December 14, 2017

With ISIS in tatters, Syria Kurds fear US to abandon them

Featuring Nicholas Heras

Source: Agence France-Presse

Journalist Delil Souleiman

Syria's Kurds fear the steadfast ally they found in the US to successfully take on Islamic State group jihadists may now leave them to face threats from Turkey and Damascus alone.

Across Syria's north, Kurdish authorities have spent more than four years steadily building public institutions including elected councils, security forces, even schools.

They felt they had found an international sponsor in the United States, which relied primarily on the fighters of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) to roll back ISIS in northern and eastern Syria.

But with ISIS holding just five percent of Syria, Kurds worry the US could withdraw support, costing them the key political and territorial gains they scored in the chaos of war.

"We are afraid of America, which has been using us as a card to play for a long time," said Rafea Ismail, a 37-year-old who sells women's accessories on the hood of his car in the city of Qamishli.

"When they're done using us, they'll forget us," he said.
Read the full article here.

  • Nicholas Heras

    Fellow, Middle East Security Program

    Nicholas A. Heras is a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), working in the Middle East Security Program. He is also a Senior Analyst at the Jamestown Found...