Turkey: The Fuse for World War III

By Dr Jan Best de Vries:

Russian air strike in Syria

Russian air strike in Syria

There are a lot of players on the battle fields of Syria: the Assad regime with its allies Hezbollah, Iran and Russia, the FSA, Rojava, the Gulf States and a Western coalition under the guidance of the USA. What they all want to disappear are their enemies of the caliphate IS and the emirate Al Nusra, which together control most of the country. This is their only common goal, but there it ends…. To begin with: all foreign powers except Russia and the USA should no longer mingle into the affairs of Syria.

It is completely clear that the moral-ethical claims of the USA in foreign politics have resulted into a situation in which the soldiers of Rojava’s YPG and YPJ are supported in their struggle against IS and Al Nusra by American airstrikes; whereas at the same time these soldiers are bombed by jets from Turkey in its capacity as a NATO ally of the USA….So, if there is to come a political solution to the military conflicts in Syria and Iraq, it should come from Russia which, for a purely geopolitical reason, wants to preserve the ports for its fleet on the Mediterranean coast of Syria.

The borders of Iraq and Syria were in 1919 drawn by land surveyors from respectively England and France on the basis of the presence of oil fields in both areas and, if IS should disappear from present-day Iraq, the Shiite and Sunnite populations in respectively the southern and central regions of Iraq should now get their own states, just like the Kurds in the north. Sofar for Iraq, but it is to be feared that the USA is not willing to opt for this solution, just as in 1919 their then president Woodrow Wilson, in relation to the borders of Iraq at the time, went along with Loyd George and Clemenceau, the presidents of England and France….

As for Syria, its outer borders could be maintained if, in the north, Rojava with Aleppo would form an autonomous region with an outlet to the Mediterranean directly south of Turkey; in that case western Syria with Damascus would become a second autonomous region, and inland the region heading towards the Tigris a third. Rojava is at the moment the only peaceful, democratic and multi-ethnic area, in which the Kurds form a majority, alongside minorities of Armenians, Jews, Tchetchens, Aramaeans, and Old Syrians. Western Syria is predominantly inhabited by Shiite Alawites and eastern Syria by Sunnites. The federal government could maintain its seat in Damascus. Regional autonomy is the political solution of Rojava’s administration to the chaos in Syria.

The obstacle to this solution is Mr. Erdogan’s Turkey. Mr. Erdogan doesn’t allow Turkey to be a state with, alongside Turks, ethnic minorities and religions other than Sunnite salafism. He has decided that there should be no negotiations with the Assad regime and the Kurds in eastern Anatolia and Rojava. And, because the USA will support — as always since World War II — its NATO member and ally Turkey, both in political and in ethnic and religious matters, Turkey is the fuse for World War III.

Dr. Jan Best de Vries is an archaeologist and historian, decipherer of the so-called Byblos Script from Aleppo and Alalakh (‘How to Decipher the Byblos Script’, Aspekt Publishers 2014, ISBN978-946-153-420-0)

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