to Encyclopedia Britannica:” In 2018 the United Nations recorded 6.7 million Syrian refugees, nearly 40 percent of Syria’s population that year. Several human rights organizations have called the Syrian Civil War the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century.” Is Turkey stabilizing the region by creating a safe zone to relocate Syrian refugees? Is Turkish invasion of Syrian territories justifiable? How the West looks at the Turkish military intervention in Syria? What will be the impact of the Turkish blunt move on the peace and population in the region?

    Before analyzing the reasons behind the Turkish military intervention in the Syrian territories. We may need to explore the Syrian-Turkish relations post Syrian civil war. Syria and Turkey not only share a large portion of their borders. Yet, they share common culture, traditions and even language in some parts. Both countries have strong leadership figures. Asaad and Erdogan had a great cooperative relationship. Asaad is coming from a minority Shiites leading a majority Sunnites. He was able to keep a tight grip in all minorities including Kurds and Christians. Erdogan main priority was to keep Turkey safe from PKK militants using Syrian soil as a base to lunch terrorist attacks against Turkey. The PKK or the Turkish Kurdistan Workers Party, designated as terrorist group by Turkey (Gaouette,2020). Post Syrian civil war. The borders were secured and Kurdish Syrian’s involvement in Turkey was limited.

    Since the start of Syrian civil war. The Kurdish People's Protection Units wing of the Turkish Kurdistan Workers Party (Gaouette,2020) has been receiving military and tactical support from the US. Turkey could not tolerate the creation of an autonomic Kurdish territory in Syria. The Turkish invasion goal is to change the ethnic population between Syrian and Turkish borders and to create a 3o km tampon zone for refugees ( ParvanehEllisEl idrissi, 2019) .Pushing away Kurds and bringing a more sympathetic Syrian Sunnite refugees will cut the supply chain between Kurds in Syria and Turkey.

    The role of the U.S is a bite ambiguous. The U.S do not want to have a skin in the game. They are using Kurds as proxies to fight ISIS. The U.S maintain a small military presence in Syria. Officially, about 500 U.S. troops (Kheel, 2020). An unsignificant number comparing to Russian troops. It almost feels like the US is playing the role of UN observer. The U.S main priority is to fight ISIS and irradicate the possibility of creating an alleged Caliphate.

    Officially, Turkey is fighting Terrorism (Mingest, Mckibben, Arreuin-Toft 198) and protecting its borders, citizens, and Syrian refugees against attacks from Syrian Democratic Forces. SDF operate in the area as US allies and led by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey considers a terrorist organization (Gaouette,2020). However, Unconventional warfare (Mingest, Mckibben, Arreuin-Toft 196) seems more adequate to define the warfare used by Turkey. The nationalism sentiment within Turkish troops is high. A priori, they are defending mother land against Kurdish militias and supporting the Syrian National Army, a Turkey-backed rebel group (Gaouette,2020). Their goal is freeing Syria from the oppressive regime of Bashar Al Asaad.

    Realism may best explain Turkey’s theory of international relations. As the military power of Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) increased. Turkey had to balance the power and limit YPG military abilities to hold ground and fight back. Turkey is concerned with the military abilities of Kurdish groups within its territory. On the other hand, the U.S is opting for a liberal approach. The U.S prefers to arm Kurdish militants as well as cooperate with Turkish Military to eradicate ISIS.

    However, when it comes to resolving the Syrian conflict. The U.S prefers to use international cooperation such as the U.N to ratify sanction against the Syrian regime. The U.S strategy dealing with the Syrian conflict may be qualified by historians in the future as the most disastrous strategy in the U.S international relations after the Cold War. While the U.S abandoned its Kurdish ally; Russia is backing Asaad’s regime. That move by the U.S sent a strong message to the World: The U.S is not reliable while Russia will fight with its allies till the end.

