We might note that as of this writing, the US trained Kurdish Defense Forces have now joined the Syrian Arab Army, bringing $3 billion in US equipment paid for by Trump, and are handing Erdogan’s Turkish Army “its ass….”
Donald Trump, in a joint press conference with Sergio Mattarella, the newly elected Italian President, justified Turkey’s invasion of Syria and her attack on the American led Kurdish forces there by stating that the American allied Kurds were, all along, worse than ISIS.
Trump is, of course, referring to the PKK, a bolshevik Kurdish splinter group allied with Israel. The PKK, established during the 1960s by Israel to destabilize Turkey through its Kurdish minority has always been an outcast group among Kurds.
Trump and Erdogan, in another phone call we would all love to hear, agreed to push the lie that the American trained and supplied YPG that has lost 11k fighters under US command, is actually a terrorist group and that he, Donald Trump now supports their mass murder.
Below, from Foreign Policy, journal of the Council on Foreign Relations, the prime advisory group for the US State Department is their contrary opinion on the subject:
Syria’s Kurds Are Not the PKK
Amid the war against the Islamic State, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is bombing our villages and soldiers on an entirely false pretense.
Last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan bombed and shelled our villages in northern Syria. The strikes killed our soldiers and unnecessarily escalated the conflict between Turkey and us at a time when we are engaged in a historic battle alongside U.S.-led international coalition forces to retake Raqqa and end the Islamic State’s reign of terror.
I am a member of the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM), an umbrella organization made up of six political parties and civil society institutions, including the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the leading Kurdish party in northern Syria. We are recognized by the PYD, as well as the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) as their political leadership. We are devoted to building an egalitarian, democratic, and ethical society where Arabs, Kurds, and Syriacs — along with Muslims, Christians and Yazidis — all live peacefully side by side and where women are treated equal to men.
In justifying this egregious attack on northern Syria, Erdogan used a common refrain. The PYD and the Syrian Kurds, he said, are the same as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), making them terrorists.
Erdogan recently repeated this allegation, saying that he is “seriously saddened” by television footage showing U.S. military forces operating alongside what he considers a terrorist insignia — our flag. And on May 3, one of his senior advisors went further: He suggested that U.S. forces, because they operate alongside our forces and are patrolling the Syrian-Turkish border, could also be targeted by the Turkish military. These statements are remarkable — a NATO member country is accusing its American ally of working with terrorists and, as a result, threatening U.S. soldiers.
Putting aside political circumstances and repercussions of this accusation, it is important to set the record straight. We are not the PKK, no matter how much Erdogan wishes it were so, and it is not difficult to explain why.
Modern Kurdish groups can trace their political philosophies to one of two founding figures: Mustapha Barzani and Abdullah Ocalan. The fundamental distinction between the two is that while Barzani, the father of the current president of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Massoud Barzani, called for building a nationalist Kurdish state based on aristocracy and the rule of a few, Ocalan called for a socialist state where all were equal. Over time, Ocalan evolved his ideas from socialism to federalism, believing that a democracy where power is decentralized is the best way to protect both individual and collective freedoms.
The influences of these figures and ideas can be seen today. Iraq’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) springs from the Barzani school of thought, and as a result the KRG is ruled by a few, with power and wealth concentrated in the hands of the Barzani family and its friends. Ocalan’s school of thought, on the other hand, extends to the PYD, Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), and the PKK, as well as other groups in Iraq and Iran. All these groups have implemented Ocalan’s ideas differently and pursued different aims, as we interact with different geopolitical players.
We don’t deny our relationships with all Kurdish parties in the four parts of Kurdistan (spread across present-day Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq), as we don’t deny our connection to Ocalan. In fact, as I write this, I am proud to say I have a photo of Ocalan on my desk next to me. Ocalan’s views and philosophy are at the core of how we govern the Northern Syrian Federation, or Rojava. And they are why, under our control, northern Syria has become a model — respecting the rights of minority groups and women, and ensuring that individual and collective freedoms are not only protected but empowered.
We also don’t deny that PKK also traces its school of thought back to Ocalan. However, their implementation of his teachings differs greatly from ours, and their political circumstances do as well. These distinctions are important, however much Erdogan wishes the world to ignore them. We can share a founding philosophical father without being the same organization. Having different leadership, different members, and publicly stating we are different — as we are doing in this article and have done numerous times in the past — should be a clear indication as to our intent. Simply put, we are our own organization, and we are proud of that.
As Kurds, we of course sympathize with our brothers and sisters in Turkey. Many of their towns are divided along our border, partly residing in Turkey and partly in northern Syria. Historically, many Syrian Kurds joined the struggle in Turkey and were martyred there. Equally, some Kurds from Turkey and Iraq came to Syria to join the heroic resistance of Kobani against the Islamic State, and were martyred in Rojava. The PKK offered its help to Kobani, as did the United States.
It pains us to see those on the Turkish side of the border suffer from oppression and fear under Erdogan. But that is not our struggle, and we have said publicly and will say again that our territory and resources are not going to be used by the PKK or any other groups fighting Turkey. We don’t interfere in the domestic affairs of neighboring countries, and we expect other countries to do the same.