U.S. Built Syria Plans on Fault Line of Turkish-Kurdish Enmity

(Washington Post) David Ignatius - 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 YPG militia. The Syrian Kurds drove Islamic State from Kobane in ferocious fighting in 2014 and 2015. U.S. Special Operations forces saw YPG as the backbone of the coming campaign to take Raqqa. Now the YPG leadership has told Pentagon officials that unless the Turks pull back, the Kurdish role in Raqqa is in question. Unfortunately, there's no alternative force that can clear the terrorist capital anytime soon. Western powers over the past century have used Kurdish fighters when it suited their purposes, and then abandoned them when neighboring powers objected. That happened after 1918, when the allies ignored President Woodrow Wilson's pledge to create a Kurdish homeland; it happened in 1947, when Iran crushed the short-lived Mahabad Republic; it happened in 1975, when the shah of Iran agreed to allow Iraq's Saddam Hussein to suppress the Kurds, despite secret American promises of support. Washington must help build governance for a post-Islamic State world. It should make clear that the only durable future is a federalism that can give Kurds, Sunnis, Shiites, Turkmen and other minorities a sense of ownership and control in Syria and Iraq.

2016-09-05 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive