Results for Tag: Syria
The first, still best, option – repatriation of foreign nationals – is arguably a quickly closing window. Even then, questions would remain about what should happen to Iraqi and Syrian nationals, and what role the West should play in resolving their situation. But European powers must avoid taking the third option they’d been exercising by default – doing nothing, and waiting for circumstances to change.
Alevis and Alawites are often confused or equated, but aside from a similar-sounding name – both a reference to Ali – they are very distinct. One key difference is ethnicity. Whereas Alevis are typically Turkish or ethnically Kurdish and they pray in Turkish, Alawites are Arab and, like nearly all other Muslims, pray in Arabic.
If the Kurds really want to stand up to the forces that are trying to bring them to their knees, whether it is the Syrian regime, the Turkish state or any other entity, they will have to unite. But as long as their commercial and ideological aspirations for the future of a Kurdish homeland are not aligned, they do not stand a chance.
In a matter of days, the US’ role and position in the war in Syria has been thrown into disarray, a relatively stable area of the country has turned into a battlefield, IS, which was all but eliminated, may be rallying, and Moscow and Damascus seem to be in a stronger position than they have for years. In the eight-year war in Syria, a new chapter has just begun.
It is not so much that Trump is fulfilling his election vow to pull US troops from Syria that is concerning. It is the way he is doing it: without any apparent strategy, without any protection for the forces the US army has been cooperating with in the war against ISIS since 2014 and without any concern for the rights of Kurds (and other minorities) in a post-war Syria. This leaves the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) and the SDF highly vulnerable. And it leaves the local population open to ethnic cleansing.