In the course of a long, bloody war in Syria, a lot of territory has changed hands. The Kurdish YPG and their allies look to be the big winners, having carved out a vast autonomous territory called Rojava. Creating that territory was one thing, keeping it could be another.
Turkey is very openly hostile to the Kurds keeping any autonomous region. This is a major concern for the Kurds, as their gains were made with US support, and increasingly the US is realigning itself toward Turkey. This has Kurdish officials looking to realign themselves, potentially with the Syrian government.
Unlike most other breakaway regions, the Kurdish territory was never overtly separatist, and its split from the Assad government was mostly just a function of Syria losing all the surrounding areas. Negotiating a rapprochement, and the recognition of Rojava as an autonomous part of Syria, is now the Kurds’ top priority.
How that’s going to happen is unclear, but Kurdish officials are offering military support for Syrian military operations, suggesting they could send YPG fighters to join the offensive against Idlib rebels. Aligning themselves militarily is likely particularly key for the YPG, under the assumption that they’ll need help resisting Turkey’s invasion.
6 thoughts on “Wary of US, Syrian Kurds Look to Protect War Gains in Talks with Damascus”
The USA is licking Erdogans boots. Turkey can invade other countys to kill kurds, thats no problem for the USA. Seems like everybody is angry that kurds fight against ISIL.
Kurds had deals with Assad, that allowed them a lot of freedom and autonomy. They were seduced away from that by big promises now dishonored. What they are doing now is crawling back to get what they had.
If Syria’s government is smart they’ll make very clear the Kurds have some autonomy but are under government authority, avoiding their separatist ambitions for good. Syria needs more friends though, especially if it finishes taking away a US proxy force used to legitimize the American occupation of their country.
The YPG are a group of kidnappers, murderers, drug dealers…
[Kurdish PKK and YPG’s Hidden Notorious Crimes: Kidnapping, Murder, and Narcotics Trafficking]
… ethnic cleaners …
[PYD Leader Warns of War with Arab Settlers in Kurdish Areas]
[YPG hopes to ‘change the demographic map’ in Al-Hasakah]
… thieves …
[Assyrians, Armenians in Syria Protest Kurdish Confiscation of Property]
… and recruit child soldiers:
[US: YPG still recruits child soldiers in Syria]
Thank you for detailed information. Much more is svailable ftom the period when ISIS took border areas with Turkey, where Kurds from Turkey smuggled terrkrists, arms and vehicles, in exchange for oul sold to them by ISIS. Until Russia bombed convoys of oil trucks. YPG is no different from PKK — same leadership. This is why Turkey is not buying this. Before you know it, they will be taking chunks of Turkey into their Rojava. At present, YOG is still holding on to territory inhabited by Syrian Arabs. The problem Kurds face is their own sense of superiority. Durjng French colonial tule, Kurds were absolute favorites of French authorities, they were priviledged and are not accepring loss of those privileges. But by describing what YPG wants one runs into a danger of assuming that all Kurds are in agreement with YPG. Now, that US is no longer being behind them as before — I would assume they lost much support.
Purely political circus. If snyone csn define Rojava geographically – good luck. If Kurds think they can maintsin control of territory where Kurds are 5% or less of population sgainst widhes of majority, good luck with that. They have no continuous terrotory, and can hope only to get some autonomybin Afrin and Kobane regions. US has gifted them Manbij, wherr Kurds committed large scale ethnic cleansing. Arabs that were allowed to keep their property were asked not very subtly to join the command centers to be the symbolic portion of Syrian Democratic forces, otherwise fully controlled by YPG. The game will not work in Afrin. Before Turkish jnvasion Afrin was offered the protection by Damascus, but YPG was to join Syrian forces, and regional administration to be under the control of Damascus. Russia brokered the deal. YPG wanted independence from Danascus — the deal was off, Turkey secured the region where Kurds did all the smuggling of arms and terrorists from Kurdidh areas in Turkey, accross Afrin to Idlib, and before, to Aleppo. Now ud kind of late to be offering smoke screen, until Afrin gets under Damascus control. Only then will Turkey depart — sering that Syria controls border. Not before. With Manbij still being unresolved, and Arabs under gunpoint must play nice with YPG, I would not be shocked if Turkey moves into Kobane region, as a number of border towns formerly majority Arab, have been taken by Kurds in the name of fighting ISIS. Raqqa is in the same predicament. Kurds will either allow all taken areas that are not Kurd majority be managed by its population, or they will face resistance. Syria is not dealing with this as it must resolve the ISIS pocket cufrently deftly defended by Israel. Once
ISIS is flushed out, Idlib will not last long. Without smuggling from Kurds, they are without arms. They are infighting and getting weaker. Kurds are the last kn the agenda, and it will be interesting to see how much progress can be achieved at Sochi conference at the end of the month.
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