President Donald Trump’s announcement at the end of 2018 that he would withdraw U.S. troops from Syria came as a surprise to all parties involved, sparking particular concern among America’s Syrian Kurdish allies. The move followed President Trump’s declaration of victory over ISIS after a four-year military campaign fighting alongside Syrian Kurdish forces. This sudden and unexpected decision has been widely criticized not only by allies but also those inside the White House, with many analysts arguing that the U.S. withdrawal will expose the Syrian Kurds to an attack by Turkey.
The news caught the Pentagon and local Syrian allies off-guard and ultimately led to the resignation of several senior U.S. officials, including Jim Mattis, the defense secretary, and Brett McGurk, the president’s special envoy to the coalition to defeat ISIS. According to McGurk’s resignation letter, the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops would be dangerous and lead to a risk of resurgence among the remnants of ISIS in Syria. Oxumağa davam et Will the Syrian Kurds strike a deal with Moscow?→
В четверг Дональд Трамп написал в твиттере, что военная операция в Сирии в ответ на химическую атаку в городе Дума “может начаться очень скоро, либо совсем не скоро”. Накануне американский президент был более решителен, наказав России “готовиться” к ракетному удару по силам сирийского президента Башара Асада. Несмотря на эти противоречивые твиты, США и их союзники, судя по всему, продолжают готовиться к удару по Сирии.
Growing US-Kurdish ties and a possible change in Turkey’s position on Assad may be behind Moscow’s tacit support.
Turkey launched its air and ground operation against Kurdish fighters in the Syrian enclave of Afrin on Saturday, with Moscow turning a blind eye on the military offensive. Russian forces were withdrawn from the area just before the operation began and Turkish jets were allowed to use the Afrin airspace, controlled by the Syrian government and Russia.
The development comes at a time when relations between Turkey and Russia have been gradually getting closer in the context of the Syria conflict, whereas tensions have been rising between Ankara and Washington, which backs the Kurdish fighters in northern Syria. Oxumağa davam et What is Russia’s end game in Afrin?→
On January 23, the next phase of peace talks started in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana. Syria’s government and opposition forces are to meet in Kazakh capital Astana for the first time since the fall of Aleppo.
Negotiations between the Syrian government delegation and rebel fighters, sponsored by Russia and Turkey – who have been backing different sides of the conflict – are expected to last three days. One of the most significant points of the talks is that this time Syrian opposition is represented mainly by the militant groups, which fight in Syria, not just by secular, and political forces. Nevertheless, uncertainty prevails over all aspects of the talks – from the attendant list to the agenda of the meeting.
Until November 27th, the balance of power in the Syrian civil war was unclear as all involved parties had not shown any significant progress over the previous sixty-seven months. The situation is worse in the besieged city of Aleppo, which has been divided since 2012 into two main fronts – pro-Assad forces and rebellion groups. On November 27th, the last resistance point in eastern Aleppo fell following a ferocious ground assault and aerial bombardment of pro-Assad forces, who now control up to one-third of rebel-held east Aleppo.
Eastern Aleppo with 250.000 trapped citizens suffers from lack of electricity, water supply, and medications. The city was almost reduced to rubble by endless air strikes by Russian backed pro-Assad forces.
Following the latest success, Assad’s army will probably advance further to seize Sahur, Haydariyya, and Sheikh Hodr districts in order to divide Eastern Aleppo into two parts, which will cut off the communication lines between eastern opposition forces and the main battle group deployed in Bab-al-Nayrab. The army and its allies claim to have taken full controlof the Jabal Badro and Baadeen districts on Sunday, a day after capturing Hanano, a neighboring residential district. Thus, the recapture of Aleppo by government troops is only a matter of time.Oxumağa davam et The Fall of Aleppo: What Does it Mean for Assad’s Regime?→
The Kurdish enclaves both in Syria and Iraq have never been so close to independence as they now are. Although the issue is a priority for all Kurdish parties and factions, the possibility of the emergence of a unified Kurdish state is quite low, as relations between Syrian and Iraqi Kurdish authorities are complicated.
Iraqi Kurdistan nearly gained independence from Baghdad during the reign of Saddam Hussein. In the aftermath of Saddam’s ouster by the US, the Kurds, led by Masoud Barzani, became the only potent and organized force amid political and economic chaos in Iraq. The Erbil government has managed to establish workable state institutions, including an electoral system, institutions of local government and a military, the Peshmerga. The Kurds successfully carried out military operations against Islamic State in order to take control of oil-rich districts across Kirkuk, thus securing a solid economic basis. Moreover, the current constitution of Iraq, which guarantees a large degree of autonomy to Kurdistan, also considers the possibility of Kurdish independence. Oxumağa davam et What is preventing Kurdish independence?→