US-Backed Kurdish Forces Halt Anti-ISIS Operations in Syria

Forces say impossible to continue with Turkish invasion

US-backed Kurdish forces from the SDF have reported that they are halting all anti-ISIS operations within Syria as a result of the Turkish invasion of their territory, saying it would be impossible to continue while being threatened by a “large army right on the northern border.”

It’s not clear how much actual anti-ISIS operations they were doing at this point, or indeed if they were engaged in any at all. The last reported ISIS-held village in SDF territory fell many months ago, and beyond keeping thousands of accused ISIS fighters in an open-air prison, it isn’t apparent there are any operations.

The report of ending such operations is likely obligatory for the public relations aspect of the fight with Turkey, as the US and Kurds had long insisted Turkey should wait on such disputes because of ISIS.

This means that anything ISIS does in Syria would probably be blamed on Turkey, just for the sake of continuing that narrative, though ISIS is believed to be effectively defeated, and not active on the ground in Syria any longer.

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.