In an interview, Syria Deeply asked the Turkish professor Gokhan Bacik about the major issues Turkey is facing because of the crisis in Syria. According to Bacik, the two major issues are border security and the Kurds. Also, their position depends on international partners, such as the US, which are in no hurry to resolve the conflict. Most likely, the renewed attack on Turkish soil, this time in the border town of Ceylanpinar, will not alter Turkey’s stance on Syria. Given a more anxious public, retaliation is still no option for Turkey as the situation on the ground seems to become unclear.
Meanwhile the leader of the National Coalition Assi Al-Jarba is visiting Europe and the US to hold talks about issues concerning arming of the opposition and the humanitarian crisis. On his tour through Europe, al-Jarba who is backed by the Saudi-Arabian state will first meet French president Hollande after which he will be expected in London and Berlin.
According to the Guardian, British Prime Minister David Cameron admitted that Bashar Al-Assad strengthened his position and it is a “depressing trajectory”. Nevertheless, he remained clear about his view not to provide arms to the opposition but rather engage in non-lethal aid to parts of the opposition. While he states that there are “a lot of bad guys” in the opposition, one needs to further support the Syrians who want democracy and freedom in their country.
An important topic this week has been the situation of the Kurdish areas in Syria and the proclamation of independence. France24 reports about plans for a self-government which should be instated until the end of the civil war in Syria. Thereby, the strongest Kurdish group in Syria, the PYD, declared that this is not a call for separation but a temporary government which shall meet the needs of the people and defend its borders. In order to build up a temporary government, there shall be elections in which residents of Kurdish areas are encouraged to vote. In the run-up to the elections, there seem to be inner-Kurdish disagreements, mainly between the PYD and the KDP-S (which is close to the party of Massoud Barzani in Iraqi-Kurdistan), on who will run the armed forces. The PYD has suggested to other militias to take part in the PYD ranks so that factional fights can be prevented which in turn is rejected by other Kurdish factions.
According to Rudaw, efforts to dissolve these differences between the the factions in Kurdish areas in Syria seem to fail. Specifically, it is claimed that the Kurdish Supreme Committee which was build a year ago to resolve conflicts among the rival Kurdish-Syrian groups has failed. Analysts have critiqued that it has failed to be the voice of Syrian Kurds but is rather dominated by the two Iraqi-Kurdish parties KDP and PUK and the PKK in Turkey. It would be more favorable for all different factions to come together in Qamishli. Criticism also concerns the self-interest of the parties who would stand in contradiction to those interests expressed by a ”revolutionary Syrian-Kurdish youth”.
However, there are not only inner-Kurdish rivalries but as Wladimir van Wilgenburg explains on Al-Monitor clashes between the PYD and the Islamist Jabhat Al-Nusra. The clashes took place in Ras al-Ain. While it looks like the clashes are a result of ideological differences, it seems more likely that border control is a much more important topic.