Northern Syria seems to have become a focal point for regional and global players as questions are raised about its future after the handing over of Aleppo.
The town of Al-Bab has become a battle ground, murderous explosions are shaking the town of Azaz, and international alliances are strained and threatened by intersecting and opposing blood-stained ethnic projects, namely a ‘Kurdish Homeland’ and a ‘Turkish Safe Haven’.
Current developments there have brought back memories that are a few decades old. It was during the worst days of the Lebanese War that two couples of progressive intellectuals sought a temporary refuge in my serene mountain village from the gales of extremism blowing in the war-torn country. The two couples had to leave their homes for ideological reasons, but no sooner had they crossed the ‘Green Line’ dividing Christian East Beirut from Muslim West Beirut that they became under fatal sectarian danger.
‘Oases’ of tolerance, diversity
The regime and its allies, clearly emboldened by America’s inaction and Iran’s and Russia’s direct support, are now on the attack. While Turkey, the old Cold War US ally has been let down and left in the cold. Finally, the Kurds think that Washington has provided them with a unique opportunity to fulfill their ambitious nationalist dream.Eyad Abu Shakra