mercredi 29 octobre 2014

L'étau se resserre autour du PYD-YPG à Kobanê : EI d'un côté, ASL et peshmerga irakiens de l'autre

Ankara autorise le passage de 200 peshmergas vers Kobani
Publié le 23-10-2014 à 15h33

RIGA/ERBIL (Reuters) - Le président turc, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a déclaré jeudi qu'un accord avait été conclu sur le passage par le territoire turc de 200 peshmergas kurdes d'Irak allant participer à défense de la ville kurde syrienne de Kobani assiégée par les combattants de l'Etat islamique.

Un haut responsable de la région du Kurdistan irakien a précisé que ces troupes seraient équipées d'armements plus lourds que ceux dont disposent les Kurdes qui défendent la ville frontalière.

Les élus du parlement de la région semi-autonome du Kurdistan irakien avaient approuvé mercredi l'envoi de renforts, liant de fait les deux conflits, en Irak et en Syrie.

"J'ai été informé qu'ils avaient finalement conclu un accord sur le chiffre de 200 (combattants)", a indiqué Erdogan qui s'exprimait au cours d'une conférence de presse à Riga en Lettonie.

Le ministre turc des Affaires étrangères Mevlut Cavusoglu avait déclaré dès lundi que la Turquie facilitait le passage des peshmergas d'Irak vers Kobani, pour combattre aux côtés des Kurdes syriens défendant la ville, assiégée par les djihadistes de l'Etat islamique.

Les différentes factions kurdes syriennes ont par ailleurs annoncé qu'elles avaient conclu un accord de partage du pouvoir et qu'elles avaient enterré leurs vieilles rivalités afin de présenter un front uni contre l'EI.

Cet accord a été conclu au terme de neuf jours de négociations sous l'égide de Massoud Barzani, président du Kurdistan irakien.

PAS DE CALENDRIER

Les différents groupes armés kurdes ont mis à profit depuis trois ans la rébellion contre le gouvernement de Bachar al Assad pour asseoir leur contrôle sur plusieurs zones du nord de la Syrie.

Le Parti de l'union démocratique (PYD), pendant syrien du Parti des travailleurs du Kurdistan (PKK) qui opère en Turquie, a réussi à constituer "trois cantons" autonomes qu'il administre dans la région longeant la frontière turque, une décision contestée par d'autres formations dont le Conseil national kurde (KNC).

L'accord conclu mercredi prévoit la constitution d'un nouvel organe décisionnaire dans lequel toutes les tendances seront représentées.

Il s'attaque également à l'un des points de friction les plus sensibles, celui de la volonté du PYD d'interdire toute organisation armée autre que celle constituée par ses milices réunies au sein des Unités de protection populaire (YPG).

Le tissu administratif mis en place par le PYD va être "développé" et des élections seront organisées pour la constitution d'un parlement kurde syrien. Aucun calendrier n'a été fixé pour ces échéances.

Cet accord est le troisième du genre, les deux précédents n'avaient pas réussi à créer l'unité dans les rangs des Kurdes syriens.

(Aija Krutaine et Humeyra Pamuk; Eric Faye pour le service français)
Source : http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/monde/20141023.REU9891/ankara-autorise-le-passage-de-200-peshmergas-vers-kobani.html

PRESIDENT ERDOĞAN SAYS 1,300 FSA FIGHTERS TO JOIN KOBANI BATTLE

President Erdoğan announces that 1,300 Free Syrian Army members will join 150 peshmerga fighters in Kobani through corridors in Turkey while the PYD leadership balks at its loss of regional influence


    Mehmet Solmaz
    Updated : 25.10.2014 10:10:56

ISTANBUL — President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, speaking in the Estonian capital of Tallinn, said on Friday that Ankara will allow 1,300 Free Syrian Army (FSA) members through a corridor to defend Kobani, a few days after announcing that 150 Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters would also be allowed through. However, Turkey's efforts to prevent the fall of the town to Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is opposed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) Co-President Salih Muslim, who in a statement a few hours after Erdoğan, said FSA was actually fighting against PYD and accused Turkey of ulterior motives. The PYD, which is the Syrian faction of terrorist PKK, and its armed wing the People's Protection Units (YPG) are focused on utilizing the world's attention on Kobani into a military presence in the region. Muslim, speaking to pro-PKK Fırat news agency, said the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) should send arms rather than peshmerga fighters.

