Syrians Broadly Welcome US Withdrawal

Outside of Kurdistan, many are upbeat about post-US Syria

While US media coverage of the withdrawal from Syria has been presented as sending the entire world into a tizzy about what will happen next, with the Syrians presented as viewing the pullout as an “American betrayal.”

That may hold true for Syrian Kurds, the one group of allies the US has kept in the war, but most everyone else seems upbeat about the prospect of a US withdrawal. Syrians living in Turkish-backed territory in particular are hopeful this will mean the return of some cities which the US backed the Kurdish YPG in taking to the population largely driven out by the fighting.

Those in the Syrian government’s territory also clearly benefit, as while the US is never entirely openly at war with them, US attacks aren’t unheard of, and even in the best of times the US has tried to destabilize those areas in the name of regime change.

Kurdish areas are less hopeful, with a Turkish invasion looming. Yet Turkey’s past attacks on Kurdish areas have shown that a US presence has limited impact on that at any rate. Nevertheless, the US has long viewed the YPG as a temporary alliance, and was never going to scrap historical ties to Turkey in favor of them.

This has meant that in the grand scheme of things, Western war-enthusiasts are the ones taking the dimmest view of this pullout, and who stand to lose the most. Within war-torn Syria, the US pullout mostly just amounts to one of the belligerent factions, one which has been bankrolling various different factions throughout the conflict, is simply being taken off the table going forward. Given the US resistance to peace deals that don’t conform to US demands, this can only be a good thing for compromise peace deals.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.