Oodweyne News - Latest Somali News Update

Kurdistan and the Turkish Offensive:

The central point of the Turkish military campaign in North Syria is the creation of De Facto Kurdish entity by the Western powers. This development reminds us of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, whereby Britain and France have divided the Arab world among themselves in 1916, at the peak of the colonial era.

It is also worth noting that the western powers of those days, particularly Britain, have tried but shamefully failed to divide Turkey. In the Battle of Gallioli , 250,000 British, Canadians, Australians and New slanders were defeated by Ottomans. 150,000 of their troops were either dead or wounded.

At the end of the first world war, İstanbul was occupied and the Ottoman government collapsed. The Treaty of Sevres a plan was designed by the Allies to dismember the remaining Ottoman territories, was signed on 10 August 1920, although it was never ratified by the Sultan.

The occupation of Smyrna by Greece on 18 May 1919 triggered a nationalist movement to rescind the terms of the treaty. Turkish revolutionaries led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, a successful Ottoman commander who succeeded in rebelling the enemies and declaring the Turkish republic
It appears the ambitions of the West to have first say in the affairs of the Middle East or even subdivided it again was always Work in Progress. This is despite the fact that Britain and France are no longer powers to be reckoned with, but old habits die hard.

The positions and motives of the various players in the current Syria Crisis could be summarized as follows: –

The Syrian Kurds: The Syrian Kurds have concluded a deal with the Western powers aiming at the establishment of Kurdish autonomous state in Northern Syria with the assistance of Israel Mossed.
The exchanged consideration was that the Kurdish will act as brokers and safeguard the interests of the West in this part of the world – the same way that Israel has been created in 1948. In addition, the Kurds were doing a short-term special service for the West by keeping thousands of Daesh terrorists and their wives and children in large prisons or holding grounds with the aim of keeping these away from European shores – notwithstanding that some of the extremists are western nationals.
Everything was going as planned, but the Kurds have made one major miscalculation: They have openly displayed their support for Abdullah Ojolan, the imprisoned leader of Kurdish PKK, a Turkish Kurd terrorist group which are considered the No 1 enemy of Turkey, the leading Regional Power.
TURKEY: Turkey is a NATO member and has the second-largest army in this club. Their relationship with the Arab neighbours and has always been trouble-free. But of late their relations with major players like Egypt and Saudi Arabia was not in good shape mainly due to differences over the so-called ARAB Spring, Gulf Crisis, and the role of Islam in politics in this part of the World.
Turkey and Erdogan are secular but they supported the revolution led by Islamic Brotherhood of Egypt. The Brotherhood believe what they call “Islamic Democratic Model” which does not accept the principles on Secularism. More seriously, the Turkish were infuriated over the establishment, by the west, of the Kurds quasi-state in Norther Syria and as stated above, these rebels have made strategic mistake by openly supporting Abdullah Ogalan – turkeys’ diehard enemy.
Turkey could not accept the creation of Kurds enclave at its Sothern border who enjoy very close ties with its enemy, the PKK. To make things worth, as a result of the Syrian civil war, Turkey has invited 3.5million Syria refugees in its terrotiories and this had a negative impact on its economic and social wellbeing.

In response to these crippling pressures, Turkey has over the past few years propagated the idea of establishing a corridor along its southern border with Syria with the aim resettling couple of millions of Syrian refugees along this 450×40 km corridor. However, due to the deterioration of the turkey’s relationship with West and the leading Arab countries, nobody was inclined to entertain their request.

Last week, Turkey assisted by Syrian Sunni Rebels has launched military champion against the positions of the Kurds with the aim of establishing the long-awaited corridor on its southern border, and the rest is history.

Western Europe: The United States and western Europe did not heed the Turkish plan of establishing Syrian Corridor due to several reasons: A) First, they had long term plan of setting up a Kurdish mini state whom they presume would serve their geopolitical interest in the region. B) On the short term, the Siyan Kurds were holding thousands of Islamic state prisoners in large hangars without any due process for trials etc.
The Europeans are concerned that these terrorists, some of whom have Europeans passports, will somehow sneak into their countries and undertake terrorist activities in the streets of Paris, London and Berlin. The Europeans were content with status quo and were prepared to pay for running of these inhuman holding grounds.

It is worth noting that following the recent Turkish Campaign, the western Europeans were taken off guard and their response was hysteric at best. Turkey is not Niger or Mali and the France could not send couple of legionnaire battalions and the usual hot words of the British will not scare Erdogan.

The Americans: The Americans understand that Syria is essentially under the Russian domain in the same way as Iraq is US domain. Yet, as the World’s sole Superpower, the Americans could have a say in the affairs of every corner of the Globe. Secondly, the US is an ally of Turkey and co-member of NATO.
Nonetheless, the Trump administration enjoys much closer relationship with Western Europe and the powerful Arab countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Both groups happen to have rough relationship with Turkey.
On top of that, the current US president is the most unpredictable leader on Earth and the entire world have failed to predict what this guy would twit tomorrow or what course of action he will take vs any local or international development. In addition, the president is surrounded by hard-line republications who at times are trigger happy characters, whereas Trump obviously hates wars. It is also true the Israel is the invisible clandestine operators of the Middle East affairs. And the Americans, as usual, have the interest of Israel in the middle of their hearths.
As a result of these conflicting forces, the reaction of United States vs the developments in the Syrian stage was total confusion, and they are quick at blaming others to disguise their lack of focus.

The Russians: For the first the since the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the Russians have acted as the most fashioned statesmen. Putin could be dubbed the Bismarck or Peter the Great of the 21 Century.
They are fully aware that Syria is at core of their Domain in the region, yet they let the others play some roles – at least as stunts. The Russian have also managed to maintain excellent working relationships with all and every player in the Syrian marketplace.
As a result, they have gained new friends, and probably some future strategic alliances, but made not a single enemy in this international exercise.


Hassan Abdi Yousuf
Geopolitical Analyst
Hargeisa, Republic of Somaliland