As Syrian Ceasefire Starts, Kurds Find Themselves Excluded

Rebels Confirm Kurdish Factions Won't Be Invited to Peace Talks Either

The Syrian ceasefire went into effect at Midnight local time, and apart from a few isolated incidents appears to have gone pretty well, with the apparent include of al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front making the ceasefire seem a lot broader than previous ones.

Not that everyone is welcome. ISIS, for instance, was excluded from the ceasefire, and in a surprise addition, the Kurdish YPG were also announced to have been excluded. Syrian rebels say that the YPG not only can’t be involved in the ceasefire, they won’t be welcome at the peace talks in Kazakhstan.

While exactly how this came about isn’t totally clear, the smart money is on Turkey, which has insisted the Kurds are “terrorists,” insisting they be excluded from the process. Turkey has repeatedly attacked YPG targets since invading Syria, and excluding both ISIS and the YPG means Turkey can basically continue their war without any limits.

This also amounts to a de facto exclusion of the US from the ceasefire as well, since US ground troops in Syria are exclusively embedded with the YPG, and previous precedent has been that embedding with a group not included in the ceasefire leaves one’s troops open to being targeted.

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.