Syrian Kurds destabilized by US reversals

The procrastination of the United States will affect the relations with their allies, threatened by Turkey and its project of "safety zone".

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Kurds protest against a possible intervention of Ankara, in front of the Turkish border, in Ras al-Ain, on October 7, 2019.
Kurds protest against possible Ankara intervention in front of the Turkish border in Ras Al-Ain on 7 October 2019. STR / AP

For the Kurdish forces in Syria, Sunday, October 6 will be remembered as the day when a series of raging twists and images of desolate American camps have sounded the death knell of an alliance that is vital to them. Five years after they formed a cooperation with Washington, in the Kurdish city of Kobani besieged by the Islamic State (IS) organization, which has continued to deepen, leading to the destruction of the terrorist group under its rule. Territorial form, President Donald Trump appeared to deliver his allies, unanimously celebrated by US military officials, to Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After months of trying to prevent it, the United States seemed to pave the way for a Turkish offensive in the areas of Tall Abyad and Ras Al-Ain, which Ankara has been threatening for months. The turnaround, which occurred a few hours later in Washington, brought down the tension, but President Trump's blow will leave traces on his Kurdish allies.

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At first sight, the decision to release Syrian Kurdish fighters seemed like a victory for the Turkish head of state, who had long called for the creation of a "Security zone" in northeastern Syria. An agreement had been signed on August 7 between Washington and Ankara for the creation of such a "safe area", but it never really worked. In reality, Turks and Americans did not agree on anything, neither on the depth of the area, nor on who should manage it. Ankara demanded exclusive control, which the Americans seemed reluctant to accept until Trump's flip-flop on Sunday night.

Create a "belt" of Arab refugees

Twenty-four hours after the announcement of the US withdrawal by Donald Trump, a Turkish offensive against Kurdish fighters appears uncertain, as Washington still does not seem to support it. "Entering would be easy for the Turkish army because there is no topographical obstacle in the region, but it is difficult to predict how strong the Kurdish forces of the people's defense units will be. (YPG) "says Aydin Selcen, a former Turkish consul in Erbil, in the Kurdish autonomous region of northern Iraq. The real problem is diplomatic: Turkey no longer has the means to seize the opportunity of the US redeployment, after the retreat of Washington.

The Turkish president wants to resettle more than two million Syrian refugees in the Kurdish forces' "safe zone", among the 3.6 million currently sheltered by his country. The popular discontent in Turkey with the presence of these refugees has reached a point of no return this year, putting Erdogan in trouble and forcing him to act.


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