In Suruç, Turkish Kurds share the disappointed hopes of their Syrian brothers

The announced return of the Assad regime to Kobane, the neighboring Syrian Kurdish town, symbol of resistance to jihadists in 2014, seals the end of the Kurdish autonomy dream.

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At the funeral of 38-year-old Ismail Taskin, killed during a bombing on the border between Syria and Turkey, in the Turkish city of Sanliurfa on 12 October. Emrah Gurel / AP

It may be more than a matter of days. The yellow flag of the PYD (Democratic Union Party), which floats on the fields of Kobane, in the northern reaches of Syria, may soon be replaced by the red, white and black banner of the government of Damascus. The symbol of autonomy actually won by the Kurds, which can be seen from Suruç, the neighboring Turkish city, may soon disappear before the emblem of the Syrian state.

Cruel chance of the calendar, this reversal of situation, consequence of the anti-PYD offensive launched last week by Turkey, occurs five years after the battle of Kobané. The city's stubborn resistance in the fall of 2014 to the hordes of the Islamic State led to admiration from the West and convinced the Americans to rely on the YPG (People's Protection Units). , the armed wing of the PYD, in the fight against the jihadists. This fierce street war had revived Kurdish nationalism and launched the experience of Rojava, the Kurdish self-government in northeastern Syria.

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"It demoralizes mesighs Mervan, a student from Suruç, a 100% Kurdish community, who identifies with his Syrian brothers in Kobane. Almost five years ago the whole world supported us. We had the impression of approaching our dream, the creation of a State. Today, all states let us down, and the only choice we have left, if we do not want to be slaughtered, is to renew allegiance to Damascus. "

The dream ends in a fishtail

In accordance with the agreement reached on Sunday October 13, between the PYD and the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad, the government forces began to redeploy in northern Syria. Regular troops entered Manbij, a town on the western bank of the Euphrates, as well as in the localities of Ain Issa and Tall Tamer, further east. Areas they had abandoned in 2012, under the blows of the anti-Assad insurgency.

It is the attack of Turkey, hostile to any Kurdish governance on its border, which allowed this upheaval. But the operation would not have occurred without the tacit approval of US President Donald Trump, who, with a whim, ordered the repatriation of US troops stationed in Syria, in support of the YPG. Between the prospect of a crushing under the boot of the Turkish soldiers and their Syrian auxiliaries, and that of a return under the rule of the central power, the Kurds of the PYD chose the second option.


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