“The only way to stop this bloodshed,” Dundar said, is cooperation between Turks and Kurds against the terrorist group.
“This is the only way to assure peace in Turkey and in the region,” he continued, as he added, “It’s difficult for us to understand why we [Turks and Kurds] are fighting with each other.”
US President Donald Trump is counting on Turkey to prevent the re-emergence of the Islamic State, but asked if he thought Turkey would do so, Dundar thought not.
“Turkey has been hosting ISIS for years,” he replied.
“Everyone knows it in the region.”
Turkey was “hosting them in different cities, ISIS headquarters,” and “they were releasing their guerrillas,” Dundar continued.
“So I don’t think the Turkish government is the best choice to get rid of ISIS.”
Indeed, Kurdistan 24 spoke with some female Islamic State prisoners in al-Hol camp in northeast Syria.
They are hoping for Turkey to attack their camp.
“If the Turkish army comes to this area, I will be able to flee and meet my husband, who I know well is in Turkey,” as one woman explained.
Read More: Foreign ISIS wives in Syrian camp: 'Our men are waiting for us in Turkey'
The basic cause of Turkey’s assault into Syria, Dundar suggested, was domestic politics—specifically, the weakening base of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been in office for over 16 years.
“The official narrative is that they are fighting against terrorism, PKK terrorism,” Dundar said, “But, I guess, Erdogan needed this war.”
Erdogan “was really in a very difficult position,” Dindar suggested.
In addition to serious economic problems, “he was challenged by a very strong alliance of the democratic opposition,” including the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), and “he was faced with a challenge within his own party.”
“So he needed something to unify his supporters and enhance his own power,” Dundar continued.
“So declaring war is the best solution for him, unfortunately, but not for Turkey, not for us.”
Alan Makovsky, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, agreed.
Makovsky explained there were “two primary reasons” for the Turkish attack.
Noting Erdogan’s eroding political standing, Makovsky said, “First of all, his popularity has been sagging.
The economy has been going down,” and “he lost the local elections.”
“He wanted to revive his popularity and support,” Makovsky continued, “and the surest way to do that is through a military operation.”