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Syria - wheels within wheels

14 0 0
15.10.2019

By Gwynne Dyer

Russia and its Syrian ally Bashar al-Assad win, the Kurds lose, and the United States leaves in disgrace. It has been a hectic few days on the Turkish-Syrian border.

After a phone call with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on 7 October, Donald Trump abruptly abandoned America's Kurdish allies in Syria. As U.S. troops pulled out of their positions along Syria's northern border, where they had been protecting the Kurds from a Turkish attack, Erdogan moved fast.

The Turkish president declared that he would take over a big chunk of northern Syria to drive out the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Kurdish-dominated militia that has been America's key ally in the fight against Islamic State (ISIS). Erdogan described the SDF as "terrorists" and a threat to Turkey, but they are nothing of the sort.

Syrian Kurds are the majority population in the border region with Turkey. They created the SDF to resist the Islamic State's attempts to conquer the region five years ago, after the Syrian regular army pulled out to fight rebels elsewhere in the country.

The SDF became America's key local ally in the fight against ISIS. Over 10,000 Kurds died in that war, while the United States gave them air........

© The Korea Times