Both Ankara and Damascus are willing to put an end to the autonomous Kurdish administration in North and East Syria, Taştekin said in Gazete Duvar, adding that despite this similar target, the parties differ on one crucial issue.
According to Taştekin, Ankara’s ultimate aim is to crush the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), its military wing the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and its internal security forces Asayish, while Damascus wants to get the Kurds on its side by destroying the partnership between the United States and the Kurdish groups. This is why the Syrian delegation refused to agree to joint action with Turkey against the SDF during tripartite negotiations in Moscow last month, Taştekin said.
“What doors can the Kurds knock on for a way out? There are three possibilities, given the local, regional and international realities: Damascus, Moscow and Washington. Ankara should be another door, but that door is never ever open to the Kurds,” the journalist said.
Some analysts favour a solution with Damascus, predicting that Washington could betray Kurds on the way. However, Washington can object to a dialogue between the Kurds and Damascus, given that the Syrian government’s ultimate aim is to break ties between the United States and the SDF, according to Taştekin. But partnership with Washington bring advantages that are still important for Kurds, including providing military protection to Kurdish groups, allowing them to take control of the oil fields in the region, weakening the claim that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is a terrorist organisation given the ties between the SDF and the PKK, and creating tensions in the relations between Washington and Ankara, the journalist said.
Meanwhile, Damascus also walks a fine line by alienating the Kurds in exchange for a reconciliation with Ankara, Taştekin said. The Syrian military, which has been weakened in the last 11 years, may find it hard to fill any gap left by Kurdish forces, which in turn could trigger a revival of Islamic State (ISIS), according to Taştekin. Damascus could change the military balance in the region by adding the power of more than 100,000 experienced Kurdish soldiers to its army, but the opposite outcome could lead to the collapse of Syria’s territorial integrity, he added.
For the Kurds, Moscow is an indirect way of establishing ties with Damascus, Taştekin continued. While Russia’s interests require taking Turkey’s sensitivities into account, widening the crack between Ankara and Washington and ensuring a rapprochement between Turkey and Syria, Russia is also aware that Kurds cannot be regarded as being without influence in the process, according to the journalist.