Kurdish SDF Asks Russia to Mediate Security Deal With Syria

Turkish forces gear up for another Syria invasion

With Turkish officials talking up another imminent invasion of northern Syria, the Kurdish SDF are keen to negotiate a more formal alliance with the Assad government. They are hoping Russia will mediate.

Turkey’s invasions are aimed in part at curbing Kurdish autonomy, and propping up rebels they believe would be better for Turkish interests. The SDF has allied with the US in the past.

Kurdish hopes the US would put a stop to Turkish attacks haven’t amounted to anything, however. That and US hostility toward Assad seems to have convinced many that Russia might be a more useful partner.

That is not to say that the Kurds are trading in the US, however. It is an unmistakable message that they turned to Russia at the time when the US is desperately trying to isolate Russia on all things foreign policy-related.

Russia is a close ally to Assad, and has been engaged in diplomacy trying to limit Turkey’s incursions, so it is not so far-fetched that the Kurds would see them as a valuable mediator, and more dependable than the US.

One SDF Commander was very frank about the situation, saying they need stronger assurances from the US that they’ll prevent Turkey’s invasion.

Though the US has long relied on the SDF as allies in Syria, they’ve shown no willingness to confront Turkey. That may have the SDF looking for a better partner.

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.