The BBC is smearing anti-ISIS fighters as ‘terrorists’ to please Turkey [OPINION]

Tom Coburg

It may have been just lazy journalism, but a BBC Radio 4 news update stated how Turkey was now determined to beat both Daesh (Isis/Isil) and YPG “terrorists”. No qualification or caveat was added to that statement, in spite of the fact that the Kurdish-led YPG has been at the forefront of the fight against Daesh. It was just left like that.

Here’s why that is incredibly dangerous.

This application of the word ‘terrorist’ to the secular and multi-ethnic YPG forces in Rojava (northern Syria) came just a day after a news report on how Joe Robinson (a former British soldier who had served in Afghanistan and who had fought more recently with the YPG) was facing an investigation for terrorism.

But the truth is that the Kurdish-led YPG, YPJ, and SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) have received temporary US logistic and other support for the last two years, including military support from US Special Forces. So will US Special Forces members now also be prosecuted for aiding terrorism? Of course not.

In a recent news report by al-Jazeera, US Special Forces were actually seen wearing the emblem of the YPJ (the female self-defence militia of Rojava). And in the same report, it was stated that the US had around 300 soldiers supporting the SDF (which is led by the YPG and YPJ).

US commandos in action in Syria (see close-up below). Image via Military Times
A US commando wearing a YPJ patch (close-up). Image via Military Times

What we are seeing is simply a fiction penned by Turkey, being retailed by the mass media. Including, it seems, by the BBC.

From now on, in accordance with Turkey’s increasingly Orwellian narrative, expect this…

  1. That Daesh is no longer the real threat, but that the aim of the ongoing conflict is to secure ‘stability’.
  2. Those al-Qaeda jihadists who fight against secular militias like the SDF will simply be portrayed as Turkish frontline ‘irregulars’.
  3. The ‘stability’ aimed for will see President Bashar Assad remain in power, despite his war crimes.
  4. Turkey will be allowed to set up a ‘safe zone’ along its border with Syria, largely to ensure pro-democracy Kurdish-led forces in northern Syria do not link together their jihadi-free territories.
  5. Turkey will continue to expand its purge at home, disempowering Kurdish communities and their democratic representatives.
  6. More Kurdish cities and towns in Turkey will be attacked by Turkish forces, and the West will turn a blind eye to the thousands of Kurds who will be killed or imprisoned as part of this onslaught.
  7. Any criticism of President Assad of Syria or President Erdoğan of Turkey will be deemed ‘terrorism‘.
  8. Media language will adapt to this new reality.

So don’t expect a Hollywood-style ‘good over evil’ scenario to end this conflict. Instead, the good guys – the forces that have resisted the advances of Daesh for the past two years and more – will simply be relegated to a footnote in the conflict, leaving the spoils – territory and oil – to the bigger regional and global powers.

But whether such a scenario will end or delay the social revolution taking place in the budding democratic region of Rojava remains to be seen.

Get Involved!

– Read The Canary‘s previous articles on Rojava and see more international reporting from us at The Canary Global.

– Donate to the Rojava Plan (to support the system of self-government in place in northern Syria).

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Featured image via Wikimedia Commons

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