Journalist and Middle East analyst Fehim Taştekin says Turkey is able to pursue its agenda in north and east Syria more aggressively as the world is focused on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking on Gerçek TV, Taştekin commented on the recent developments in Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, and north and east Syria, where Turkey has been recently stepping up its attacks.
Referring to reports on the Kurdish media on the increased military activites of Turkey in Iraqi Kurdistan, he said:
“I am not sure how much the KDP [Kurdistan Democratic Party] can take part in these activities, as they are concerned about Turkey’s growing power as well. They don’t know where Turkey will stop. They are considering the possibility of Turkey threatening not only the existence of the PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party], but the entire existence of Kurdistan. They do have such a concern, despite their ongoing cooperation with Turkey.”
“A new government is being formed in Iraq, and they need the Kurds. It is not possible to form a government in Baghdad without the Kurds. Kurds are going to take the presidency, and now they are discussing whether the KDP or the PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) will be in power. Until now, it has always been the PUK. The KDP thinks that it’s now their turn. The KDP’s candidacy is making it easier for Turkey to play their games, and Turkey is trying to bring its military into the game. This is very dangerous”
“On the other hand, Turkey is trying to isolate Shengal [Sinjar] from Syria and Rojava. This effort is linked to Turkey’s desire for setting up a corridor in north and east Syria. There are reports in the Kurdish media about Turkey building walls in the region.”
He underlined that Turkey’s military activities were not confined to Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan, but involved north and east Syria as well.
“There are reports of drone attacks in Al-Dirbasiyah, the eastern side of the Euphrates, where Turkey has been targeting the M4 highway. This is alarming (…) As the US and the West give credit to Turkey for their peacemaker role in the war of Ukraine, Turkey has more leverage in the region. As all the attention is directed at Ukraine, Turkey is able to find more space in the region free of any monitoring by the US and Russia.”