UN Security Council warns of Turkey's offensive against Syrian Kurds

A draft text invites Ankara to return to diplomacy, without condemning its strikes.

Time to Reading 2 min.

UN Headquarters, New York, September 2019. Jennifer Peltz / AP

Turkish offensive in northeastern Syria divides the 15 members of the UN Security Council, who are trying to agree on an unambitious text calling on Ankara to prefer diplomatic channels "Rather than military".

The European member countries (France, Germany, United Kingdom, Poland and Belgium), which had seized the Security Council urgently, failed, Thursday, October 10, to obtain unanimity on a text. So it's at five that they called Ankara "To stop his offensive".

The US representative, Kelly Kraft, refused to condemn the Turkish operation, while ostensibly distinguishing itself from the justifications given by Ankara, repeating that the American president had not in any case given the green light and evoking " consequences " for Ankara if the Turkish offensive led to a humanitarian crisis.

Beijing household Erdogan

Unsurprisingly, and as most often on the Syrian file, China and Russia have remained silent. Beijing is cleaning up Erdogan, because he avoids openly denouncing the massive detention by the Chinese authorities of members of the Uyghur, Turkish-speaking and Muslim minority, and is open to Chinese infrastructure projects in Turkey. Russia, meanwhile, remained impassive.

The members of the Security Council came out of this meeting with a draft declaration proposed by the United States inviting Ankara to return to diplomacy, without condemning its strikes and demanding no ceasefire. The text also calls for the protection of civilians and insists that a possible return of refugees be on a voluntary basis. It has not been adopted as it stands, as the Russian representative, Vasily Nebenzia, has taken more time to refer to Moscow.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also "Erdogan! What did these children do to you? In Kamechliyé, Syrian Kurds in anguish

The draft will be reconsidered on the afternoon of 11 October and, with some modifications, it could be adopted unanimously, its wording being vague enough to allow Russia to join the rest of the members of the Security Council, without much crushing Mr. Erdogan. The project sticks to the Kremlin line, demanding that Ankara and Damascus speak directly to resolve the Kurdish question. For Moscow, the continuation of Turkish operations weakens the Kurdish fighters of the People's Protection Units (YPG). These still control about a quarter of Syria, and they remain the main obstacle for Bashar Al-Assad to take over the whole country. "The more time the Turks have for their operations, the more the YPGs will suffer," Richard Gowan of the International Crisis Group, an American think tank specializing in conflict resolution.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Moscow hopes to take advantage of Turkish offensive in northern Syria

This compromise text, if adopted unanimously, would also satisfy the Europeans. It would show the unanimity of the Security Council, which is rare on the Syrian file, while avoiding to put too much Ankara on accusation, while Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatens to let the 3.6 million refugees housed in Turkey leave for the country. 'Europe. As an aside, a European diplomat recalls "The extraordinary generosity of Turkey" in welcoming refugees, and said that it would be premature to discuss sanctions against Ankara. "Sanctions have not been on the agenda at all", he says.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here