US Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hold a press conference in Turkey on October 5, announcing the “ceasefire agreement” which to a greater extent, is about renewal of US-Turkey’s commitment to each other.
Mike Pence said Turkey has assured the United States that all military operations will be stopped for five days while the People’s Protection Units (YPG) will retreat 30 km from the Turkish border into the Syrian deserts. YPG was the main allied paramilitary force of the US special forces in Syria during the fight against IS. Pence also said that Turkey has assured that all military operations in Syria will be stopped after the YPG approves the withdrawal.
The agreement has thirteen clauses, the first six of which emphasize Turkish-American cooperation in the context of NATO and other commitments they have. Even in this agreement, the Kurds are not recognized as parties to the war.
But the most disturbing of all is the ninth and tenth clauses. According to clauses 9, the two countries disarmed the Kurds, and after tenth clauses, the security zones were to be transferred to the Turkish army, which Turkey intended to gain with military force.
While Mike Pence is negotiating a ceasefire agreement on behalf of the Kurds with the Turkish government, political and military observers believe that Turkey has launched its military campaign against the Syrian Kurds with green light from the United States. At the same time, other key players in the crisis, Russia and Syria, have no role in the agreement.
Under this agreement, Turkey will achieve a goal that will be achieved with military force. Withdrawal of Kurdish forces up to 30 kilometers from the Turkish border, which means that Turkey occupies these Kurdish-controlled territories.
What will happen in the absence of Kurdish forces in Turkish-controlled areas?
In short, the democratic system, political and cultural pluralism and secularism created by the sacrifice of thousands of people in this region will be destroyed. Because Turkey wants to fulfill its intention to resettle the Syrian Arab refugee in the 30km area it was campaigned for. Those who will be resettled in these Kurdish areas are Islamic extremists such as ISIL members, Jabhat al-Nusra and other mercenaries trained for this purpose.
When Islamist groups enter these Kurdish areas, the crimes committed by ISIS against the Yazidis will be repeated. Massive forced exit from the Kurds will begin, destroying the democratic system, state institutions and social services. All Kurdish schools will be closed and deprive Kurdish children of their native language education. The demographics of the region will undoubtedly change, and the Kurds will disappear, and these regions will be non-Kurdish but Arab. In this way, the genocide and ethnic cleansing that the Turkish government had wanted would become a reality.
This is a five-day temporary ceasefire, but the Turkish government and the US government, meanwhile, intend to release widespread worldwide propaganda that the Kurds are responsible for the outcome of the war if they fail to comply. In imposing the Kurds on this deal, US President Donald Trump has called the best deal of the century, calling for their disarmament and calling the PKK more dangerous than ISIS.
Will the Kurds readily accept the agreement and withdraw from these areas? Will they leave their home and their lives and leave their ancestral land and leave it to Islamic extremists? Will this agreement be approved by other parties involved, or more because of the pressure exerted by the US Congress and the distraction of public opinion against USA’s president Donald Trump?
The United States may claim that this agreement is the most important thing that has happened, but the reality is that the world has long witnessed planned actions that Turkey is taking for ethnic cleansing of the Kurds, this time with green light from the US president.
Another remarkable example of genocide is the one that took place during the First World War (1915-1917) by the Ottoman authorities a hundred years ago against Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks and Kurds. The operation was carried out in the form of mass killings, forced deportations which ended in death.
After more than a century, this event is now recognized by many countries as the 20th century
genocide. Is the world looking at the mass murder of Syrian Kurds and recognizing it as ethnic cleansing after 100 years, or are they trying to stop the Turkish crimes against the defenseless people? In any case, it is not expected that the main players risk the economic and political interests by preventing ethnic cleansing of the Kurds.
Here’s the full text of the joint US-Turkey statement:
The US and Turkey reaffirm their relationship as fellow members of NATO. The US understands Turkey’s legitimate security concerns on Turkey’s southern border.
Turkey and the US agree that the conditions on the ground, northeast Syria in particular, necessitate closer coordination on the basis of common interests.
Turkey and the US remain committed to protecting NATO territories and NATO populations against all threats with the solid understanding of “one for all and all for one”.
The two countries reiterate their pledge to uphold human life, human rights, and the protection of religious and ethnic communities.
Turkey and the US are committed to D-ISIS/DAESH activities in northeast Syria. This will include coordination on detention facilities and internally displaced persons from formerly ISIS/DAESH-controlled areas, as appropriate.
Turkey and the US agree that counter-terrorism operations must target only terrorists and their hideouts, shelters, emplacements, weapons, vehicles and equipment.
The Turkish side expressed its commitment to ensure safety and well-being of residents of all population centers in the safe zone controlled by the Turkish Forces (safe zone) and reiterated that maximum care will be exercised in order not to cause harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure.
Both countries reiterate their commitment to the political unity and territorial integrity of Syria and UN-led political process, which aims at ending the Syrian conflict in accordance with UNSCR 2254.
The two sides agreed on the continued importance and functionality of a safe zone in order to address the national security concerns of Turkey, to include the re-collection of YPG heavy weapons and the disablement of their fortifications and all other fighting positions.
The safe zone will be primarily enforced by the Turkish Armed Forces and the two sides will increase their cooperation in all dimensions of its implementation.
The Turkish side will pause Operation Peace Spring in order to allow the withdrawal of YPG from the safe zone within 120 hours. Operation Peace Spring will be halted upon completion of this withdrawal.
Once Operation Peace Spring is paused, the US agrees not to pursue further imposition of sanctions under the Executive Order of October 14, 2019, Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Syria, and will work and consult with Congress, as appropriate, to underline the progress being undertaken to achieve peace and security in Syria, in accordance with UNSCR 2254. Once Operation Peace Spring is halted as per paragraph 11 the current sanctions under the aforementioned Executive Order shall be lifted.
Both parties are committed to work together to implement all the goals outlined in this Statement.