Turkey seeks to seize border strip with Syria

RAQAA, Syria (North Press) – On Sunday, a military spokesman for the Northern Democratic Brigade said that the Turkish government is seeking to seize the border strip through the recent military escalation on the border areas of north Syria.

The Democratic North Brigade is part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and most of its members come from the city of Idlib and its countryside in northwest Syria.

The recent Turkish military escalation on areas of north Syria aims at seizing the border strip, and thus causing demographic change and population displacement, Mahmoud Habib, the official spokesman for the Northern Democratic Brigade, told North Press.

On April 22, a resident was injured, and shops were damaged, as a result of Turkish bombing of the center of the city of Kobani. The city witnessed a state of panic among the residents as a result of the bombing of at least four places.

With the approach of the Turkish elections and the world’s preoccupation with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Turkey is seeking to seize this border strip, at a depth of 35 kilometers, through the bombing and the displacement, to empty the area of its residents, and to establish a corridor having only Arabs and Turkmen, Habib added.

According to Habib, “Turkey is ruled with nationalist religious mentalities and denies human rights and minorities. It does not want to have a successful state on its borders such as the Autonomous Administration project, and therefore it fears that this experience will be extended to Turkey, which will increase the government’s burden on controlling the internal security situation.”

“Turkey has begun coordinating with the Damascus government since the beginning of the revolutionary movement in Syria, and these common interests had not appeared until recently. Even they have had no direct meetings, but what happened on the ground shows the reality of compatibility between what Damascus is doing and Turkey’s goals and ambitions,” he said.

“The opposition factions’ withdrawal from Eastern Ghouta, Homs, Hama, and the southern countryside of Idlib were all in agreement with Turkey and Russia and the Damascus government. The demographic change in north Syria is being done before the eye of Damascus without expressing any objection,” Habib said.

“The most dangerous thing that can happen is the Damascus government allowing Turkey to occupy the border strip of north Syria in exchange for the Damascus government remains in power. It is in Turkey’s interest to strike that strip to achieve its interests by occupying the region,” according to Habib.

The military spokesman believes that “this military escalation may lead to the resurgence of ISIS cells and security breaches by the Damascus government, as they have the common interests in striking the Autonomous Administration areas and dieselizing the security and stability that the region witnesses.”

Reporting by Ammar Haidar