Yegparian: 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 Erdogan’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 Erdogan’s post-coup purges (some 40% of the upper echelons) of the military leadership who are allegedly Gulenists.

'The long-awaited invasion of Syria by Turkey has commenced.  What has Turkey to gain?'  (Photo: Glenn Fawcett)
‘The long-awaited invasion of Syria by Turkey has commenced. What has Turkey to gain?’
(Photo: Glenn Fawcett)

Why does this matter to Armenians?  Anything that can strengthen Turkey is inimical to the Diaspora’s and homeland’s interests, until such time as Turkey fesses up to the Genocide, makes reparations, and terminates its occupation of Wilsonian Armenia.  Plus, with the Kessab and 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 Nagorno-Karabagh (NKR/Artsakh) have UAVs—unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, built “in house” and not purchased from other countries.  You might also recall that Artsakh 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 Republic of Armenia 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.



Garen Yegparian

Asbarez Columnist
Garen Yegparian is a fat, bald guy who has too much to say and do for his own good. So, you know he loves mouthing off weekly about anything he damn well pleases to write about that he can remotely tie in to things Armenian. He's got a checkered past: principal of an Armenian school, project manager on a housing development, ANC-WR Executive Director, AYF Field worker (again on the left coast), Operations Director for a telecom startup, and a City of LA employee most recently (in three different departments so far). Plus, he's got delusions of breaking into electoral politics, meanwhile participating in other aspects of it and making sure to stay in trouble. His is a weekly column that appears originally in Asbarez, but has been republished to the Armenian Weekly for many years.

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  1. Great idea. Let’s help the Kurds and hurt the Turks.
    Long-term benefits: when Kurds win, we would be regarded their partners in war, and presumably benefit by the return of some of our lands. Every little bit helps.

  2. I have to comment that it has been very difficult hearing about Stories of harm and Damage Done to our meeting people’s and Armenian churches and other buildings in the area. Even worse seeing some of the pictures of murdered Armenian children and other children. Acts committed by ISIS as will as the forces of Assad. I feel though that the Armenian government has not been a forceful voice in Demanding that the government’s that are involved in the military activities in this area do more to stop the violence against The civilian population. Also it is time that the Armenian military take the forward step of at least if not getting involved directly arming the civilian Armenian population in Syria so they can defend themselves against Isis.

  3. I like your idea of covert military action with drones. The hands on battle field experience would be invaluable for the drone “pilots” as well as for evaluating and improving the technology. There’s no replacement for battle field testing.

    You correctly stated that anything strengthening Turkey is “inimical” to Armenia. Why then do you and others not public ally criticize the aid given by Israel to Turkey and Azerbaijan?

  4. Interesting. No questions any destruction of the occupying mongols genocidal race is warranted. It would need to be covert like the Israeli’s do. NEVER sign your name to it. However at the same time I dont find this scenario to be reality..I find our Armenian leaders participation as practically zero. They are TOO BUSY stealing and maintaining power for themselves to take huge advances and risks like this. Out of the box is not what Armenians do. The 4 day war shed light on Army Generals stealing weapon procurement funds for themselves leaving Armenia itself vulnerable. Lets fix that first? Know WHY THESE TRAITORS ARE NOT HANGING AT YEREVAN SQUARE FORE ALL THE REST TO SEE? Because then the rest would need to hang for the same reason. I find ANY ARMENIAN that steals other Armenians as TRAITORS. Lets fix that first. Way easier..

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