Over the weekend, the US announced its intention to establish a 30,000-strong force along the north Syrian border, a group which would be mostly composed of Kurdish forces backed by some smaller Arab groups.
Turkey and Syria were both quick to complain about this plan, but Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov offered more serious concerns about the long-term ramifications of this new force.
Lavrov warned that in making the region controlled by US-backed forces a more permanent fixture, they threaten to lead to an outright partition of Syria itself, with a large part of the country wholly out of the central government’s control.
Ironically, the US had long opposed the suggestion of any partition in Syria, insisting that they would not accept any post-war situation that increased regional autonomy or established a federal system. US policy, however, seems to be headed toward maintaining such autonomy, if only to give them a pretext to keep military assets in Syrian Kurdistan.