The cross-border operation that the Turkish army launched in Metîna, Avaşîn, and Zap (also known as Medya Defence Zones) regions in Iraqi Kurdistan has entered its 13th day. Nilüfer Koç provided an evaluation of the conflict and the latest agendas of the US government in the Middle East.
“A new design of the Middle East in line with the USA’s agendas is being prepared. The operation started right after US president Biden spoke with president Erdoğan. These forces see the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as a major obstacle to the invasion of Southern Kurdistan”, she told MA.
Koç drew attention to the goals of the USA with regard to the Middle East: “Biden identified the Middle East as a strategic point during the election process. They have withdrawn all their forces in Afghanistan and are aiming to make Southern Kurdistan a new base and they wants to acheive this using their allies in NATO” . Koç also added that in order to empower itself against Iran and Russia in the region, the US needs this new base.
She pointed out that: “On 15 March, at the NATO summit, the US Secretary of State stated that ‘Turkey is the heart of NATO’ and noted that it is an indispensable ally. Turkey gave its promise to play the role of the gendarme for the US but also got the permission to take back the gains of the Kurds in the region”.
Regarding the ongoing attacks of Turkey in Medya Defence Zones, Koç stated: “It is a war where the Turkish state receives serious support and uses the most sophisticated technology. If Turkey did not get that much support, the Minister of the Interior in Turkey would not be able to say: ‘We will establish a base in Metina’. He openly stated that they will occupy Iraqi territory. Turkey is in violation of all the rules of the United Nations, Geneva and even NATO. This proves that the order to attack was given to Turkey”.
Koç added: “They want to end the Kurdish resistance: they do not want Kurds to play an active role in the Middle East”. She criticised the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) for providing support to Turkey in its current military offensive in Iraq. “However, this is not the first time that the KDP has displayed this attitude”, she stated.
“When we look at the policies the KDP has followed since its emergence, it has always followed a path based on foreign powers agendas, rather than Kurdish society”. Koç also noted that, although the KDP is supporting Turkey regarding the operations against the PKK, if Turkey wins this battle, the next target will be the KDP itself.
“The existence of the PKK is protecting the KDP in the region. Either we will win in this war and change the fate of the region – i.e., we will win our status – or all Kurds in the region will lose. They lost in Gare and it was a big shock for them”, she observed, referring to the previous Turkish military campaign in Mount Gare.
“Now, if they will be defeated again, definitely it will have major repercussions for the domestic policies of Turkey. It is certain that the winner of the battle will change the fate of the Kurds. This is the last chance that the ‘deep state’ has given Erdoğan. It is Erdoğan’s last hope. But Turkey can’t win this war”.