Dec 12 2017

Syria’s Assad gained from U.S. support for Kurds in Syria - analyst

Syrian President Bashar Assad, Russia and Iran gained most from U.S. support for Syrian Kurdish forces in Syria, analyst Kyle Orton wrote for the neo-conservative Henry Jackson Society think-tank.

“The PYD (majority-Kurdish Democratic Union Party) has consistently extended public political support to Assad at crucial moments when it served no Kurdish interest, nor even a narrow PYD interest,” Orton wrote.

Plus, he said, Assad had reciprocated this support.

For the full length of this war Assad has financially underwritten the Rojava statelet, paying civil servants, teachers, local government administrators, and all other public sector employees. There was no blitz of PYD-held areas, as happened in rebel-controlled zones. Just as when IS (Islamic State) built its caliphate in the east, the regime avoided bombing, evidently Assad finds the PYD project to be in his interest.

Despite benefitting from U.S. support in its fight against the Islamic State (ISIS), the PYD was stockpiling weapons for use by its sister organisation, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), in its conflict with Turkey, Orton said.

“The Turks followed the revelation about coalition troop numbers with a leak about the weapons bases the PYD had in Rojava, and the fact that much of the ammunition was unused, and therefore available for transnational terrorism by the PKK,” he wrote. “The signs of this inevitable outcome are already appearing, with the Norwegian PYD/YPG foreign fighter, Karl Hakon Guldbransen, openly joining the PKK, and another PYD operative, Zozan Temir (Zozan Cudi), being killed inside Turkey in the ranks of the PKK.”

The PYD, Orton said, would be dependent on the goodwill of Assad to keep its Rojava statelet intact, and therefore was open to blackmail from Assad and his allies, Iran and Russia.