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Washington Opposed it and Ankara Threatened Military Action: Will the Autonomous Administration Hold its Elections?

The Autonomous Administration in eastern Syria persists in its determination to conduct municipal elections, Athr Press writes.
Washington Opposed it and Ankara Threatened Military Action: Will the Autonomous Administration Hold its Elections?

The Autonomous Administration in eastern Syria persists in its determination to conduct municipal elections, a move opposed by Washington, sparking Ankara’s ire. Ankara even went as far as threatening military action should the elections proceed, thrusting these polls into the limelight of analyst scrutiny. They highlight the potential ramifications of this stance by the Autonomous Administration, particularly following Washington’s explicit disapproval.

Baraa Sabri, a contributing researcher at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, emphasized to Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that the U.S. administration unequivocally disputed the elections. Sabri clarified, stating, “Washington’s stance signals that the elections fail to meet democratic standards, sending a blunt message to decision-makers in eastern Euphrates.” He suggested that the American stance served as a concession to Turkey, assuring non-interference in the face of any potential military actions against its Syrian-Kurdish allies.

In a piece published by al-Arab, it was suggested that the new American stance might be an attempt to pressure the Democratic Union to resume negotiations with the National Council and allow its participation in the process. Observers also noted Washington’s cautious approach, avoiding actions perceived as provocative by Turkey.

Regarding the prospect of a Turkish military operation against the Kurdish units, if the elections proceed, Turkish journalist and political analyst Hisham Günay asserted in an interview with The New Arab website, “Erdogan’s threats should be taken seriously, not merely as political posturing.” Günay stressed that Turkey views the potential establishment of a Kurdish statelet in eastern Syria as a red line and is prepared to take military action if the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) proceed.

Günay highlighted that Turkish concerns extend beyond Erdogan’s government, resonating with various political factions in Turkey. This concern has led to calls for joint military coordination between Turkey and Syria, notably from nationalist movement leader Devlet Bahceli, against the SDF.

Addressing the reaction of the Kurdish units, Syrian-Kurdish researcher Alan Mahmoud explained in an interview with The New Arab website that the Kurdish Autonomous Administration, in its pursuit to legitimize its authority, endeavours to hold these elections despite skepticism and opposition. Mahmoud noted the absence of a local Kurdish consensus, with prominent Kurdish parties, such as the Kurdish National Council, boycotting. He warned that the SDF now faces a dilemma, unable to backtrack yet unprepared for the potential fallout, anticipating external interventions, particularly from the United States, aimed at finding compromises to save face while averting Turkish military action.

 

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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