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Sunday, June 19, 2016

U.S. Backing Gives Kurds Cover for United Federal Region in Northern Syria

Wladimir van Wilgenburg: U.S. Backing Gives Kurds Cover for United Federal Region in Northern Syria

After months of negotiation, the United States finally gave the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)—which is dominated by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and includes the Syrian Arab Coalition (SAC)—the green light to launch its offensive to take the Syrian town of Manbij, a key Islamic State (IS) stronghold northwest of Aleppo. Turkey is concerned about the ties between the Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has been fighting an active insurgency in Turkey’s southeast since the breakdown of the ceasefire in July 2015. The multi-ethnic strategy of the PYD could succeed in establishing a federal region in northern Syria, despite Syrian political opposition. Turkey may still try to create a Cyprus-style intervention in northern Syria to prevent the linking of Kurdish administrations and establish a “safe zone” on its border. It might also come round to the idea.http://www.jamestown.org/single/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=45501&no_cache=1#.V2aflY6XQkg

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