NEWS

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10/01/2017 - 12:08 0
Syrian Kurds deserve a seat at the negotiating table: WSJ

The Wall Street Journal has published an opinion piece calling for support for Syrian Kurds by the incoming Trump administration.

Written by Stuart Rollo and entitled 'Syrian Kurds deserve a seat at the negotiating table', the op-ed argues that although Kurds have been the most successful fighting force against the Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL) group, they need political support even more than military assistance.

"Yet political support is more crucial than arms. The Trump administration should make clear that its support for the Kurds extends beyond the fight with ISIS. He should affirm their right to self-directed political and civil representation in Syria. The best way to start is by insisting that the Syrian Kurds have a seat at the table in negotiating an end to the Syrian civil war."

Rollo acknowledges the precarious situation the Kurds find themselves in and highlights the fragile and complicated political balance between the powers at play in the region: the US, Russia, Turkey, Syria, the Kurds and others.

The piece acknowledges the negative role played by Turkey since the beginning of the Syria crisis and points out Ankara's support for militant Islamist groups. The change in Turkey's Syria policy following the fall of Aleppo is also emphasised as having a direct influence on Erdogan and Assad's Kurdish policy.

"Now Turkey’s main priority is to suppress Kurdish autonomy in Syria. The Turks are using the cease-fire to marginalize the Kurds by escalating their military assault on Kurdish positions. On the same day the cease-fire went into effect, the Kurdish media reported that Turkish military and Turkish-backed Islamist rebels were attacking Kurdish towns and militia security offices."

Rollo ends by evoking the US's complicated relations with Kurds in the Kurdistan Region in Northern Iraq and warns, "Fully siding with Turkey will go down as another cynical betrayal [of Kurds]."

Source: WSJ