After Trump’s Syria Announcement, YPG Looks to Moscow and Damascus

U.S. Marines engaged in anti-IS operations in Syria's Deir Ezzor province, October 2018 (Wikimedia Commons)

by Giorgio Cafiero When a plethora of state and non-state actors were collaborating in the struggle against the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) in Syria during the so-called caliphate’s peak, the dominant Kurdish force—the People’s Protection Units (YPG)—cooperated with both… Continue Reading  

Avoiding a Free-for-all in Syria’s North East

Turkish and Free Syrian Army forces in Afrin, February 2018 (Shutterstock.com)

by International Crisis Group What’s new? President Trump’s surprise decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria followed previous warnings that he justified their presence only as part of the campaign to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS). Trump said the mission… Continue Reading  

Game Over in Rojava?

YPG fighters in Raqqa in 2016

by Walter Posch Donald Trump’s decision to order U.S. troops to leave Syria comes as a surprise. A year ago, experts would have counted the days until the Pentagon quit its unnatural alliance with the Syrian branch of the PKK—a… Continue Reading  

The Danger of Trump’s Hasty Exit from Syria

Donald Trump

by Mitchell Plitnick When Donald Trump announced that he was immediately removing all U.S. troops from Eastern Syria, I was surprised by the reaction. There was near glee in anti-war corridors. The initial response is understandable; the United States should… Continue Reading  

Assad Can’t Put The Syrian-Kurdish Genie Back In The Bottle

YPG fighters in Raqqa in 2016

by Paul Iddon Kurds in Syria are currently negotiating their future with the Syrian regime in Damascus. They want the decentralisation and democratisation of Syria, which will ensure their own continued self-rule. While it’s unlikely they will achieve such an ambitious… Continue Reading