Saturday, August 27, 2016

Yerevan, Rojava, Drones

The long-awaited Invasion of Syria by Turkey has commenced. What has Turkey to gain?
1. It stops Kurdish advances westward;
2. It regains some credibility with the U.S. by “fighting” ISIS/Daesh;
3. It reinforces and consolidates its relationships and connections with Syrian opposition groups;
4. It allows Turkey to attack PYD (Kurdish forces), which is already happening with Turkish artillery hitting Kurdish positions inside Syria;
5. It provides a miniscule smidgen of credibility for Turkey in Iran’s and Russia’s eyes, that despite Turkey’s commitment to toppling Syria’s President Assad, their ally, it is also giving lip service to “fighting” the region’s and Syria’s current greatest nemesis (ISIS/Daesh);
6. It creates a physical, actual, Turkish military presence inside Syria’s borders, feeding into Erdoğan’s ever-present Ottoman fantasies and Turkish expansionism;
7. It may even be a way to start rebuilding the Turkish military after the significant blows and weakening it experienced thanks to Erdoğan’s post-coup purges (some 40% of the upper echelons) of the military leadership who are allegedly Gulenists.
Why does this matter to Armenians? Anything that can strengthen Turkey is inimical to the Diaspora’s and homeland’s interests, pure and simple, until such time as Turkey fesses up to the Genocide, makes reparations, and terminates its occupation of Wilsonian Armenia. Plus, with the Kessab and Haleb/Aleppo Armenian communities so close, coupled with the damage already caused to our compatriots by the Turkish-supported Syrian opposition, there is a very real risk of further and even more serious harm if Turkish supported forces are strengthened.
What can we do? Aside from the obvious public relations and governmental advocacy work, perhaps it’s time to take military, albeit covert, action.
You might recall reading, since 2011, that in recent months the Republics of Armenia and Karabakh have UAVs – unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, built “in house” and not purchased from other countries. You might also recall that Artzakh has had some success in downing Azerbaijan’s purchased drones. These two areas of experience/expertise – the building and combatting of drones – could be valuable to Kurdish forces. I suggest that some of these drones be shipped to the Syrian-Kurdish area known as Rojava, along with Armenian advisers to fly them and combat opposing drones, to fight ISIS/Daesh.
What have Armenians to gain from this?
1. Our experts/technicians will gain valuable experience which can be used on the Azeri front and to improve the technology in the drones;
2. It is an opportunity to build up a technology/industry in which the RoA has had success;
3. Armenians would be making a contribution to fighting ISIS/Daesh, thus benefitting not just the region, but also the Armenian communities there. Remember, how the church in Der Zor was desecrated and destroyed by those murderous forces?
4. It quietly conveys to Turkey that harming Armenian interests will not be ignored;
5. It would build trust and cooperation between Armenians and Kurds;
6. It is an unusual, out-of-the-box thinking, potentially highly effective step that makes Armenians stronger actors in the region. This is the region where our deported ancestors were walked to death. The place names in the news now read like a tour of Genocide era death zones. Reasserting our presence there is not only a measure of restorative justice, but also another tiny step on our long journey back home…
What do you think? Do you have any other clever ideas that can further empower us in and near the Armenian highlands? Please throw them out for discussion.

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