How the U.S. Can Thread the Kurdish-Turkish Needle

April 11 2019

A key ally in the American war against Islamic State has been the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which now control, with the help of roughly 2,000 U.S. troops, the northeastern third of the country. To Ankara’s great consternation, the SDF is led by the YPG, a Kurdish militia that is for all intents and purposes an extension of the PKK, a Kurdish terrorist group operating within Turkey’s borders. The resulting Turkish-Kurdish tensions, argue Merve Tahiroglu and Andrew Gabel, leave both parties likely to turn to the Syria-Iran-Russia axis to broker the conflict—unless Washington uses its leverage:

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Read more at Foreign Affairs

More about: Iran, Kurds, Russia, Syrian civil war, Turkey, U.S. Foreign policy

The U.S. Has Managed to Force a Stalemate in the Syrian Civil War, at Least for Now

In a little remarked-upon statement in May, James Jeffrey, the State Department’s envoy for Syria policy, said that his goal was to turn the war-torn country into “a quagmire for the Russians.” By using economic leverage, this policy has achieved modest success, writes Jonathan Spyer:

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Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Bashar al-Assad, Russia, Syrian civil war, U.S. Foreign policy