An upcoming Medya News discussion panel this Thursday 8 December will bring together international experts, asking how the West can build an enduring strategic relationship with the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria and support the Kurdish-led region in creating a more democratic Middle East.
The event, entitled “Beyond the crisis – building a strategic relationship with Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria”, will take place at 4PM Eastern Time (10PM CET), enabling audiences on both sides of the Atlantic to participate. The hour-long audio discussion will take place on Twitter’s Spaces platform, enabling the audience to submit their questions to a panel of regional experts in Washington and elsewhere.
Attendees will hear from Nadine Maenza, President of the International Religious Freedom Secretariat; David L. Phillips, Director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University; Sinam Mohammed, Syrian Democratic Council representative to the USA; and Dastan Jasim, Research Fellow at the GIGA Institute for Middle Eastern Studies.
Freelance journalist and Medya News contributor Matt Broomfield, who will be chairing the panel, said: “Often, calls for Western states and powers to support, defend or engage with the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria begin and end with humanitarian appeals over the treatment of Kurds and other minorities by Turkey, or references to the US-led Coalition’s anti-ISIS operations.”
“While these are important issues, with this panel we aim to explore other geostrategic factors, looking at reasons for working with and strengthening the AANES in and of its own right, and why Western powers themselves will benefit from opposing Turkey’s unilateral military operations against the region.”
Turkey’s latest wave of deadly airstrikes against Kurdish-led NES resulted in more than two dozen casualties including a journalist and multiple civilians, hitting civilian targets including a power station, a grain silo and a coronavirus hospital. President Erdoğan has once again threatened a Syrian ground operation ‘as soon as possible’, likely against the cities of Manbij and Kobane, key multiethnic population centres in the west of the region.
Against this backdrop, Medya News convened its first online panel on 28 November to bring together expert voices to analyse the latest developments in NES, whether now is the time that President Erdoğan will make his next move to seize and occupy swathes of land in the Kurdish-led NES region, and how he is benefiting from shifts in the regional geopolitical reality. Participants included journalist and commentator Frederike Geerdink, director of research at the Kurdish Peace Institute Meghan Bodette, Syrian-Kurdish politican Salih Muslim, and Samantha Teal from key on-the-ground source Rojava Information Centre.
The new event will explore more long-term factors including the possibility of promoting AANES as a genuine alternative to the Assad government, whether European powers can pursue a distinct policy from the USA in engaging with NES, and how the AANES can seek to prevent identical crises from repeating every few months.
You can join our panel of experts via the link here.