    Besides, the economic sanctions imposed on Bashar’s family and military leadership by the US Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019 (Al Shami, 2020). I do not see any response from the international community. The inability of Europe to come up with a clear strategy to address the imminent danger faced with is troubling. Terrorist attacks increased since the Syrian conflict started, and these attacks will remain as a permanent treat. The E.U strategy was to pay Turkey Billions of Dollars to keep Syrian refugees within Turkish borders. A card that Erdogan is continually playing whenever an issue arises between Europe and Turkey. Erdogan threatens to open the flood gate of refugees.

    Contrary to most predictions. I do not see the Turkish military intervention as a major event. Syrian territory is an area of 185,180 km² (John-Gadd,1999) while the Turkish incursion in Syrian territories was no further than 3o km. While I do condemn Turkish invasion of Syrian lands. I do find Western critics of the Turkish operation as hypocrite. Europe do not want to receive Syrian refugees, cannot stand to Russia controlling most Syrian territories, would not comment on Israeli raids on Syrian territories and occupation of Golan Heights. However, when it comes to Turkey pushing back Kurdish militants to resettle Syrian refugees. It became an international outcry.

    The peace in the region will not prevail till we resolve the Syrian conflict in its totality. Russia is not leaving any time sooner. Russia invested heavily in Syria and already started cashing back. In 2013, Syrian government signed a contract with Russian firm to drill Latakia’s offshore for oil and gas. (Youssouffa, Lequertier, Cohen, 2016). Turkish maneuver is a small move in a bigger geopolitical chess game. At the end. The Syrian population are paying the bigger price.



"MLA Formatting and Style Guide." The Purdue OWL Purdue U Writing Lab. Accessed 18 Feb. 2021.

Noah Tesch. Syrian Civil War: Additional Information. Britannica, July 06, 2011, https://www.britannica.com/event/Syrian-Civil-War/additional-info#history. Accessed 18 Feb. 2021.

Amie Ferris-Rotman. Here is why the Russian Orthodox Church is deeply connected to the Syrian War. Washington Post, December 19, 2018. https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/world/heres-why-the-russian-orthodox-church-is-deeply-connected-to-the-syrian-war/2018/12/19/63f60dbe-e35c-11e8-ba30-a7ded04d8fac_video.html. Accessed 19 Feb.2021.

Frédéric Crotta, Mathieu Niewenglowski, Bruno Girodon et Gérard Lemoine. L’engrenage infernal. France info: Un oeil sur la planete, February 19,2016. https://www.francetvinfo.fr/replay-magazine/france-2/un-oeil-sur-la-planete/video-un-oeil-sur-la-planete-l-engrenage-infernal_1320535.html. Accessed 16 Feb.2021.

Estelle Youssouffa, Jean-Marie Lequertier et Anne Cohen. Les dessous d’un Conflit. France info: Un oeil sur la planete, February 19,2016. https://www.francetvinfo.fr/replay-magazine/france-2/un-oeil-sur-la-planete/video-un-oeil-sur-la-planete-l-engrenage-infernal_1320535.html. Accessed 16 Feb.2021.

Danush ParvanehSam EllisRajaa El idrissi, and Melissa Hirsch .Why Turkey is invading Syria. Vox, October 31, 2019, https://www.vox.com/videos/2019/10/31/20942077/turkey-syria-invasion-erdogan-kurds-isis. Accessed 19 Feb.2021.

Nicole Gaouette, Republican anger grows ss Trump disavows Kurds over WW2, Republican anger grows. CNN Politics, Oct 10, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/09/politics/turkey-syria-us-anger-ramifications/index.html . Accessed 18 Feb.2021.

Rebecca Kheel, US beefs up force protection in syria after run-in-with Russia. The Hill, Sep 18, 2020, https://thehill.com/policy/defense/517152-us-beefs-up-force-protection-in-syria-after-run-in-with-russia. Accessed 18 Feb.2021.

Ishtar Al Shami, The Syrian People and the implications of Caesar’s Law in the siege of Asaad. The Washington institute for Near East Policy, Aug 14, 2020. https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/syrian-people-and-implications-caesars-law-siege-assad. Accessed 18 Feb.2021

Cyril John-Gadd, Syria. Britannica, July 26, 1999, https://www.britannica.com/place/Syria/additional-info#history. Accessed 18 Feb. 2021.