As U.S. forces withdrew from the north-eastern Syrian city of Manbij on Tuesday - a week after President Donald Trump announced that he was pulling American forces out of the war-torn country - Syrian army units loyal to President Bashar Assad moved in. It was the first time in seven years that Syria’s government had been in Manbij, which was first seized by anti-government rebels in 2012, then Islamic State in 2014 and then, in 2016, liberated by the U.S.-backed Syrian Defence Forces (SDF) after two years of bloody jihadist rule. Abandoned by their American allies, Syria’s Kurds say they had little choice but to turn to Damascus in the face of the Turkish invasion of northern Syria. “The fight is really unequal. Turkey has planes. It is capable of doing air strikes, and the military here doesn’t have this capability. So it makes sense, they had to make an ally,” says Robin Fleming, researcher at the Rojava Information Centre, who is based in Qamishli, 300 … [Read more...] about ‘Damascus is looking stronger than ever’: What next for Syria as Kurds join forces with Assad?
Email By Steven Viney Updated October 10, 2019 09:09:55 Photo: Supporters wave Kurdish flags as they celebrate outside the pro-Kurdish HDP headquarters in Turkey. (Reuters: Osman Orsal) Related Story: Has the Kurdish moment arrived? Related Story: Destruction and conflict as Turkey cracks down on Kurds Map: Kurdistan Since Islamic State (IS) militants swept through Iraq and Syria in 2014, calling into question what have become increasingly meaningless borders, one group has circumstantially found itself on the frontlines of the ongoing war: the Kurds.But the Kurdish involvement in the battles can be difficult to understand because the poorly-understood Kurds have their own historic troubles with neighbouring countries in the region, as well as multiple internal rifts and factions.Here, we break down the current Kurdish crisis into six simple questions:Who are the Kurds?The Kurds are the largest 'ethnic minority' in the world without a country of their own, with a … [Read more...] about Kurds explainer: Six questions about the Kurdish struggle you always wanted to ask
The Turkish-backed militia fighters have been preparing for the ground invasion of northern Syria for days and now it has happened.It is the furthest east they have gone so far; through a breach in the Turkish border wall they flooded through to attack and take the key border town of Ras al Ain.They are backed up by armoured vehicles, artillery and air support. Turkey offensive: Battle rages for key Syrian border town of Ras al Ain The capture of Ras al Ain would be Ankara's most significant military gain since launching its military offensive four days ago Anyone left to fight them didn't stand a chance.We were driving to Ras al Ain when our phones started ringing and we pulled to the side of the road. Advertisement Our Kurdish drivers and producers were all on their phones.The message from all their sources was clear: the road ahead, the turning we were about to take, had fallen and there was nothing to do but turn back. More from World Inside Syrian jail: … [Read more...] about The Kurds are trapped – a humanitarian disaster is now inevitable
ERBIL (Sputnik) — Simakov noted that Russia and Iraqi Kurdistan laid out plans for several joint projects two years ago, during a Russian delegation's visit to the region. Moscow is now hoping to resume these plans, put on hold due to Daesh advance, following the St. Petersburg forum. “The Kurdish autonomous region’s delegation to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum will be headed by Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani. Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, as well as the planning minister will be part of the delegation as well," Simakov said. Russia has "great hopes for this delegation's visit, because there are major opportunities for economic cooperation between Russia, Russian regions and Iraqi Kurdistan," according to the diplomat. "[Russia] could make a significant contribution to the development of the processing industry of Iraqi Kurdistan," … [Read more...] about Russia Expects Joint Projects With Iraqi Kurds After Saint Petersburg Forum
Turkey, a NATO member, has allegedly used munitions containing white phosphorus against civilians in northern Syria.Multiple sources have reported that the munitions are believed to have been dropped in the border town of Ras al-Ayn, after images and video surfaced of civilians, including children, suffering gruesome burns associated with the chemical.Anthony Loyd, a journalist for The Times of London, was present at a Syrian-Kurdish hospital in Tal Tamir where a 13-year-old boy was brought in with associated injuries."The burns on the screaming child brought into the Syrian-Kurdish hospital at Tal Tamir were enough to reduce even hardened medical staff to silence yesterday," he wrote."Yet the terrible wounds that had all but flayed the 13-year-old Mohammed Hamid Mohammed's skin from his torso, penetrating deep into his flesh, suggested his injuries were caused by something far worse than blast alone."They added to the growing body of evidence that suggests Turkey, a NATO member, is … [Read more...] about Turkey Accused of War Crimes After Suspected White Phosphorus Use Against Kurds in Syria