When last we checked in on the Kurds in northern Syria, they had been abandoned by the Americans and were forced to seek an alliance with the Russians and Syrians in order to avoid slaughter at the hands of the Turks. Now, that “alliance,” which was always problematic and which Kurd leaders themselves said was far from ideal, has crumbled, leaving the Kurds totally exposed and with no way to remain in their own territory.
Reuters reports that Russian and Syrian forces have struck a deal with Turkey, and part of the deal is that the Kurds must withdraw from the border area…or else:
The Kremlin said on Wednesday that the United States had betrayed and abandoned the Syrian Kurds and advised the Kurds to withdraw from the Syrian border as per a deal between Moscow and Ankara or be mauled by the Turkish army…
If the Kurds did not withdraw as per the deal between Moscow and Ankara, Peskov said that Syrian borders guards and Russian military police would have to withdraw, leaving the Kurds to be dealt with by the Turkish army.
In a statement that would be darkly comedic if it were not so tragic, the Kremlin spokesman even referenced Trump’s abandonment, saying, “The United States has been the Kurds’ closest ally in recent years. (But) in the end, it abandoned the Kurds and, in essence, betrayed them…now they (the Americans) prefer to leave the Kurds at the border (with Turkey) and almost force them to fight the Turks.”
The question now is, where do the Kurds go from here? Fight and likely be annihilated, or flee and become unwanted refugees elsewhere? This is the conundrum Trump has left them.