainly Kurds, give them confidence. Moreover, the Pentagon, which helped the Kurds with weapons and military equipment, supplied them with portable anti-aircraft missile systems delivered from Iraqi Kurdistan. However, this US statement on the permanent occupation of the northeast Syria with the help of 30,000 soldiers was the reason for the beginning of the Turkish attack.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon agreed with Turkey's legitimate security concerns and said that Ankara warned of air strikes in advance. Also, it was also noted that "American servicemen in the region will not suffer from Turkey's operation in Afrin." At the same time, the Pentagon warned the self-defense forces of the Kurds that if they move from the northeast of Syria to the Afrin area, where the operation of the Turkish Armed Forces "Olive branch" is taking place, the US will stop supporting them. According to experts, "The US does not defend the canton of Afrin and never took responsibility for his defense." The Pentagon, which pursues only its own interests in Syria, does not care about the interests of the Afrin Kurds, who will not receive any help from it. The United States are building Syrian Kurdistan to fragment Syria and to consolidate its positions in the Middle East.

According to Syrian political scientists, now the "People's Self-Defense Forces" of the Kurds are not a recognized military or political force, but they have a powerful military organization supported by the United States. " That is why the Kurds hope for Washington, which can not protect them. The loss of Afrin could be as tragic for the self-proclaimed Kurdish autonomy of Rojava as the loss of Kirkuk and its oil fields for the Iraqi Kurds. However, the Kurds believe in the omnipotence of the US. At the same time, the Kurds refused to come close to Damascus, which would be the best way to solve their national problems. Also, the Kurds refused to participate in the congress of the Syrian national dialogue held by Russia in Sochi, at which it was possible to discuss Kurdish autonomy.

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