Thursday, September 01, 2016

US Screws Its Kurdish Allies

The flag of Kurdistan along with the US flag

Kurdish Sense Betrayal by Washington - Sudarsan Raghavan and Liz Sly 

The Pentagon's decision to arm a mostly Syrian Kurdish force has paid big dividends in northern Syria, where the Islamic State has been on the run in recent months. Then Turkish tanks and warplanes entered Syria last week and began targeting the Kurds, their long-standing enemy.

But what happened next blindsided Kurdish leaders: Their American allies sided with the Turks - and ordered the Kurdish forces to hand over hard-won territory.

"Unfortunately, as Kurdish allies fighting against terrorism and making a lot of victories, we expected more from the United States," said Idriss Naasan, a former official in the Kurds' self-proclaimed government in Syria.
(Washington Post)

An Israeli Perspective on the Syrian Kurds - Alex Fishman

Israel's strategy in Syria is based on the assumption that if the country breaks into autonomous minorities, this would stop the Iranian/Shi'ite takeover and eventually thwart the main threat to Israel: an Iranian hold on the Golan Heights.

But the Americans are now selling out the Syrian Kurds to the Turks.

The Turks and Russians reached an understanding according to which the Turks will accept that Assad remains in power for an interim period and in return, the Russians will allow them to fly through Syrian airspace, bomb and destroy the Kurdish autonomous contiguity in Syria, and create a buffer zone that would keep both ISIS and the Kurds away from the Turkish border. 
(Ynet News)

The Decay of the Syrian Regime - Tobias Schneider

Over the past three years, despite foreign military aid and support, the Assad regime has continued to atrophy at an ever-increasing pace. If these trends continue, the Syrian president will soon find himself little more than a symbolic common denominator around which a loose coalition of thieves and fiefdoms can rally. The great majority of forces in Syria today fight an increasingly localized war for the protection of their particular communities. For example, Latakia is being protected not by Assad's largely imaginary "4th Corps" of the Syrian Arab Army, but by Mohamed Jaber and his Desert Hawks.

Syria's president has become not only perfectly expendable as guarantor of the state, but ought to be considered the last remaining obstacle to a peace process based on local ceasefires. The Syrian state is gone for good. At this point, a quick decapitation might be preferable to a drawn-out implosion.
(War on the Rocks)

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