Tag Archives: ISIS

Η Τουρκική Επέμβαση στη Συρία – Συνέντευξη στην Εφ. “Αλήθεια”

Η πιο κάτω συνέντευξη δόθηκε στον δημοσιογράφο Χαράλαμπο Χαραλάμπους, για την εφημερίδα “Αλήθεια” που εκδόθηκε την Κυριακή, 28/08/2016, σ.9.

interviewΠοια είναι η νομική υπόσταση της στρατιωτικής επιχείρησης της Τουρκίας στη Συρία, έρχεται σε αντίθεση με το ψήφισμα 2254 του ΟΗΕ και το Διεθνές Δίκαιο;

Η νομική υπόσταση των τουρκικών επιχειρήσεων στη Συρία είναι ιδιαίτερα αμφιλεγόμενη για δύο βασικούς λόγους. Πρώτον, η Τουρκία έχει παραβιάσει τα σύνορα με τη Συρία χωρίς να μπορεί να υποστηρίξει ότι οι επιχειρήσεις της είναι αμυντικού τύπου λόγω κάποιας επίθεσης στα δικά της εδάφη. Δεύτερον, το καθεστώς του Μπασάρ αλ Άσαντ, το οποίο παρά το έλλειμμα νομιμοποίησης παραμένει η μόνη νόμιμη κυβέρνηση, έχει καταγγείλει την τουρκική επέμβαση ως παραβίαση της συριακής κυριαρχίας, σε αντίθεση με την αντίστοιχη ρωσική την οποία είχε προσκαλέσει. Εντούτοις, η Τουρκία φαίνεται να κεφαλαιοποιεί το γεγονός ότι το ψήφισμα 2254 επιτρέπει την καταπολέμηση π.χ. του «Ισλαμικού Κράτους», του Μετώπου αλ Νούσρα και «άλλων τρομοκρατικών ομάδων», κατατάσσοντας το κουρδικό κίνημα της Συρίας σε αυτές τις ομάδες και τα ταυτίζοντας το με τις τζιχαντιστικές οργανώσεις. Παρόλο που αυτό δεν νομιμοποιεί τις επιχειρήσεις της σε συριακά εδάφη. Continue reading

On Bombing Syria

The United Kingdom and Germany have been the latest powers to join the war in Syria though Germany’s contribution will be in ground forces and aerial reconnaissance operations. The UK’s decision has stirred up a heated debate about whether this is the right line of action that should be followed from London, or any other country for that matter.

International bombing operations in Syria have been taking place at least since September 2014 in the context of the Western anti-ISIS “Coalition of the Willing” led by the United States. States like the U.S., France, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Qatar, Germany and the UK are participating in one way or another in this coalition. On the other end, Russia and the Syrian regime are also conducting large scale military operations. (See map below)

zones in syria

Source: geopolitical-info.com

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Talk – The Impact of ISIS on Middle East and Turkey Politics

Talk (Video & Text) delivered at the conference “EU Foreign Policy and Humanitarian Aid: Developments in the Middle East”, on October 16, 2015. Organized by The European Parliament Offices in Cyprus & Greece, The Representation of the European Commission in Cyprus & the Diplomatic Academy of the University of Nicosia. 

Introduction

A lot can be said and speculated about the roots and the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh. It is, however, undeniable that its military advances and territorial gains in Iraq and Syria have had a great impact on the politics of the greater Middle East and beyond. Its presence, operations and organizational character have changed the geo-political landscape of the region and the strategic calculations of many states around it and across the world. At the same time it gave new meaning and significance to transnational asymmetrical security threats. Continue reading

Shifting the Balance against ISIS, or Why Turkey Changed its Mind

Source: Reuters

When the international anti-ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) coalition was formed back in September 2014, Turkey was thought to be a pivotal participant. However, the international initiative divided Turkey’s political scene which appeared reluctant to follow in the footsteps of its traditional ally, the United States (US). Even after October 2, 2014, when the Turkish parliament voted on a motion that would authorize the government to conduct operations in Syria and Iraq as well as provide Turkish soil and military bases for allied operations, Ankara kept resisting any kind of meaningful military engagement of ISIS. Not only that, but it seemed to be turning a blind eye on foreign fighters crossing into Syria through its borders. Continue reading

Assessing ISIS one Year Later

Source: Reuters

A year ago the world witnessed the swift advances of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria. Though the emergence of the group was somewhat expected for those who have been following the regional developments of the past years it caught most of the world by surprise. At the same time, its brutal tactics,military victories, resilience, evolution and extreme ideology have led many to characterize it as the greatest regional and international security threat at the moment or the most dangerous Islamist threat contemporary history has seen. Continue reading

Turkey in the Middle East: The Tacit Revisionist

Source: The Independent (Getty Images)

Source: The Independent (Getty Images)

Turkey has lately moved to the epicenter of world politics, and rightly so. The jury is still out on whether that is a good or a bad thing and that is because of its handlings with regard to the Islamic State (IS) crisis in Iraq and Syria. Indeed, Turkey’s indecisiveness and belated actions in the face of the potential fall of the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane and the advancements of IS more generally, bring to mind the Turkish foreign policy of the past.

Through the delay to take action or the refusal to allow Western allies to use its military bases, Turkey demonstrated a well-known reluctance to engage regional security problems, a suspicion toward Western powers, and a pro-status quo tendency. These were the very features that characterized the foreign policy of Turkish Republic for the most part of its history; a doctrine very much influenced by the founder of Turkey, Kemal Ataturk, and the military-bureaucratic establishment. Similarly, Turkey’s opportunism, namely, its wish to be on the right side of history without being willing to play its part, draws parallels between today and 1945 when Turkey joined the Allies of World War II only a couple of months before the end of the war and after its outcome had already been decided. Continue reading

Kurdish Studies Scholars’ Statement of Solidarity and Call for Action to Support Kobani

Source: Reuters

The humanitarian crisis caused by the Islamic State (IS) continues to terrorize and displace hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East. The autonomous canton of Kobani is now bearing the brunt of the IS’s attacks as the international community has mostly been watching. The city has been under siege for three weeks. Despite fierce resistance by the defenders of the town, the advance of the IS forces towards Kobani is threatening to set off another massacre similar to that of Shengal. As scholars working on issues related to the Kurds and other peoples of Kurdistan, we are profoundly concerned about yet another imminent humanitarian crisis and stand in solidarity with the people of Kobani. We urgently call on the coalition forces against the IS and the broader international community to take immediate action to prevent an impending disaster by supporting the Kurds in their fight for self-defense. Continue reading