On June 15,2020, the Turkish state began an intensified wave of assaults against the Kurdish, Yazidi, Assyrian, and Arab peoples in southern Turkey, Northern Syria and Northern Iraq. Under the names “Operation Tiger Claw” and “Operation Eagle Claw,” these assaults are carried under the justification of “anti-terrorism” operations against the Kurdistan Workers Party.
In reality, these renewed operations are continuous acts of Turkish colonial aggression and expansionism that have been escalating in the region since the Turkish invasion and occupation of the Aleppo government began in 2016. With support of a coalition of Islamist mercenaries operating under the banner of the “Syrian National Army,” the Turkish state began the ethnic cleansing of numerous Kurds, Assyrians, and Yazidis in a concentrated effort to both stifle the advancement of Kurdish national liberation and expand its political power in Northern Syria.
Now, the eyes of the fascist AKP turn towards the Kurdistan Regional Government in Northern Iraq, hoping to lay siege to the Maxmur refugee camp and assault the Yazidi region of Sinjar which is under the jurisdiction of the Shengal Forces. Within the Turkish borders, such aggression has been carried out with the AKP-MHP’s intensified militarization in the countryside and violent crackdowns on any perceived threats to Turkish colonial expansion. This includes the years-long campaign of harassment and arrests of activists and municipal city councillors of the People’s Demcratic Party(HPG) and the active murder of Turkish revolutionaries such as TKP/ML-TIKKO member Hasan Ataş (Şerzan) in early June.
This intensified aggression does not occur in a vacuum; in fact the Turkey regime is being well utilized as a United States’ attack dog in Syria and Iraq. In the face of failed regime change attempts in Syria and an increasing anti-American resistance in Iraq, the United States’ empire seems to be at its limit in West Asia (aka “the Middle East”) as they are removing their soldiers from the region. However, to maintain their influence, the US is handing over the management of aggression to their allies in the region, which includes Turkey along with Saudi Arabia and Israel. This strategy also explains the American opportunistic approach to the Kurdish national movement, where the US has attempted to ally with them but has never been willing to commit to Kurdish self-determination. Some in support of the Kurds saw this approach as the US “abandoning” the Kurdish forces to the Turkish onslaught. A similar situation occurred with the plight of the Assyrian peoples, as the US pulled support to be given to Assyrian militias in the Nineveh Plains in anti-ISIS operations.
As a member of NATO with its 2nd largest army, Turkey’s aggression is also supported by other NATO allies. As the world’s 5th largest importer of weapons, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and European nations continue to supply Turkey with fighter jets, missiles, and drones. Canada and some European nations have taken an opportunistic approach by which they are attempting to impose restrictions on arms exports to Turkey while still profiting off arms sales to Turkey. For example, in April 2020, Canada announced that arms sales to Turkey were supposed to be suspended indefinitely as a result of their incursion into Syria. However, Canada still allowed the export of military drone optics to Turkey in June 2020, reasoning that they mentioned that exemptions to the ban were allowed on a “case by case” basis. It is clear that Canada and other NATO allies do not want to give up its profits from arms exports to their allies in West Asia such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia, who are inflicting misery and genocide on the people in the region.
With ongoing attacks on the people being done in the name of “anti-terrorism”, a just peace, anti-war movement must demand full removal of military occupation of lands in West Asia and everywhere. We rally all support to the popular movements waging a brave anti-colonial struggle against Turkish colonial occupation against Kurdish, Yazidi, Assyrian, and Arab peoples. We also abhor Turkish state repression against its own workers and activists of any nationality. Finally, we must unite to demand a complete end to all military and political interventions in the region such as arms sales by NATO allies, so that a just peace can be achieved.
Commission 4 and all the ILPS oppose all occupation, colonialism and neo-colonialism (i.e., imperialism). We oppose militarization and reactionary regimes in defending real democracy and just and lasting peace. We condemn the military pacts such as NATO and the arms industry. No deals with Saudi Arabia, Israel, Philippines, Turkey or any other agressor or repressive state! We stand up to support national liberation struggles and sovereignty of nations up to and including cessation. US and all foreign troops go home! Close the bases! No nukes! Down with wars of aggression and counter-revolution! International solidarity!
The ILPS is the International League of Peoples’ Struggles, an anti-imperialist alliance. www.ilps.info