"We have no problem with the passage of FSA in Kobani," said President Erdoğan, adding that Turkey had already offered the U.S. President Obama to send FSA to the besieged town of Kobani at first.

Expressing that the Syrian Kurdish fighters could potentially change their minds in the future about accepting 1,300 Free Syrian Army troops in Kobani to fight against the ISIS in Kobani, the president noted, "The PYD previously approved the passage of some 200 peshmerga forces," Erdoğan said. "However, we later learned that the number agreed has changed and now it is only 150 peshmerga soldiers."

Speking to Daily Sabah on Friday, columnist and Kurdish politics expert Kurtuluş Tayiz stated that Muslim's words were rather an opposition to other groups joining fight against the ISIS in Kobani. "Muslim is not refuting Erdoğan's words but objecting FSA reinforcement. He did the same when KRG leader Barzani offered to send 2,000 peshmergas to Kobani. Later this number was reduced to 150 and now they are negotiating to bring this number down to 120," Tayiz said.

When asked about Muslim's criticisms towards Turkey, Tayiz said Turkey had agreed to let Peshmerga pass through its soils to enter into Kobani to fight against ISIS, Turkey also told FSA to send reinforcement group to join the fight it has also agreed to open a corridor for peshmerga fighters to pass with their arms.

"What PYD cares about is not Kobani's fate but instead having full control of the area itself without other groups. If others help to save Kobani from ISIS, the PYD will not have much a say in the area and it will not achieve to create its tiny North Korea. The U.S. has to see this," Tayiz said, adding that Muslim demanding heavy weapons to fight ISIS is not "logical" as its fighters are not capable of using such arms.

According to Tayiz, PYD's stance had brought Kobani to brink of collapse to ISIS hands. "They are seeing Kobani as an opportunity to create an area in their control and continue their close relations with the Assad regime," he added.

The FSA, the main opposition armed group battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, will reportedly send troops to the town to aid in the fight against ISIS, according to a written statement by the group's operating unit in Aleppo. The troops will be under the command of Colonel Abdul-Jabbar al-Aqidi. Details of the operations were not made public. In the statement, the group called on international coalition forces and other armed groups in the region for assistance and cooperation in combating ISIS.

The battle for control of Kobani has been raging since mid-September when ISIS entered the town. An estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees, including some 190,000 from Kobani, are being sheltered in camps across Turkey.

"We meticulously said that our approach is very positive toward the FSA's fighting in Syria," Erdoğan said. "We always said that our first preference in Syria is the FSA, and the second preference is peshmerga."

Regarding the passage of peshmerga forces into Kobani, the Turkish General Staff issued a statement on Friday. Even though no details have been released over how the peshmerga forces will travel across Turkey to join the Kobani fight, some media outlets reported that the General Staff proposed air transport for peshmergas and these allegations were denied by the Turkish General Staff. The stories said that peshmerga forces would be airlifted to Kobani through Turkey's southeastern province of Şanlıurfa or they would enter Turkey through Khabur border checkpoint on contry's southeastern border with Iraq. These and similar articles involving the movement Pershmerga forces from Turkey to Kobani were all untrue, the statement said.

KRG Minister of Peshmerga Affairs Mustafa Seyid Kadir on Tuesday announced that 200 peshmerga soldiers equipped with heavy weapons will be sent to Kobani as the first step within days. Shedding light on the route to be followed by peshmerga forces, the minister was quoted saying that the route will go through the southeastern towns of Silopi, Nusaybin and Suruç.

According to government sources, the KRG will choose the forces that are scheduled to enter Kobani by informing Ankara with a list of names. Pursuing the goal of securing arms and controlling the forces to be sent to the region, Ankara is aiming to protect its sensitivity toward its position in the anti-ISIS coalition and plans to register the arms inventory to later repossess the weapons.

Ankara suggested peshmerga forces wear uniforms to prevent them from being associated with the PKK, which took up arms against Turkey to create an independent state in southeastern Turkey. Ankara has stipulated that there are to be no Kurdish flags or arms during the passage.

Intelligence sharing between the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs in Irbil and Turkish liaison officers are of the utmost importance to Ankara so as to ensure the facilitation of peshmerga forces joining the fight in Kobani without any disadvantages.

