Eight years back when some of the regional countries and their foreign supporters joined the Arab Spring protests to bring down President Bashar al-Assad's government, neighbouring Turkey kept its cool and did not join the fray. Over the years since then,
Eight years back when some of the regional countries and their foreign supporters joined the Arab Spring protests to bring down President Bashar al-Assad's government, neighbouring Turkey kept its cool and did not join the fray. Over the years since then, that enterprise has undergone many twists and turns. At the end of the day the supporters of the anti-government forces have quietly returned home; the latest being the United States, who in its latest position was supporter of Syrian Democratic Force (SDF), which abounds with elements of anti-Turkey Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). President Trump, whose political agenda includes early withdrawal of American troops from foreign lands, informed Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan of his decision - but only to go back on it as he came under adverse pressure at home. A day after he warned Turkey of catastrophic economic sanctions he has taken one more U-turn. He has offered "I hope we can mediate". With 90 percent of Syrian territory back under President al-Assad's control, the only threat that still exists on ground is the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). For the reason that it is anti-Turkish and home to all kinds of mischief against national security of Turkey, President Erdogan ordered troops into the areas adjoining its border with Syria early this week. The Turkish push into the troubled territory is in line with its self-defence right as outlined in Article 51 of the UN Charter. Having cleared the SDF-infested area, Turkey is mulling creating a buffer zone about 30 kilometres deep in the Syrian territory to settle some 3.6 million Syrians who have sought refuge on the Turkish soil. These refugees would love to move onto the green European pastures, but Ankara has made that nearly impossible and for that the Europeans should be grateful; unfortunately, however, they are not. So, now that Turkey has decided to create the buffer zone for the return of Syrian refugees, the European members of UN Security Council have called on Ankara to halt its "offensive against the SDF", arguing the Turkish move risks providing a "fertile ground" for the Islamic State. However, Ankara's response is that the operation is aimed at clearing the territory of terrorist outfits, and it would be "proportionate, measured and responsible". But many other countries do not agree with the European take on the Turkish operation, with Russia asking what's the problem with Turkish troops in that troubled territory when no one objected to other "illegal military presence", a clear reference to the presence of American troops in Syria.
In fact, there is growing international support to the Turkish operation, including that of Pakistan. How hypocritical on the part of those who remained absolutely unconcerned over India's months' long security lockdown and communications blackout in Occupied Kashmir, but are up in arms against the Turkish move. Rightly then, Pakistan has extended its support to Turkey, as it believes its military operation would help Syrian refugees return to their homes. Answering a question, the Foreign Office spokesman said: "We appreciate Turkey's positive role in finding a viable political solution to the conflict in Syria." "We also acknowledge Turkey's humanitarian efforts by graciously hosting over 3.5 million Syrian refugees," he added. It is to be recalled that all these years Pakistan remained neutral in the Syrian civil war, and it supported territorial integrity of Syria. But cut up as New Delhi is over Turkey's consistent support to Pakistan on Kashmir India has expressed its "deep concern" over the Turkish operation. Only a Modist can reveal how does India's touted concern over "stability in the region" in the wake of Turkish move conform to its much ballyhooed procurement of Rafale fighter jets? It's about time the European powers and their regional surrogates accepted the fact that by moving troops into a territory beset with chaos and anarchy Turkey seeks to strengthen the regional stability.