Syrian Kurds: Hope for the USA


The Kurds are facing two powerful opponents: the Turkey and the government of Assad. After the withdrawal of the USA from Syria they seemed to be at the mercy of the two actors politically. That could change now.

The Syrian Minister of defense Ali Abdullah Ajub showed himself determined. Every single inch of the Syrian territory would bring the government in Damascus under their control, he said on Monday at a press conference. His message was aimed mainly to the Syrian Kurds who control the North and East of the country-greater areas. At the same time, he said, the Kurds should not rely too much on the US: The Syrian army is strong enough, to expel the “American occupation forces”, in the Southeast of the country to the nearby base at Al-Tanf. To the address of the Kurds Ajub established as a threat and offer, at the same time-to-understand message: “We will deal with them, either through reconciliation or liberation of the territory.”

Damascus is not the only place where the Syrian Kurds reportedly threatening messages. For a long time the Turkish government in Ankara declared that it is planning to do a 30-40 Kilometer-deep security zone on Syrian territory. This is a reality that would be large parts of the Kurdish-inhabited region were under Turkish control. How rigorously it is on the territory of the neighboring state to proceed ready to be demonstrated to the Turkish army 14 months ago, with the invasion in ‘ afrīn.

Armed, but not a regional power: Kurdish fighters in the fight against the jihadist organization “Islamic state”, 6. March 2019

Course correction of the USA

The hope of the Kurds, the danger from Damascus and Ankara to fend off, and builds especially in the presence of 200 US soldiers – so strong will be the quota that the US left behind after their withdrawal from Syria. Most of the soldiers in Al-Tanf, but some also in other parts of the country – the Kurdish-populated.

This could play for the future of an Autonomous Kurdish Region in Syria an important role, said Nawaf Khalil, Director of the Kurdish studies centre in Bochum, in the program “Massaiya” in the Arabic programme of Deutsche Welle. Although the Americans would not have ensures, officially, to want to stay in the Region. But, De facto, they are. The Americans are in the first line present, the jihadist organization “Islamic state” to defeat once and for all. But, if necessary, the US could also be directed against Turkey.

Washington’s new political weight

After US President, Trump troops, first of all, the full withdrawal of the US, the unofficial protection of the Syrian Kurds, the war, planned in the country, announced, look at the Kurds since a few weeks a more optimistic view of the future. In the second half of February, a correction of Trumps decision points. The is also necessary, wrote at the time, the “Washington Post”. Finally, the US had learned of the military from their mistakes in Iraq and in Syria, a successful Mission completed. The show about the fact that only six Americans were also killed. In addition, the company has achieved its political and military objective: “For the first Time, Washington now has a considerable weight in the negotiations over the future of Syria.” This is based not least on the cooperation with the Kurds. The play, especially in the fight against the jihadist organization “Islamic state” has a significant role.

Suspected militants of the jihadist organization “Islamic state” controlled by Kurdish forces, Deir Ezzor, February 2019

Especially could show that this weight can be even with only 200 soldiers. Their military importance was manageable, says the Internet-the magazine “Al-Monitor”. The more the political count: “As long as US boots are on Syrian soil, the Region is not a player in control of the United States deem as inappropriate, whether it be Iran, whether the Regime in Damascus. The presence is also an indication that the Americans want, at least to this point in time, the North-East of Syria as a Russian sphere of influence.”

Disillusionment in Ankara

The political claim of the United States, we seem to see in Ankara. The USA would still remain a considerable time in Syria, wrote the Turkish political Analyst and former Brigadier General Naim Baburoglu in an article for the Internet portal “Gercek Gundem”. Baburoglu suggests that the presence of the USA in the Region from now on permanently is likely to be. Also, the US is pursuing in Syria obviously has an Agenda. The first step should be to negotiate with the Turks about the project of the establishment of a safety zone, a suspect in the Washington Post. “This is a delicate undertaking, the President of Trump’s necessary is to actively oppose, the Turkish President, Erdogan, rather than submitting to its demands.”

Protesters in the Kurdish-dominated city of Qamishli ask the government in Damascus in order to protect against a possible Turkish Offensive

New Considerations in Damascus

The new resolution of the United States causes also apparently the Assad government to determine its course. That you would dare to in fact, the U.S. troops attack, seems questionable – what consequences would be, you can figure out in Damascus. Also conceivable is a question about the deal the government with the Kurds and to the Turkish plans for a security zone in the opposite position, says Syrian political analyst Turki al-Hassan in the DW program “Massaiya”. “The only question is whether the Kurds will join the Assad government in dialogue.” It is, however, obvious that the present Situation in the North of Syria at some time in the could be: The Region would continue to remain part of the Syrian state territory.

Currently, the Kurds are in the circumstances, a good negotiating position. The stands, however, on thin Foundation: Were the United States but from Syria, the Kurds are at the mercy of actors are stronger than you.

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There is no protection for Syrian Kurds

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Turkey: No protection for Syrian Kurds