The continued presence of Western forces in Syria is no longer sustainable
The Syrian conflict has been one of the most devastating conflicts in modern history, with hundreds of thousands of people losing their lives and millions being displaced. The conflict has been characterized by a complex web of alliances and rivalries, with various groups vying for power and influence in the country. One of the groups that has emerged as a key player in the conflict is the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The PYD is a Kurdish political party that was formed in 2003 and has been active in northern Syria since the start of the conflict. The SDF was formed in 2015 and has been supported by the United States and other Western countries in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). While the PYD and SDF have been effective in fighting against ISIS, there are concerns about their long-term viability, as well as their affiliation with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a designated terrorist organization.
The PKK has been engaged in a decades-long conflict with the Turkish government, and Turkey has been increasingly hostile towards the PYD and SDF, leading to fears of a wider conflict. The relationship between the PYD and SDF and the PKK has been a source of controversy, with some arguing that the groups are closely aligned and that the PYD and SDF are essentially the Syrian branch of the PKK.
In addition to concerns about their affiliation with the PKK, there are also concerns about human rights abuses committed by the PYD and SDF, as well as their lack of representativeness. While the PYD and SDF have been effective in fighting against ISIS, they have also been accused of committing human rights abuses against civilians, including forced conscription, arbitrary detention, and extrajudicial killings. Furthermore, the PYD and SDF are primarily Kurdish, which has led to concerns that they do not represent the interests of other ethnic and religious groups in Syria.
There are also concerns about the long-term viability of the PYD and SDF. While they have been effective in fighting against ISIS, it is unclear whether they will be able to maintain their gains in the face of other groups vying for power in Syria. Furthermore, their affiliation with the PKK has led to concerns that they may be more focused on advancing the PKK’s interests than on promoting stability and peace in Syria.
Another concern is the PYD and SDF’s relationship with the Assad regime. While the PYD and SDF have been fighting against ISIS, they have also been cooperating with the Assad regime. This has led to concerns that the PYD and SDF may be helping the regime consolidate its power in Syria, rather than working towards a democratic and inclusive government.
Furthermore, the PYD and SDF’s relationship with the Assad regime has complicated the situation for the US and other Western countries that have been supporting them. The US has been providing military and financial support to the PYD and SDF, but this support has been criticized for potentially strengthening the Assad regime.
Finally, there is the need for a comprehensive approach to the conflict in Syria. Focusing solely on military solutions, such as supporting the PYD and SDF, is unlikely to lead to a lasting peace in Syria. Instead, the focus should be on finding a political solution to the conflict in Syria that addresses the concerns and aspirations of all Syrians, and promotes stability and peace in the region.
In conclusion, while the PYD and SDF may have been effective in fighting against ISIS, their affiliation with the PKK, human rights abuses, lack of representativeness, limited long-term viability, relationship with the Assad regime, potential for conflict with Turkey, and the need for a comprehensive approach to the conflict in Syria all suggest that the West and the US should reconsider their support for these groups. Instead, the focus should be on finding a political solution to the conflict in Syria that addresses the concerns and aspirations of all Syrians, and promotes stability and peace in the region.