Kurdish forces strike a deal with Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian military Sunday evening in a major power-shift in northeastern Syria
A major power shift took place in the region of northeastern Syria as Kurdish leaders struck a deal with Bashar al-Assad, the President of Syria, late Sunday evening. According to The New York Times, Kurdish leaders forged such an alliance in an attempt to protect Kurdish civilians and troops from Turkish incursion, which began late last week. The deal will allow the Syrian army to enter northeastern Syria, an area Assad has been absent from for almost eight years due to Syria’s war, and may represent a major breakthrough in President Assad’s goal to re-establish complete Syrian control over the country. ~
The Kurdish militia, also known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), allied with the US to decimate the presence of the Islamic State in Syria during Syria’s war, and obtained a large portion of Northeastern Syria near the border of Turkey. Due to this inheritance of Syrian land, among many other factors, the Kurds and the US shared a common foe: Assad and the Syrian government. Despite this, President Trump announced an agreement late last week in which the White House would withdraw American troops from posts near two prominent Syrian towns near the border of Turkey, allowing for a Turkish operation against the Kurds to create a “buffer zone” along the Turkey-Syrian border. According to AP News, over the last five days, “Turkish troops and their allies have pushed their way into northern towns and villages, clashing with the Kurdish fighters over a stretch of 200 kilometers. The offensive has displaced at least 130,000 people.” The SDF commander, Mazloum Abdi, wrote in an article Sunday that he “had no option but to seek help from the Syrian Army and their Russian allies” in the absence of American assistance. The commander also added that “If we have to choose between compromises and the genocide of our people, we will surely choose life for our people.” ~
After the EU unanimously agreed to ban arms sales to Turkey Monday, and the Syrian army entered two prominent towns in Northeastern Syrian monday morning, this major conflict raises significant global questions on the effect this may have on the islamic state and the future of the Syrian war. ~
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