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article imageOp-Ed: Syrian Kurds may open talks with Assad and the Russians

By Ken Hanly     Oct 8, 2019 in Politics
Kurdish authorities in northern Syria may open talks with the Assad government and Russia in order to fill a security vacuum should there be a full withdrawal of US forces from the Syrian border with Turkey.
Partial withdrawal of US troops causing problems for the Kurds
The official, Badran Kurd's remarks show the predicament the partial withdrawal of US troops from the border region has caused. The US troops on the border had been in effect shielding the Kurdish led forces near the border from any attack by Turkish forces. 50 American special forces withdrew from a section of the Turkish border on Monday this week. This has paved the way for Turkey to launch a cross-border attack on Kurdish forces it classifies as terrorists.
The Syrian Democratic Forces led by the Kurds say the US decision to withdraw is a stab in the back. The Kurdish led group spearheaded by the Kurdish YPG militia have been a major part of the US-led campaign against ISIS.
The US decision may force the Kurds into the waiting arms of opponents of the US in Syria, Russia and the Assad government.
Kurd told Reuters: “If America vacates the area and especially the border area for certain we, as a self administration and as the SDF, will be forced to study all the available options. At that time we may hold talks with Damascus or the Russian side to fill the void or block the Turkish attack, so this may develop and there could be meetings and contacts in case of a vacuum.”
Turkey launches a military operation
Turkey has not only completed preparations for a military operation in the northeast, it has already begun operations as noted in a recent article:" On Monday, Turkish combat aircraft performed an airstrike against a Kurdish SDF base in Syria's Hasakah province, according to the al-Ikhbariya broadcaster.Earlier, Erdogan stressed that a security zone is needed in order to counter "terror threats" coming from the Kurdish PKK party and Syrian Kurdish YPG forces, adding that it would allow for the return of Syrian refugees." The Turks regard the YPG as a terrorist organization.
Another article further describes and explains attack: "Syrian state media reported the strike was at al-Malikiyah. It is being presented as part of Turkey unilaterally creating a “safe zone” in northern Syria. The safe zone was originally meant to be a joint US-Turkish effort, but Turkey has been complaining about US reticence."
Kurd's priority is to retain their own autonomous area
While the Kurds have been happy to help the Americans against ISIS they have not been that eager for regime change as rebels and the US have been. There is enmity between the Assad government and the Kurds as they have been persecuted under Assad's rule but they have rarely joined in the rebel fights against the regime. The Kurds may feel their best interests now may lie with seeking more autonomy from Assad by helping to force the US from areas they control. They may feel that they can gain better protection from the Turks if they ally with Assad rather than the US. However, Assad will need to grant the Kurds more autonomy to reach any such agreement. The US may be creating even more difficulties for itself in Syria.
Trump policy
Trump gave the green light for Turkey to enter Syria: " Mr Trump said on Monday he was done with "ridiculous endless war" as he stood aside to allow a long-threatened Turkish assault on Kurdish-held Syria, effectively abandoning its allies who fought Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil)."
Yet Trump later warned Turkey about going too far, tweeting with his usual arrogance and bombast: "If Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I've done before!)"
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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