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Operation Peace Spring

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Operation Peace Spring

Turkey’s military offence in northern Syria

Aftab H. Wahla

West-instigated ‘democratization’ of the Middle East, i.e. the Arab Spring, continues to devastate the region with endless, brutal civil wars, foreign interventions, unstable and fragile democratic regimes, instrumentalization of proxy wars, expansionist policies of regional countries, intensification of sectarian and nationalist propensities, mass displacement-led refugee crisis, the emergence of terror outfits in the power vacuum created with weakening of central governments and so on. The helplessness of the states to establish their writ within their own territorial boundaries has long provided an enabling environment for non-state actors to gain relevance in the national polity. Syria is one of the countries in this region that was hit hardest by the wave of Arab Spring. Although eight years have passed since the triumphant march against the so-called caliphate of ISIS, Assad regime has yet to re-establish its complete writ over Syria as there remain large swathes of land where the militants have established their parallel governments. In northwest and northeast of Syria, Kurds had strong presence and they enjoyed the complete autonomy until Turkey launched its Operation Peace Spring a few weeks ago. Before we dwell upon the underlying objectives and consequences of the operation, it is apt to briefly discuss the post-war history of the Kurds in order to better understand the significance of the Turkish offensive in larger regional perspective.

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