We should ask why Russia is providing air…

We should ask why Russia is providing air support to the YPG in northern Aleppo. Whatever one’s thoughts as to the existence of an alliance between Assad & the PYD it would be very hard to imagine the PYD voluntarily handing territories it controls back to Assad or to any other Syrian authority.

So why should Putin be helping the PYD carve out its own territory? Why is he not helping the Assad regime, which he is supposed to be defending, extend its control to the border in Aleppo?

I think we have to look at this within the context of Putin’s efforts to weaken NATO. A Kurdish Rojava will find itself in a highly vulnerable position stretched out between a hostile Turkey and a Damascus government seeking to reassert its control over the entire country. It is therefore a perfect entity to be used by Putin for his own purposes in return for Russia’s protection.

Putin’s desire to harm NATO could be excellently served through Russian backing for a massively escalated PKK campaign in Turkey. Operating from Russian protected bases in Syria and with Russian weapons and money the PKK would, at the very least, be able to create bloody chaos in SE Turkey and what would very likely be a crippling and politically destabilizing conflict for Turkey. New floods of refugees fleeing the war zone would create further problems for Turkey and the EU.

Turkey would, of course, want to launch cross border operations against the PKK, and as that would entail conflict, and maybe full scale war with Russia, Turkey would seek NATO support which, on the evidence of the last few years, would most likely be denied. It is hard to see where such a refusal would lead, but it is almost certain that the consequences would be very much to Russia’s advantage.

So for a minimal cost Putin would be able to deal a severe blow to NATO and Turkey, and perhaps via a new refugee flood, to the EU. And that, in my opinion, is why Putin is helping the PYD in northern Aleppo.

#aleppo, #putin, #pyd, #russia, #turkey, #ypg