The Enemy of My Enemy: Russia and the Kurds Reshape the Syrian Civil War

February 21, 2016 12:39 PM

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The Enemy of My Enemy: Russia and the Kurds Reshape the Syrian Civil War

Syria's Kurds are on a roll. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a loose coalition consisting primarily of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPK), and an assortment of Sunni Arab, Turkmen, Yazidi and Assyrian ethnic militias are steadily expanding west of the Euphrates River. In the least several weeks the SDF has taken control of the Menagh Air Base and several key villages to the north and west of Aleppo. More importantly, it is closing in on its long sought goal of uniting the Kurdish majority canton of Afrin in the west with the rest of the Kurdish controlled areas of northern Syria.

The village of Tal Rifaat (Arpad), 24 miles north of Aleppo, is now held by the SDF. Tal Rifaat is only 28 miles from the town of Afrin. That town is on the border of the Kurdish controlled canton of the same name. The two villages are less than an hour's distant on Highway 62, which connects them. ...

Also read: Russia Says Talks With U.S. Over Syria Breaking Down

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