Kurds Losing Ground to Turkey in Afrin

In Borders, Politics by Micha Gefen

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Kurdish forces in the Afrin Canton of northwest Syria continue to lose ground to the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and their terrorist allies known as the Free Syrian Army (FSA). This Free Syrian Army made up of thnic Turkmen should not be confused with the militia of the same name in the south. What seemed to be a growing quagmire for Erdogan and the TAF has now given way to a Turkish push towards Afrin City.  The current success of the TAF is significant for a variety of reasons.

  1. Syrian forces have yet to take up arms against Turkey despite Assad’s rhetoric
  2. Russia continues to stand aside and allow his rival Erdogan to push back against the Kurds
  3. The US has clearly decided to consolidate the SDF/YPG holding on the eastern side of the Euphrates

The moves in Syria allow for Erdogan to save face by keeping his invasion of Syrian Kurdistan to the isolated Afrin district while giving the US what it has wanted, Turkish acquiesence to a Kurdish proto-state east of the Euphrates. It is clear that Russia has abandondoned the Kurds of Afrin, that is unless the Turks overstay their welcome and invade Afrin City, then the unstable arrangement detailed above may come apart.

Image Source: Syrian Civil War Map

 


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