Erdogan’s ethnic cleansing in NE Syria, just copying his ancestors

Erdogan is following the policy of the Assad regime in the 1960s against the Kurds, changing the demographic balance in northeast Syria to prevent the creation of an autonomous Kurdish zone, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Turkey is constantly threatening to launch a new military operation in Syria, targeting areas controlled by the mainly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDS), which are the backbone of the US-led anti-jihadist coalition.

For Ankara, however, the SDP is a branch of the PKK. Turkey and the US have agreed to establish a security zone in northeast Syria in which Ankara says it wants to deploy 3.6 million Syrian refugees who have fled to its territory.

Settling in the Syrian refugee area is a key political pursuit of Turkish President Erdogan so that anti-refugee sentiment inside his country can calm down and he can change demographics in the Kurdish areas, as he did in Afrin, by deploying Turks and Arabs. Kurds are to be forced to leave.

Ankara is now seeking to expel the Kurdish population east of the Euphrates River by installing Arabs in those areas to prevent the creation of an autonomous Kurdish zone. “The demographic war strategy is not new. The Assad Ba’ath Party used it against the Kurds in the 1960s. Now Turkey is copying it, “the Israeli newspaper reported.

The ethnic cleansing strategy, of course, is not new to the Turks. And that is where the Israeli newspaper is wrong. Erdogan is not copying Assad, he is copying his ancestors who have done the same against the Greeks, Armenians, and Assyrians for hundreds of years.