SENA ALKAN CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT
Source : http://www.dailysabah.com/politics/2014/10/24/president-erdogan-says-1300-free-syria-fighters-to-join-kobane-battle

Etyen Mahçupyan 28 October 2014, Tuesday

A LOSE-LOSE SITUATION FOR THE PYD

This was probably not what Salih Muslim, the leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), had in mind. He had struck a deal with Syrian President Bashar Assad and secured the regime's indirect support.
In return for not assisting the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Assad pledged financial support and accepted the formation of an autonomous Kurdish region in northern Syria to which Kurds refer to as Rojava. In a way, the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) proved quite beneficial for the PYD, since the central government's losses against the militants, including its control over half the country, made the organization more valuable to the regime. ISIS, moreover, served to weaken the FSA. Let us also add that almost everyone based their assessments on the assumption that ISIS would only last a short period of time.

Similarly, Muslim probably dreamed of forming an autonomous or even independent polity in Rojava when things calmed down. As such, Kurds would have finally realized their century-old dream of establishing an independent nation-state. Furthermore, such a development would represent an important accomplishment for modernist and leftist Kurdish movements to effectively alleviate their sense of inferiority to Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani's right-leaning model in Iraq. There is more of course. The idea of Rojava had been constructed in line with imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan's thinking and, according to Kurds themselves, presented an avant-garde model to the rest of the world. As such, its survival carries major psychological importance for the movement.

Whether or not this win-win situation represented a realistic scenario for the PYD, however, almost always went unnoticed. The Kurds wanted to realize the dream of Rojava so badly that they did not seem to have any energy left to devote to realism. They wished that ISIS would be stopped at some point, a balance of power would emerge between Assad and ISIS, and the FSA would become less influential and that the PYD would thereby emerge as the dominant force in northern Syria.

The plans, however, did not work out after all. ISIS not only invaded Rojava but also cut all the ties between the three Kurdish cantons in the area. Today, the organization keeps Kobani under siege from three sides, making the Turkish border the town's sole connection to the outside world.
Although the U.S.-led coalition continues to launch airstrikes on ISIS targets, everyone seems to agree that the current operation will prove inadequate. The question then, relates to which forces will be part of a ground operation and which governments will opt for a supporting role. Naturally, all eyes are on Ankara. Having engaged in dialogue with the PKK to make peace with Kurds, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government is believed to be compelled to help the PYD, an organization affiliated with the PKK. Ankara, however, has maintained a relatively firm stance over the past three years. If the PYD wants to build stronger ties with the Turkish authorities they have to distance themselves from Assad and develop better relations with the FSA. In turn, the PYD leadership believed it could strong-arm Ankara through PKK attacks and international pressures - to no avail.

Turkey's second offer required the PYD to accept assistance from the FSA and KRG. Despite its eagerness to receive weapons and ammunition, the organization resisted the entry of these groups into Rojava. The reasoning was simple - if they failed to defeat ISIS, then Rojava would have been lost anyway. But PYD members would have felt defeated if they only managed to force ISIS out of Rojava with help from the FSA and KRG - they would have to include the victors and build a pluralistic order in the area. Like a baby born prematurely and proved unable to survive, the century-old dream was eventually lost.

The lose-lose situation described above can possibly lead certain groups and organizations to take irrational steps. If anything, the PKK proved just how desperate it was by calling on its supporters to rush to the streets across Turkey and resist the authorities. This most recent wave of protests have not only deprived the Kurdish movement of its moral high ground but effectively rendered the PYD more isolated than before, hence their inability to object to the commissioning of the FSA and KRG forces.
Source : http://www.dailysabah.com/columns/etyen-mahcupyan/2014/10/28/a-loselose-situation-for-the-pyd

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Massoud Barzani (novembre 2013) : "le PYD essaie par la force des armes et en accord avec le régime syrien d'imposer un état de fait"

Mustafa Osso (Conseil national kurde) dénonce l'enrôlement forcé de centaines de jeunes Kurdes (et non-Kurdes) dans les YPG

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Les zones contrôlées par le PKK-PYD-YPG en Syrie : arrestations arbitraires, torture, meurtres inexpliqués et disparitions

Ahmet Davutoğlu sur Ayn al-Arab/"Kobanê" : les Kurdes du PYD paient le prix de leur coopération avec le régime d'Assad