Alternative airport in Rmeilan proves a point
U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to directly give heavy weapons to the People’s Protection Units (YPG) was not a snap decision. There are deep alliances and rooted interests behind it. It looks quite unlikely that this decision will change if Turkey simply warns against it.
The reason is that this plan was made and put into practice months before Trump came to office. Proof of this is the opening date of the airport to which the weapons were brought.
American and Israeli interests openly overlap on a “Kurdish autonomous region” in northern Syria. Israel wants a “buffer zone” or an unthreatening local military force in the region against Iran, in addition to Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Massoud Barzani.
Indeed, Israel officially declared this only 10 days ago, and even announced that it would recognize a Kurdish state in the north of Syria. Israel’s ambassador to the Vatican, Sahyoun Afrudi, said the following: “Israel supports the creation of a Kurdistan state. The Israeli government, parliament, political parties and people think an independent Kurdistan is a natural right of the Kurds.”
It is also significant that Trump has appointed his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as his chief advisor on the Middle East. Kushner has in the past visited the YPG in Syria’s north.
The White House does not want to risk American soldiers in a war against ISIL. The political crisis created when bodies of American soldiers were brought back to their hometowns in coffins is still in people’s minds. The U.S. has therefore put forward Kurds as local forces loyal to them.
In return, the Syrian Kurds, like the Kurds in Iraq, are negotiating for the establishment of an autonomous region or state. It is no coincidence that the U.S. is providing heavy weapons to such a structure.
So how is the U.S. going to deliver these heavy weapons to the YPG? Of course by air. The answer to this question is very important because it explains that these weapons are not coming only because of a snap Trump decision.
Back in February 2016, news agencies reported that White House advisor Brett McGurk first paid a visit to the KRG capital Arbil before going to the town of Rmeilan in Qamishli in northern Syria.
In Rmeilan there is an airport that was once used for agricultural purposes. U.S. engineers then extended the runway of the airport from 700 meters to 1,050 meters in a short time. McGurk reopened that airport, of course accompanied by the YPG.
Now these heavy weapons are to be delivered through the Rmeilan Airport. The İncirlik Base in NATO member Turkey has been bypassed.
Think about it. This airport was opened over one year ago by McGurk. It is clear that the delivery of these heavy weapons was planned long before Trump’s decision. Plans were made long before Trump was elected. It was already known that Turkey would not allow İncirlik to be used, so an alternative airport was prepared.
So the latest decision is not a snap decision from Trump; it is longer term Pentagon project.
In short, there may be a relationship of love between people, but at the level of states there can only be relationships of interests.