Britain ‘Uneasy’ With Syrian Kurds Being Backed by Russia

Claims 'Disturbing Evidence' of Russian Air Support

After weeks of Turkey pushing for the US and other NATO members to ditch support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG, Britain seems to be heading in that direction, claiming they are “uneasy” with the YPG gaining territory in offensives backed by Russian air support.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond claimed there was “disturbing evidence” of the Kurds coordinating with Russia and the Syrian government. Despite treating this as “new” evidence, the YPG’s cooperation with both has been well documented.

Since Russia began its airstrikes in Syria, it has been supporting the YPG, primarily on western fronts where Turkish opposition has kept the US from backing them. Likewise, the YPG has allowed the Syrian military to deploy troops to Hasakeh, their de facto capital, to help defend it from previous ISIS pushes.

Turkey was opposing the YPG before all of this, and has only added to its opposition as the YPG gains territory. The US has so far tried to ignore this, but as Turkey gets more shrill about the matter, it seems like they’re getting at least some NATO backing for abandoning the Kurds as too “pro-Russia.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for 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.