On Tuesday, the Kurdish YPG declared victory in the ISIS capital city of Raqqa, declaring the city to have been “liberated,” and leaving ISIS forces retreating further east, trying to set up defenses elsewhere.
It was a big victory that was a year in the making, but the future of Kurdish-held Raqqa could be an even more complex matter, as it leaves Kurdish officials and some very tiny Arab allies governing a major Arab-dominated city.
Placing their Arab allies into positions of visible power is likely, to try to tone down the impression of the city being Kurdish-occupied. Still, there’s no denying that many of these factions only allied with the YPG in the first place to try to get such positions in the end, and may be seen by locals who preferred ISIS rule as collaborators.
The capture of Raqqa also greatly complicates the YPG’s goal of federalization within Syria, as it puts even more territory under the control of their regional government, which is claiming autonomy within a future Syria. That autonomy may be a tough sell if the Kurdish region is both this large and includes this many non-Kurds.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- South Korea's Moon Ratifies Recent North Korea Deals - October 23rd, 2018
- Pence Won't Rule Out Nukes in Space - October 23rd, 2018
- Syrian Observatory: US Has Killed Over 3,000 Civilians in Syria Since 2014 - October 23rd, 2018
- Bolton: US Plans Talks With Allies Before Leaving Nuclear Pact - October 23rd, 2018
- Bolton Rejects Russian Call to Stay in Nuclear Treaty - October 23rd, 2018