Sept. 1, 2016
- Across Syrian Kurdish Regions, a Sense of Betrayal by Washington Is Setting In – 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. In Turkey, as well, there is mounting anger at the Obama administration for demanding that Turkish forces stop battling the Kurds in northern Syria. (Washington Post)
See also 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)
- See also Kurds Carve Out a Home in Syria, Testing U.S. Ties with Turkey – Raja Abdulrahim and Dion Nissenbaum (Wall Street Journal)