Monday, September 5, 2016

The U.S.’s Syria policy rests on a treacherous fault line

Via Billy

The Syrian Kurds may have overreached in expanding from the ancestral home they call “Rojava,” but they did so with tacit U.S. encouragement. That’s part of a pattern: Western powers over the past century have used Kurdish fighters when it suited their purposes, and then abandoned them when neighboring powers objected.
The U.S. military campaign to seize the Islamic State’s capital, Raqqa, may be delayed because of a nasty fight between Turkey and the Syrian Kurdish militia known as the YPG. 

Sadly, it’s a classic Middle East moment, when regional players’ mistrust of each other overwhelms their common interest in fighting the terrorist Islamic State. And, equally sadly, it’s a moment that illustrates the frailty of the United States’ Syrian policy, which has built its military plans on the treacherous fault line of Turkish-Kurdish enmity.

In disentangling this story, let’s start with the Syrian Kurds.

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