Mar 18, 2020


Who are the Kurds and where are they?

Kurds are an ethnic group native to Western Asia which includes southeastern Turkey, northwestern Iran, northern Iraq, and north-eastern Syria.

The reason for Kurds to be in news is their actions in Syria.

Where is Rojava and why is it important?

Kurds in Syria are the largest ethnic minority in Syria.

The northeastern Kurdish inhabited region seek political autonomy similar to Iraqi Kurdistan in Iraq. Kurds have established a self-governing region known as the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria and commonly termed as "Rojava".

Rojava contains most of Syria’s oilfields, its highest dams and its bread basket. Trade routes as old as the Silk Road run through the territory. Such valuable land is a boon to Rojava’s Kurdish-led administration. But it also attracts enemies. 

What does US want in Syria?

1. Countering Iranian influence,

2. Preventing a return of ISIS,

3. Isolating the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and

4. Protecting the Kurdish people of northeastern Syria because of its strategic and oil interests

Has it defeated IS?

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is a 60,000-strong Syrian militia that has been Washington’s primary partner in the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS). IS has been crushed in Syria. US also partnered with the Kurds in Syria to defeat Islamic State. US wants to leave Syria.

How will US leaving Syria impact the Rojava?

The United States’ departure will leave its Kurdish partners in Syria high and dry. Turkey faces territorial threats from Kurds. It attacks Kurds in Rojava. US shielded the Kurdish People’s Protection Units – or YPG, the SDF coalition’s largest member – from an assault by Turkey, which considers the group a terrorist organization. Without a U.S. presence on the ground, Turkey will have free rein to move into the Kurdish-held portions of northern and northeastern Syria.
How is US balancing between Turkey, a NATO ally and Kurds?

Turkey consider the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces a "terrorist" organisation and want to protect their border with a buffer zone. But US troops are there.US warned against any Turkish incursion against its Kurdish ally in the battle against ISIL. There is no solution to this conflict yet.