Czech response to Turkish aggression will be curt and diplomatic

 11. 10. 2019      category: Events

In the past years the Ministry of Defence provided ammunition for offensive guns, machine guns, but also for grenade launchers to Kurdish militia. Many tons of ammunition were transported to Iraq to help in the combat with the so called Islamic state. Now we witness inappropriate aggression of one of the NATO member states, Turkey. Creating imaginary safety zone on the border with Syria is rather a weak excuse to justify the Turkish aggression on the imaginary most important force in combat with the Islamic State.

“It is a heinous betrayal of allies who proved unbelievable bravery in combat with the Islamic State. Now, the USA propel Kurds to the arms of Assad, Russia and Iran. Not even when the USA bowed to Putin and gave up a radar in the Czech Republic was I so embittered and upset,” said Miroslav Kalousek, the head of the TOP 09 parliamentary club. A number of other politicians have similar opinion. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček warned against another humanitarian and refugee crisis and invited to start a dialogue. “The Turkish offensive will only worsen the situation of civilians and refugees. It will postpone people’s return home. The situation can only be calmed down by diplomatic pressure,” said the Minister and added that he awaits common procedure of the EU and involvement of the USA. „We could arrange safety of the Turkish border in a different way,” commented the Minister on the official Turkish justification of the operation.

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Picture: „We could arrange safety of the Turkish border in a different way,” commented the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tomáš Petříček (in the picture) on the official Turkish justification of the operation. | Wikimedia Commons

On Wednesday 9th October 2019 the Turkish army started attacks in the North-West of Syria, where groups of Syrian Kurds are active. Turkey ranks them among terrorists, although Kurds participated in combats against the Islamic State. In this combat against the Islamic State Kurds were allies of the USA who however  withdrew their soldiers on the weekend from positions on the border, which was regarded as a step enabling Turkish invasion. In the meantime the Turkish army hit 181 objects of Kurdish militia by means of aviation attacks and firing artillery guns. According to the Arabian-Kurdish Coalition Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) one of the hit objects was also a prison where radicals of the Islamic state are jailed.

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Picture: In the combat against the Islamic State Kurds were allies of the USA who however withdrew their soldiers on the weekend from positions on the border, which was regarded as a step enabling Turkish invasion. | printscreen from YouTube

Czech steps are rather reserved, nevertheless a number of countries in the world already invoke negotiations in the UN Security Council. Turkish steps were strongly criticised by France, Germany, Great Britain and other countries. Finland for example banned any export of weapons to Turkey. In addition to the above mentioned reactions the aggression was condemned by the four-star general Joseph Votel, who lately worked as the commander of the American forces in the Middle East. The same commander, who lead most of operations against the Islamic State.

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Picture: In addition to the above mentioned reactions the aggression was condemned by the four-star general Joseph Votel (in the picture), who lately worked as the commander of the American forces in the Middle East. | Flickr with consent of the owner

Logically we cannot assume that the Czech Republic would provide any direct support to the Kurds, nevertheless, despite our alliance in NATO it is also necessary to regard the whole situation in a broader context – Munich agreement in 1938. World powers literally sacrificed Czechoslovakia to Hitler. So far, at least eleven thousand Kurdish warriors died in the combat with the Islamic State. Let’s not ignore this sacrifice as worsening security situation, humanitarian crisis, and especially possible escape of imprisoned Islamists can influence the whole Europe, including the Czech Republic.

 Author: Martin Šiška