Future of Kurds remains uncertain in northeast Syria - Arab Weekly

Syrian Kurds are striving for survival as they are threatened by Turkey, the Syrian government and Russia meanwhile they are holding talks with the Syrian government for the recognition of their collective rights, Syrian historian Sami Moubayed on Sunday said in an article for the Arab Weekly.

"Trapped between all three armies are the Kurds, who signed an agreement with the Syrian government on October 13 seeking protection from the Turkish onslaught. Gone were their dreams of autonomy and their 5-year tenure as rulers of north-eastern Syria," Moubayed said.

Turkey launched a military incursion in northeast Syria targetting Syrian Kurdish forces that Ankara sees as a national security threat, following U.S. President Donald Trump's Oct. 6 decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northeast Syria.

Turkey's operation prioritised a safe zone to be established along the Turkish border, cleared off the Kurdish militias.

Kurds turned to the Syrian government to stave off the Turkish offensive after Trump walked out on them. The Syrian Democratic Forces and Bashar al Assad agreed on a deal that allowed Syrian government forces to be deployed in Kurdish-controlled regions along the border area against Turkey's incursion.

“The deal between the SDF and Assad is a military one, not political and there remain huge differences between the two sides,” Moubayed quoted Deutsche Welle journalist Chase Winter as saying.

The Syrian Government and Russia seek Syrian Kurdish forces to dissolve themselves completely and join the Syrian army, according to Moubayed. 

Syrian Kurds are not properly represented in the committee working on a new constitution, with only one seat on the drafting committee.

"With those issues hanging, the materialisation of the Syrian-Kurdish deal will probably take much longer than what most people predicted," the Syrian historian said, adding that the process is also vulnerable since it is imperilled to several external impacts in a country that is still open to another series of violence.