Conflicto armado

Mohamed bin Zayed and Mohammed bin Salman witness the signing of the Riyadh Agreement between the Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council, at the Saudi Royal Diwan. SPA/Riyadh and Mohamed Bin Zayed Twitter account

The Riyadh Agreement, signed on 5 November, has averted a war within Yemen’s civil war, at least for the time being. The deal prevents a collapse of the fragile alliance of Yemeni forces that Saudi Arabia has supported since intervening in Yemen in March 2015 to prevent Huthi rebels from taking over the country. The question now is whether the agreement can act as a bridge to a nationwide political settlement or if it simply marks a pause before another round of violence.

By signing, the two parties to the agreement – the internationally recognised government of Yemen, led by President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and the secessionist Southern Transitional Council (STC) – have ended a three-month standoff that threatened to split the anti-Huthi bloc.…  Seguir leyendo »

Why did Turkey intervene in Syria? Most commentators are explaining this decision by referring to the Turkish-Kurdish conflict, andTurkey’s goal of removing the Kurdish militias — that control areas in northern Syria — from its border. Observers also are focusing on President Trump’s decision toabandon Kurdish allies.

What has been lost in the focus on U.S. foreign policy are the3.6 million Syrian refugees that reside in Turkey — the highest number of refugees hosted by any country in the world. The growing public dissatisfaction in Turkey with the presence of Syrian refugees is key to understanding the decision to launch the operation in Syria — an operation that aims atestablishing a safe zone where the refugees can be resettled.…  Seguir leyendo »

A banner reading 'No capitulation!' is unfurled above the entrance to the city hall in Kyiv as part of protests against implementation of the so-called Steinmeier Formula. Photo: Getty Images.

In 2016, the then-German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, suggested a way around the impasse in east Ukraine.

He proposed that elections in the areas held by Russian-backed insurgents – the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ (DNR) and the ‘Luhansk People’s Republic’ (LNR) – could be held under Ukrainian legislation, with Kyiv adopting a temporary law on ‘special status’, the main disagreement between Russia and Ukraine in the Minsk Agreements. This law would become permanent once the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) had declared that elections correspond with OSCE standards.

The reaction in Ukraine was strongly negative. The so-called Steinmeier Formula contradicted Kyiv’s position that elections in the occupied Donbas should only go ahead in a secure environment – requiring the prior withdrawal of Russian forces and the return of the eastern border to Ukraine’s control.…  Seguir leyendo »

Delil Souleiman/AFP via Getty Images Mourners attending the funerals of Syrian Democratic Forces fighters killed in battles against Turkish forces, Qamishli, Syria, October 14, 2019

Qamishli, Syria—When my mom called to ask me where I was, I lied to her. Sometimes I do not want to worry her, as I’m often reporting on stories from places that aren’t safe. When she said, “Get ready to move,” I realized something was wrong. Qamishli was under attack. “Can’t you hear the shelling?” she screamed. She lives in Rimelan, a city an hour away, but she was here to visit my brother. The Turks were targeting my neighborhood, she said.

That was Wednesday afternoon, October 9, the first day of Turkey’s attack on Rojava, Western Kurdistan, as we call it in Kurdish.…  Seguir leyendo »

L’invasion par la Turquie du nord de la Syrie, peuplé par les Kurdes qui nous ont aidés à vaincre l’organisation Etat islamique (EI), justifierait qu’on l’expulse de l’OTAN non seulement par des considérations morales, mais aussi par une froide analyse de notre sécurité.

Les termes du cessez-le-feu provisoire, arrangé le 17 octobre entre la Turquie et les Etats-Unis, entérinent les buts militaires d’Erdogan : chasser les Kurdes de chez eux et annexer la moitié de Rojava. Ce que les Etats-Unis proposent maintenant aux Kurdes après les avoir abandonnés, c’est tout simplement de déguerpir, c’est-à-dire de laisser le terrain à l’occupant. Les Turcs le disent clairement : « Nous avons eu ce que nous voulions. …  Seguir leyendo »

Hora de enfrentar la realidad en Siria

Ante los últimos eventos en Siria, es natural hacerse dos preguntas: ¿Quién perdió el país? ¿Y hacia dónde puede ir la comunidad internacional a partir de ahora?

