Let Down by US, Syrian Kurdish Leaders Look to Russia and Assad

Kurds see other potential allies against Turkish invasion

After about a week of Kurdish YPG leaders and US hawks lamenting the “betrayal” they see in the announced US withdrawal from Syria, cooler heads are prevailing and the focus has shifted toward finding another ally against the imminent Turkish invasion of Syrian Kurdistan.

To that end, the YPG has some fairly obvious options. The Syrian government, after all, attempted to back the Kurds in defending the Afrin District from a Kurdish invasion. They failed, but would be the most natural ally in resisting Turkey’s invasion of Syria’s entire northeast.

Syria doesn’t want to lose vast amounts of its country to Turkey, and that’s also brought Russia into the mix. Russia has openly warned Turkish to stay out of Syria, and to let the Syrian government reclaim the territory formerly occupied by the US.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing for the Kurds, as the plan for Rojava was always to be an autonomous region within Syria. Russia’s position is to keep Turkey away and may well just default down to the autonomous region they’d always planned on anyhow.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. 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.