“Neither the US nor Russia kept up with the commitments they made in the signed agreements; they didn’t keep up with the promises they made to the peoples of north Syria. On the contrary, they turned a blind eye to the airstrikes and ground assaults of Turkey in north Syrian territories,” writes Ferda Çetin for Yeni Özgür Politika.
Three members of the Gulo family were killed the day before yesterday in an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) strike targeting a car in Qamislo’s Hilêliyê neighbourhood.
After the incident, the Internal Security Forces of Rojava made an announcement saying, ‘The Turkish state is violating international agreements and committing crimes. We urge international powers responsible for the security of our territories to perform their duties.’
This attack, without doubt, was carried out by Turkey which has the political and military support of NATO.
What the Internal Security Forces refer to as ‘the international powers responsible for security’ are actually the Unites States, regarding territories east of the Euphrates, and Russia, regarding territories west of the Euphrates.
This is due to the fact that the US and Russia bear responsibilites related to commitments they made in the context of agreements reached with Turkey and the Autonomous Administration in Rojava.
The recent call made by the Internal Security Forces has both a political and legal basis and a background.
James Jeffrey, the US Special Representative for Syria, had visited Ankara on 22 July 2019 and had meetings with Turkish officials on the issue of “a safe zone in north Syria.” Jeffrey had meetings also with the Kurds in Syria around the same time, on the same issue.
So, a ‘safe zone’ and ‘a joint safety mechanism’ had been implemented in this context.
Agreements were made regarding the removal of defence reinforcements of Rojava’s armed forces like posts, ditches, barricades and tunnels, the removal of their heavy weapons, and an agreement to retreat 5 km from the border line. The distance to retreat from was later extended to 30 km.
While such terms were implemented in the field, a ‘ceasefire agreement’ with a content of 13 items was made by the US and Turkey on 16 October 2019.
The agreement was the first one of its kind in world history, being a ‘ceasefire agreement’ between two states that were allies, NATO partners and not in armed conflict with each other.
It was alleged that the agreement prevented Turkey from occupying Rojava territories and attacking people in these territories.
A similar agreement was made between Russia and Turkey on 22 October 2019 in Sochi. The ‘Sochi Agreement,’ with its 10 items, concluded just like the ‘ceasefire agreement’ with the US, that the Kurds would retreat 30 km from the border line.
Both the US-Turkey ‘ceasefire agreement’ and the Russia-Turkey ‘Sochi Agreement’ forced the Rojava Administration to make compromises and concessions, and pushed the Kurds 30 km away from the border on the grounds of ‘Turkey’s border safety and sensitivities.’
In return, both ‘agreements’ offered the Kurds a single guarantee: The Turkish state would not attack Rojava and north Syria through airspace and territory, and would not by any means conduct an assault against or target the peoples living in that region.
Neither the assaults nor the assassinations and massacres have ceased since then. The Turkish army and its proxies, consisting of the gangs of al Qaeda, al Nusra, the Islamic State and the Free Syrian Army, have been occupying Rojava lands: they are seizing the properties of Kurds, kidnapping Kurdish women, adolescents and the elderly to get ransoms.
Where the Turkish army does not have the ability to do this, it carries out strikes with armed UAVs and fighter jets, killing Kurds.
Neither the US nor Russia kept up with the commitments they made in the signed agreements: they didn’t keep up with the promises they made to the peoples of north Syria. On the contrary, they have turned a blind eye to the airstrikes and ground assaults of Turkey in north Syrian territories.
The United Nations, the US and Russia are responsible for the massacre of the Gulo family members in Qamislo at least as much as the Turkish state and Tayyip Erdoğan.
The UN, US, Russia and the European Union who stand up, condemn and release statements of support for Turkey whenever a Turkish soldier is killed in a clash have been in a humiliating silence over the massacre of three Kurds in Qamislo. This silence is not only a violation of the written agreements made, but also signifies direct support for the massacres carried out by Turkey and the Erdoğan administration.