La primera pregunta es más fácil de responder. En retrospectiva, es probable que Siria esté perdida desde el levantamiento popular de 2011. Cuando el régimen del presidente Bashar al-Assad se opuso tercamente a cualquier intento de resolver la cuestión en forma pacífica, ninguna potencia externa se mostró dispuesta a intervenir. En vez de eso, todos esperaron que una mezcla de sanciones, diplomacia de Naciones Unidas y flojos intentos de apoyar a una oposición “moderada” terminarían derribando el régimen.…  Seguir leyendo »

Yemeni supporters of the Houthi movement take part in a rally in Sanaa on Sept. 21. Mohammed Huwais/AFP/Getty Images

With all of U.S. President Donald Trump’s troubles at home and abroad, his administration could use a win. There is low-hanging fruit in Yemen, and the ripple effects of success there could go far beyond the impoverished and war-torn country. Houthi rebels (who prefer to be called Ansar Allah) have made an offer of de-escalation that, if built on quickly, could help extract the United States from the bloody and unwinnable war that has created the world’s worst humanitarian disaster. It would reduce threats to Saudi Arabia and its oil infrastructure at a time of rising tensions with Iran. And it would open a door to wider de-escalation inside Yemen and possibly across the region.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Huthi suspension of hostilities in Yemen and an apparently positive Saudi Arabian response offer a chance to avoid regional conflagration. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2019 – Third Update for European policymakers, Crisis Group urges the EU to encourage inclusive dialogue between the warring factions, which can lead to intra-Yemeni negotiations.

This commentary is part of our Watch List 2019 – Third Update.

As 2020 approaches, Yemen confronts two acute security challenges: avoiding further entanglement in the wider regional conflict between the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Iran, and preventing a war within a war among anti-Huthi forces. On 14 September, the Huthis claimed responsibility for an attack on Saudi oil facilities that temporarily cut off nearly 50 per cent of the country’s oil production capacity.…  Seguir leyendo »

Es ya un clamor mundial. La ayuda humanitaria tiene que dejar de ser un objetivo en zonas de conflicto. En los últimos diez años el número de vidas perdidas en ataques a personal humanitario ha aumentado de forma imparable, alcanzando 313 víctimas en 2017. Es simplemente inaceptable. Día a día, nuestros profesionales sobre el terreno se encuentran con un espacio humanitario cada vez más reducido, ante un fenómeno de criminalización de la ayuda sin fundamento alguno, con la impotencia de saber qué personas, dónde y cuándo están muriendo de hambre y no poder acceder hasta ellas.

Hoy, más que nunca, urge recuperar el Derecho Internacional Humanitario.…  Seguir leyendo »

Kurds protest at the United Nations building in Beirut, Lebanon, on 11 October 2019 against Turkey’s attacks on Syria. Photograph: Wael Hamzeh/EPA

Future historians might remember Turkey’s incursion into northern Syria, launched last week, as the second time that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan provided Islamic State with a lifeline, intentionally or not. The first was when Turkey opened its borders to foreign jihadists entering Syria, which ultimately enabled Isis to build a caliphate the size of Britain in 2014.

Both the time and manner of the intervention risk unravelling the situation in Syria beyond the buffer zone that Turkey intends to establish in the north-east. It will take the pressure off extremist forces and disturb a delicate equilibrium and the relative quiet that have existed in the country for about two years.…  Seguir leyendo »

A mourner cries during the funeral of ten-month-old Mohammed Omar Saar, killed during incoming shelling from Syria Thursday, in Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, at the border with Syria, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

It’s easy, especially thousands of miles away, to jump onto the bandwagon of Turkey-blamers following its recent military incursion into Syria. However, Ankara has legitimate reasons for its actions. Its own national security as well as creating a sustainable solution for the Syrian refugee problem are at stake.

Turkey is not the only actor to be blamed for the mess in Syria. Major mistakes by Washington and Brussels have significantly contributed to the problem. However, Turkey, having a long border with Syria, suffers more from the instability in Syria and must act in order to secure its territory.

The United States made major mistakes in Syria.…  Seguir leyendo »

As airstrikes and artillery rain down on civilians in northeastern Syria, it’s clear that Turkey’s claims that its recent military offensive is about taking the lead in the global fight against the Islamic State are nothing but dangerous propaganda.

For years, Turkey’s government allowed Islamic State fighters to cross its territory into Syria. But, before Monday, there were no Islamic State fighter elements along Turkey’s border with Syria because Kurds, Arabs and Christians expelled them with help from the U.S. military. Today, these U.S. allies are running for their lives.

Under the guise of fighting terrorism and “securing” the border, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s real plan is to remove Kurds from that border and radically re-engineer local demographics.…  Seguir leyendo »

Turkey-backed Syrian fighters cross into Syria as part of an offensive against Kurdish-controlled areas on Friday. (Nazeer Al-Khatib/Afp Via Getty Images)

As airstrikes and artillery rain down on civilians in northeastern Syria, it’s clear that Turkey’s claims that its recent military offensive is about taking the lead in the global fight against the Islamic State are nothing but dangerous propaganda.

For years, Turkey’s government allowed Islamic State fighters to cross its territory into Syria. But, before Monday, there were no Islamic State fighter elements along Turkey’s border with Syria because Kurds, Arabs and Christians expelled them with help from the U.S. military. Today, these U.S. allies are running for their lives.

