PYD aims to create refugee influx to gain territory: Turkish security officials

PYD aims to create refugee influx to gain territory: Turkish security officials

Deniz Zeyrek - ANKARA
PYD aims to create refugee influx to gain territory: Turkish security officials

Tanks of the Turkish army shoot in the direction of Syria, near the Syrian border some kilometres from the Oncupinar crossing gate in Kilis, south central Turkey, on February 15, 2016. AFP photo

Security officials have stated that Turkey began shelling positions of Syria’s Democratic Union Party (PYD) militias due to the fear that the PYD’s capture of Azaz, a critical town in the Syrian conflict, could spark a new refugee influx towards the Turkish border.

A report prepared by security officials reiterates the official reasoning of Turkey’s recent military campaign against the PYD, which the government considers an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The major points of the report are as follows: 

-PYD militias and Bashar al-Assad regime forces are trying to create a new refugee wave by moving towards Azaz as there are 10 refugee camps between this town and Turkey’s town of Kilis, approximately along an eight-kilometer line. The residents of these camps will likely flee and seek shelter in Turkey while these camps would be taken by the PYD or Assad forces. This is why Azaz should be controlled by regime opponents. 

-PYD’s military mobilization is not about the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) because the areas it is going through are ISIL-free. 

-Another goal of the PYD is to increase the territories it controls around Azaz just like it did in Tal Abyad in 2015. Around 24,000 have fled Tal Abyad when the city was seized by the PYD. Only 4,000 Syrian Kurds have returned while 20,000 Arabs preferred to stay in Turkey. That changed the demographic structure of the city to the advantage of the Kurds. 

The above information, all claims made by the Turkish military, has been shared with Vice President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, officials have said. 

‘Turkey does not bomb Kurds’ 

Security officials reiterated that Turkey extended its help to Kurds living in Kobane, a dominantly Kurdish-populated Syrian town in northern Syria, and alleged to have allowed the passage of 40 trucks of medical aid and construction material from Turkish territories.  
One criticism often voiced by Russia and the United States is the presence of al-Nusra around the Azaz region. But according to Turkish security officials, al-Nusra has not been in the region since 2013. 

‘Russia pushing the Grozni model’

According to security officials, Russia is trying to pressure the Assad regime into implementing a similar tactic it used in Chechenia in the early 1990s, known as the Grozny model. According to the officials, in Russia’s fight against Chechenia separatist terror groups, Russia first tried to force civilians to leave their homes so it could conduct a much more efficient fight against its opponents. After residential areas were emptied, the Russian military used heavy weapons to eradicate its opponents at the expense of destroying cities.