Kurdish Attendance Threatens to Derail Syria Talks

Turkey Rules Out Allowing Kurds at Peace Talks

Next week’s UN peace talks on Syria are looking all but certain to be delayed, as the various nations tasked with deciding who to invite have failed to come up with a proper list. The Kurdish question itself seems likely to derail the entire process.

The political faction of the Kurdish YPG, the PYD, has been demanding to take part, and interestingly it’s Russia who is leading the call for them to take part, despite the perception that the YPG are primarily a US ally.

Either way, the big problem is Turkey, with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu insisting that the Kurds aren’t “real opposition” and that they consider allowing them to attend the talks a “red line” over which they’re ready to stop the talks outright.

US officials are indicating they are comfortable with a “slight delay” to the talks, as are some of the self-proclaimed rebel leaders. If they’re expecting a deal under which Turkey is suddenly not outraged at the Kurds, however, they could be in for a very long wait indeed.

Russia, by contrast, says they want the talks to go on as planned, saying they need to begin in the next few days. This seems virtually impossible at this point, but represents another split with the US on the matter.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.