Under the guise of fighting terrorism and “securing” the border, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s real plan is to remove Kurds from that border and radically re-engineer local demographics.…  Seguir leyendo »

Le 7 septembre 2015, en pleine crise des réfugiés en Europe, l’éditorial d’Ibrahim Karagül, rédacteur en chef du journal pro-Erdogan Yeni Safak, portait le titre suivant : « Ouvrez les portes, que les millions se déversent sur l’Europe ». Aux yeux de l’éditorialiste, repris à plusieurs reprises par Erdogan lui-même, la première guerre mondiale, qui aurait eu pour seul objectif d’anéantir l’Empire ottoman, continuait, avec ses batailles décisives encore à venir. Et ces batailles allaient être lancées par la Turquie, enfin prête à prendre sa revanche sur l’Occident, cet ennemi « ontologique » ayant perdu depuis sa « virilité ».…  Seguir leyendo »

Les dictatures et les autocraties en déclin précipitent souvent leur chute par des aventures militaires hasardeuses. En prenant le risque de s’enliser en Syrie, le président turc, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, pourrait avoir fait le pas de trop et accélérer la fin de son règne autocratique. Largement condamné par la communauté internationale, combien de temps peut-il espérer continuer cette offensive quand bien même son pays, de par sa position géostratégique, continue d’être pour les Occidentaux un allié essentiel ?

L’armée turque occupe déjà la zone d’Al-Bab depuis août 2016 et celle d’Afrin depuis janvier 2018. Cette troisième opération, baptisée « Source de paix », a été rendue possible par l’annonce inattendue de Donald Trump, le 6 octobre, du retrait immédiat des militaires américains de leurs postes d’observation près des villes syriennes de Tel Abyad et Ras Al-Aïn, le long de la frontière.…  Seguir leyendo »

In an erratic attempt to justify his decision to pull U.S. troops from Syria and open the way for a Turkish military incursion, President Trump said recently that Turkey and the Kurds are “a natural enemy” and that “one historian said they’ve been fighting for hundreds of years.”

Both assertions are dangerously wrong.

As Turkish tanks roll into Syria to take territory from U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish fighters, I worry about the long-term effect of Trump’s reductionist understanding of our region of the world. I worry about rising nationalism in Turkey. I worry about the further tightening of free speech under our beleaguered democracy.…  Seguir leyendo »

Not that long ago, the people of northeastern Syria were greeting U.S. troops as our saviors, as the torchbearers of freedom. Children gathered around the American visitors and expressed joy at the hope they were bringing for the future of our lands. Now those same Syrian children may face death amid the chaos of a new conflict.

This week, as we now know, President Trump spoke with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan has long made his plans for northeastern Syria clear. He wants to occupy a 19-mile-wide belt of territory along the border and to radically transform its demographics, replacing the Kurdish population there with 3 million Syrian Arab refugees from cities across Syria.…  Seguir leyendo »

Rien n’y a fait. Ni l’indignation de l’opinion mondiale. Ni l’incompréhension des militaires, des diplomates, des représentants démocrates et républicains américains. Ni, en France, le président Macron qui a reçu, à l’Elysée, mardi soir, quelques heures avant l’attaque, une délégation venue du Kurdistan syrien à qui il a redit la solidarité de la France. L’impensable est arrivé.

Le président turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan a lancé, ce mercredi 9 octobre, en fin d’après-midi, son offensive contre le Kurdistan syrien. Cet homme fut, pendant les années de la guerre contre Daech [l’organisation Etat islamique], le passeur en chef des milliers de djihadistes ralliant le « califat » via la Turquie.…  Seguir leyendo »

During a phone call with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday, President Trump agreed to transfer the leadership of the counter-Islamic State campaign to Turkey. The Turkish military, together with the Free Syrian Army, will cross the Turkish-Syrian border shortly.

George Washington famously said that America must “steer clear of permanent alliances.” American officials have been saying for years that their partnership with the terrorist organization Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s Syrian affiliate, People’s Protection Units (or YPG), in the fight against the Islamic State was “tactical.” Trump’s latest decision reflects that view.

Like the United States, Turkey does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.…  Seguir leyendo »

Afghan police inspect the site of a suicide attack in northern Parwan province, Afghanistan, on Sept. 17 in which a Taliban suicide bomber on a motorcycle targeted presidential guards at a campaign rally. (Rahmat Gul/AP)

Late last month, Afghan and U.S. forces targeted Asim Umar, chief of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), at a Taliban compound in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. While the fate of Umar is unknown, several militants were reportedly killed during the operation, including the Taliban’s local explosives expert and Umar’s courier, who transported messages to al-Qaeda’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

This development raises serious questions about the Taliban’s promises, made during the now-frozen U.S.-Taliban talks, to break ties with its longtime partner al-Qaeda. It suggests that the American hope of detaching the Taliban from its al-Qaeda allies, before making a deal with the Taliban, is nowhere near to being fulfilled.…  Seguir leyendo »