Turkey attacking Kurdistan
Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighter gestures to the camera at the border town of Tel Abyad, Syria, October 14, 2019.REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

West Asia is boiling again. Earlier this month, after US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of its forces from the Syrian border, Turkey announced military operations against Kurds in northeast Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reasoned that the offensive aims at removing Kurdish-led forces from the border areas and creating a "safe zone" to which millions of Syrian refugees can be returned. There are apprehensions that the withdrawal of US troops may allow ISIS to rise up again in the region.

US President Trump had warned Turkey against any violent action targeting Kurds and finally, US announced economic sanctions against Turkey. With the situation changing every moment, let's understand the whole issue of why Turkey is attacking Kurds.

History of Kurds

For thousands of years, Kurds have been living on the land they call home. Post First World War and fall off the Ottoman Empire, the British and French promised Kurds they could continue to reside in those areas peacefully because they intended to create a country called Kurdistan which never happened. Eventually, the Kurdish population was staying scattered in countries like Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria.

US withdraw troops from Syria
Smoke billows out after Turkish shelling on the Syrian town of Ras al Ain, as seen from the Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar, in Sanliurfa province, Turkey, October 13, 2019.Reuters

Kurdish people have been facing atrocities by the governments of these four countries. All these countries are against the independence of the Kurdish people. Of all, Turkey has committed the worst atrocities banning the Kurdish language, Kurdish names. Turkish government went to an extent that it refused to call these people Kurds, instead called them "Mountain Turks" - a slur designed to brand Kurdish people as barbaric and uneducated.

Invasion of Iraq 2003

When the US and its allies invaded Iraq, Kurds fought alongside the allies, and against Saddam's army. They even managed to carve out an autonomous region in Iraq. Further, the Kurds played a significant role in checking the advancement of ISIS in Iraq. Similarly, when ISIS unleashed its terror in Syria, President Assad ordered his army to leave the region and left millions of Kurds there to die.

But with the help of the US and its allies, Kurds pushed back ISIS and again carved out another autonomous region, Rojava. As per some of the reports, the Kurdish people live under a system called Democratic Confederalism which is based on workers' rights, equality, feminism, and ecology. So basically, their version of democracy is much more democratic in comparison to any other Western country.

Trump impeachment
US President Donald TrumpReuters

Latest development

In a shocking development, US President Trump announced the withdrawal of its troops. Trump gave some bizarre reason for his decision and accused Kurds of not supporting the allied forces Normandy landing at D-Day during World War 2. Presently, the situation looks grim in the region and more violence is expected in the coming days.