Washington’s Syria Dilemma: The Kurdish Issue

Kurdish YPG in Syria, cc Kurdishstruggle Flickr, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/


The Syrian civil war is now entering in its final stages. Russian-backed government forces have retaken much of the territory that the rebels conquered. The area controlled by the self-proclaimed Islamic State is also reduced to almost zero, prompting US President Donald Trump to announce the withdrawal of American forces from Syria. Yet an important point remains unresolved: the future of the Kurds. Having been America’s most effective allies in the fight against the Islamic State, they now risk finding themselves alone against Turkey, who considers their armed branch (the YPG) a terrorist group, and whose long-term foreign policy dictate has been to prevent the creation of any Kurdish territorial entity in its immediate neighborhood.

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