Has Northern Syria become an area for Turkish blackmailing of Sweden?

Good and well-developed relations that have brought together Sweden and areas within the region of North and East Syria over the past years, in general, addressed several crucial issues, including those of a developmental, relief, and humanitarian nature, in addition to the provision of assistance to the Syrian Democratic Forces in their war against the terrorist organization “ISIS”, which poses an existential threat to the entire world.

This matter now gradually starts to change for the current Swedish government and its new stance towards the region, which has become based on a game of interests in the first place, as potential consequences and repercussions of any decision or alignment that will certainly lead to a humanitarian disaster for millions of Syrians in the northeast of the country are simply disregarded. Stockholm seeks to please Ankara, in order to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Controversial statements made by Swedish Foreign Minister, Tobias Billström, are saying: “The new government in the country will distance itself from the “YPG and the Democrat-ic Union Party,” stressing that the main goal is Sweden’s membership in NATO.

Observers believe that Sweden’s concessions in favor of Turkey are concomitant with Er-dogan’s return to a policy of blackmailing, which will negatively affect the stability of northern Syria amid Ankara’s continuous threats to launch a new military operation in ex-change for regional and international warnings about very dangerous consequences for an area that includes ten thousand ISIS of terrorists and their families.

On the other hand, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria expressed its regret over the new Swedish position through a statement issued by the Department of Foreign Relations, which is considered a gratification to Turkey, noting that it understands the interests of the Swedish government and people, but this should not happen at the ex-pense of peoples who have fought against terrorism and are still fighting ISIS.

Kadir Kasirga deputy  Swedish
Kadir Kasirga deputy Swedish

Huge opposition

In this context, Kadir Kasirga, a deputy in the Swedish Parliament for the Social Demo-crats, the largest political party, said that the foreign minister’s recent statements towards northeastern Syria are a “great disgrace,” emphasizing that public opinion in Sweden will not accept that position as it will undermine any efforts to combat terrorism.
In an interview with the Target media platform, Kasirga added that their party shows great respect for the sacrifices of the Syrian Democratic Forces, as a part of the international coalition against terrorism and that all opposition parties in Sweden oppose the foreign minister’s statements.
He explained that the security and stability of northeastern Syria enhance the security of Sweden and Europe, considering that the activities of the terrorist organization ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra are continuing in northern Syria, and Turkey’s threats and support for ex-tremist factions there further make the situation in the region more complicated.

Shoresh Darwish
Shoresh Darwish

Changed policies

Syrian researcher, Shoresh Darwish expected that Stockholm would go in this direction even further since it decided to put its interests at the expense of democratic values. This previously taken measure was even accelerated, however, Darwish added: “Now we are facing an official position that differs from the position of the majority of the Swedish people who prefer neutrality and support Kurdish aspirations and the will of the people of the region, and therefore Sweden is not expected to go further aggravating its relations with the Autonomous Administration“.

According to Darwish, it is likely that Sweden’s policy will change later after it secures its seat in NATO, given the fact that the rules of accession are clear and that no member state can be expelled for whatever reasons.

The Syrian researcher also talked about another issue, which is represented by the right-wing government’s adherence to its last decision. Thus, the Autonomous Administration lost an ally in the previous government, especially the Social Democratic Party, which used to understand the conditions of the Autonomous Administration and its efforts to combat terrorism. This would then create a link between the administration and friendly parties in Sweden, including the opposition, which will ease the weight of the measures that the new government may adhere to.


Shear Ali
Shear Ali

Concessions and investment

For his part, the representative of the Autonomous Administration in Sweden, Shear Ali, confirmed to the Target media platform that the Swedish Foreign Minister’s statements are very unpleasant and are considered to be an extension of the agreement signed in Madrid at the end of last June between the former Swedish government and Turkey, whereby Turkish President Erdogan seeks to support Sweden in its desire to join the NATO by in-creasing its attacks against the region of Northeastern Syria and eliminating the democratic experiment there.

Sheyar Ali called on the Swedish government to not put the Kurds on the “bazaars” table and to take advantage of that, to join NATO, saying that Sweden had given up its princi-ples for Erdogan, who seeks to damage diplomatic and political relations between the Au-tonomous Administration and Sweden and further attempts to intimidate the Kurdish community so that the latter will cease its activities.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Union Party spokeswoman, Sama Bakdash, described the new Swedish position as relenting in Turkey’s blackmailing, which contradicts the principles and morals of Swedish society and the humanitarian attitudes that characterized Stock-holm at the global level.

The desperate Swedish desires and attempts to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization “NATO”, prompted Stockholm to make many concessions that began several months ago with the re-export of weapons and military equipment to Turkey that were originally banned in 2019. This prior prohibition indeed has been in force following Turkey’s attack on northern Syria and its control of several cities and towns. Thus, the language of interests imposed itself, and the Swedish Foreign Minister’s recent statement regarding the Auton-omous Administration came within what he referred to as previous commitments and agreements that bear a real catastrophe that may occur in the northeastern part of Syria during the upcoming period if the international community continues to disregard Turkey’s real interests in the region.


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