No Friend but the Mountains

Regardless of what one thinks about President Trump’s planned drawdown in Syria, it undoubtably takes the wind out of the movement for Kurdish autonomy in some kind of devolved Syria. Facing the prospect of Turkish troops and Turkish-backed militants overrunning their positions, the Kurds had no choice but to ask the Syrian government for assistance. The Syrian government will oblige, as they have been asking Kurdish forces to relinquish territory and have threatened force if they refuse to do so.

The Kurdish situation lends insight into how complicated the civil war is and how allegiances can shift quickly. To sum up Kurdish positions during the revolution and subsequent civil war:

1: US-backed, Syrian government-backed, fighting ISIS.

2: US-backed, Syrian government-detente, fighting ISIS AND US-backed rebels.

3: US-backed, fighting ISIS, AND engaging in hostile skirmishes with Syrian government.

4: Syrian government-backed fighting ISIS and (possibly) Turkish forces.

There is a saying that the Kurds have “no friend but the mountains.” Their use and abuse during this civil war may prove that to be true but then again, it hardly seems like any party has a true “friend” in this conflict.