News Analysis |
Government forces in Syria are cruising toward a victory, a remarkable foot which no other Middle Eastern country has managed to pull when the civil war had escalated to such an extent. Syrian and Russian air force fighter jets pounded Idlib, the only remaining stronghold for Syrian rebels, in the most recent development in the conflict. Government forces have seized Idlib resulting in the increased concerns of massive non-combatant causalities which could mount up to hundreds of thousands in number.
Due to the fear of excessive collateral damage, the United States and other countries have warned Syria to refrain from clean out belligerence and offer the civilian population an escape before the critical offensive. Turkey has shown severe unease as it fears a flood of Syrian refugees coming its way as the result of the latest assault and has urged the Syrian government to work out things with minimum causalities. It may include giving the rebels safe passage as it was done when ISIS fighters were surrounded in Raqaa.
President Bashar Al-Assad, being the only Middle Eastern leader to save his government from vicious western conspiracy and after years of bloody civil war, is in no mode to give or decentralize northern Syria as Kurds aim.
While the Russian and Syrian onslaught backed by Iran is carried out on the northwestern part of Syria, it is the major cause of concern of Syrian Kurds residing in the north of the country; reason being their demand of autonomy from the central government of Syria after they managed to push ISIS away with the help of the United States of America.
President Assad plans to take the effective control of the entire country which includes Kurdish held region. As soon as he is done with Idlib, next stop is going to be northern Syria. The only leverage Kurds have is the time till the government forces are able to put the final nail in the coffin of the Syrian rebellion. Kurds are faced with a choice; going to war with the government forces or negotiating for a midway.
Read more: What next in Syria’s Idlib?
The Syrian Democratic Forces, SDF, constituted by predominantly Kurds and joined by fighters from across the world who despised ISIS, fought valiantly aided by U.S bombing managed to defeat ISIS. While SDF fighters captured the IS group’s de facto capital of Raqqa in October 2017 with support from the US-led coalition, Washington has since been inconsistent about its support for Syria’s Kurds.
Meanwhile, a military intervention in Syria by Turkey, which views the Kurdish gains across its southern border with deep unease, led to the capture by Turkish forces of the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northwestern Syria. President Bashar Al-Assad, being the only Middle Eastern leader to save his government from vicious western conspiracy and after years of bloody civil war, is in no mode to give or decentralize northern Syria as Kurds aim.
It has tried putting sanction, funding armed groups against the government and even firing cruise missiles at government facilities but everything has ultimately been unsuccessful in stopping Bashar Al Assad.
The battle of Idlib is going to last for a considerable duration which gives some time for the Kurds to mull over the available options but it has been seen from their confrontation with the Turkish military that they do not stand a chance in front of a conventional army. As far as the international support for both the sides is concerned, an offensive against the Kurds will be backed by Russia and Turkey.
On the other hand, Kurds had the aerial reconnaissance and bombing support from the United States of America as long as they had to keep ISIS in check, but now the U.S seems reluctant to throw the full-fledged support behind their ally from the past. Even if the U.S did chose at its discretion to help out the Kurds, the options are quite limited. It has tried putting sanction, funding armed groups against the government and even firing cruise missiles at government facilities but everything has ultimately been unsuccessful in stopping Bashar Al Assad.
Read more: What happens if Syrian troops attack Idlib?
Kurds have undeniably been the heroes of the war against the ISIS which was a threat for everyone alike. But times are changing and so should be the strategy. Kurds do not stand a chance to win against the government forces in Syria which ultimately leads them to the negotiation table to get themselves as much control as possible without an armed standoff.