Instigators of terror must be targeted, not proxies

Published 18.11.2015 23:56

DAESH is not a movement with discretional power - it is merely a terror brand. In other words, whoever pays money and makes generous promises holds possession of it

Paris was shocked by seven simultaneous terrorist attacks over the weekend that left a total of 129 people dead and hundreds seriously injured.

The French are in a state of fear. This fear was very clearly revealed by the panic at a site where flowers were laid on Sunday night in the memory of the casualties. People thought the explosion of a streetlight was another bomb and stampeded through the street in a mad rush, crushing flowers on the sidewalks and leaving their candles on the ground.

As people, who experienced similar violence in Ankara nearly one month ago, we profoundly understand the feelings of the French people. Just before the Nov. 1 parliamentary elections, Turkey lost 102 of its people in an attack carried out by DAESH, which claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks. This was not the first terrorist attack that Turkey has experienced. Turkey has lost tens of thousands of people in attacks that the separatist PKK terrorist organization has carried out for more than 30 years. Let us note that the majority of victims of these attacks were children and civilians.

Who is the perpetrator of the terror that targeted Turkey and France one after the other? Is it a terrorist organization that emerged out of the blue and has ambiguous leadership, components and objectives? If so, why does this organization not attack Iran and Russia, which wage a direct war against it, or Israel, which is a categorical enemy of it? Or why does it not battle with the Damascus regime with which it struggles over territorial dominance? Why does it focus on attacks against Turkey and France, while there are other targets that surprise no one, if they are struck by DAESH?

There is a simple answer to these questions. Just like the PKK and other terrorist organizations, DAESH is not a movement with discretional power - it is merely a terror brand. In other words, whoever pays money and makes generous promises holds possession of it. During the initial stages of the Syrian civil war, DAESH, together with the PKK's Syrian affiliate, Democratic Union Party (PYD), occupied the cities that Syrian President Bashar Assad struck with barrel bombs. Then it started to clash with moderate opposition groups in the country. And after it fell to loggerheads with the PYD over territorial dominance, it also started to clash with that group. So far, however, we have not witnessed a single serious assault that DAESH directed at the Damascus regime.

The same goes for the PKK and PYD. These organizations, which claim to fight for the Kurdish rights, battle with moderate opposition groups, which withstand dictatorship, instead of the Damascus regime, which had not granted Kurds the rights to possession or citizenship. Furthermore, PYD Co-Chair Salih Muslim recently announced that the PYD could join Assad's army. Another objective of the organization is Turkey, which initiated the reconciliation process to end the implicit civil war, instead of Iran, which executed its Iranian affiliate, the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan's (PJAK) militants one by one. Instead of struggling with such organizations that declare their independence in his sphere of dominance and on Syrian territory, Assad continues to provide them with strategic support.

As can be seen, the enemies of the PKK and DAESH, which contributed to the escalation of the Syrian civil war and somehow function as a crutch for the Damascus regime, are also Assad's opponents. That is why countries that support the idea of a transition period without Assad are targeted by the PKK and DAESH.

Following the attacks in Ankara and Paris, both Turkey and France exercised their right to self-defense and initiated operations against terrorist organizations. Turkey, which struggles with many terrorist organizations, such as the PKK and DAESH, simultaneously, carried out cross-border operations as well as operations inside the country. Meanwhile, France recently pounded the Syrian city of Raqqa, which is a DAESH stronghold. French President François Hollande's statement that France will be merciless against terrorism indicates operations will continue.

How many DAESH targets were hit in Raqqa and how many civilians died? We will never know this for sure, as civilians, who live on a razor's edge in the region are not registered like other terror victims in Ankara or Paris.

However, one thing that we know for certain is that it is not possible to overcome the problem by shelling terrorist organizations that Assad and pro-Assad states use as proxies in the region. It is impossible for our common sorrows to end unless toppling dictatorships that use violence and terror as a political argument, create and mastermind them.

I offer condolences to all of our casualties.

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