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Rudaw

Analysis

Roj Peshmerga could help secure northern Syria safe zone: analyst

By ROJ ELI ZALLA 18/1/2019
David Pollock, Bernstein Fellow at The Washington Institute, gestures while making a point on The Washington Perspective. Photo: Rudaw
David Pollock, Bernstein Fellow at The Washington Institute, gestures while making a point on The Washington Perspective. Photo: Rudaw
WASHINGTON, DC – Neither Turkey nor the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) really wants a fight in northern Syria so there is some flexibility to make a deal that would be amenable to all parties, said an analyst. 

The SDF is not a small force, it is a well-trained and equipped army that would be fighting on home turf, including urban centres with large Kurdish populations. If Turkey, with its NATO might, were to follow through on its threats and launch an offensive east of the Euphrates, “This would be a bloody fight,” said David Pollock, Bernstein Fellow at The Washington Institute, on The Washington Perspective on Friday. 

One “promising” idea, he posited, would be deployment of the Roj Peshmerga – a Syrian Kurdish force formed and trained by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in the Kurdistan Region. 

“It certainly would be easier for Turkey to accept the Roj [Peshmerga] under KDP or KRG patronage than to accept the YPG controlling that area,” said Pollock. 

The YPG are the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) that lead the SDF. While the YPG have resisted allowing the Roj Peshmerga to be deployed in their territory, Pollock argued they could be more open to the accepting it “as part of a deal that would keep Turkey away.”

The KDP – especially its leader Masoud Barzani – has been vocal in defending Syrian Kurds as they face threats from Turkey. He has raised his concerns during diplomatic meetings, including with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. 

There is precedent for coordination among Syrian Kurds, Iraqi Kurds, and Turkey. It happened when Ankara let Peshmerga from the Kurdistan Region transit through Turkey to bolster YPG forces in routing ISIS from Kobane. 

French and British troops already on the ground in northern Syria could also play a role in securing a safe zone, perhaps with a token United Nations presence as well. 

“All of these things are possibilities,” said Pollock. “I think that the United States is very flexible on these sorts of details… and mostly interested in whatever works. We don’t have a political agenda. But I think Turkey is going to be a more difficult partner in trying to make this work.”

 

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May God save the Kurds | 18/1/2019
Analysts, considering predictable facts, say what they believe, but there remain so many unpredictable facts and hidden and conflicting intentions that make every analysis, however serious, obsolete. In such circumstances let's pray that God save the Kurds at this critical stage.
ChillWave | 19/1/2019
Of course it will be a thousands times better if another Kurdish force controlled that border region, than Turks, or their jihadi proxies, or Assads thugs. But I doubt very much the cult following "Biji Biji serok" donkey's will agree to it. For them anyone lese other than another Kurdish faction. Miscalculation after miscalculation with catestrophic results and their fan boys STILL defend them! look at the state of Kurds in Bakur, in Afrin, in Shengal etc. now even their graves are being wiped out in Afrin, and may that be the fate of every Kurdish leader or faction that runs to forigners or the enemy.
Yam | 19/1/2019
Turks will never allow that, we all know that they want to change the demographics of Western Kurdistan (Rojava). They openly state that they want to resettling the 3 million Syrian (Arabs and Turkmen) who have fled to Turkey to that border area. That's what they did in Jarables and Afrin, Kurdish is now banned even in Afrin, only Arabic and Turkish education, names and signs are allowed. They have wiped out everything Kurdish in all areas they have occupied and with the same breath Turksih leaders claim that they're aim is not Kurds but "terrorists"
Spanish | 19/1/2019
the world must not allow Turkey to use the safe zone to help ISIS, they are the main supporter of ISIS
The Savoy | 19/1/2019
Washington Post has published an article by Brett McGurk called "Trump said he beat ISIS. Instead, he's giving it new life". In the article McGurk explains what happened when the orange orangutan in the white house made the decision to pull out of Syria, and more importantly the consequences of that decision. I'll link to the article in another comment bellow but doubt that this "kurdish" publication (which we all knew is partially owned by an Erdogan associate) will let it through.

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