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Kurdish leaders mull cooperation with Damascus & Moscow as US pulls troops from northern Syria

Kurdish leaders mull cooperation with Damascus & Moscow as US pulls troops from northern Syria
Fears that the US will do nothing to stop a Turkish military incursion into northern Syria could prompt Kurdish militias to negotiate with Damascus and Moscow, Kurdish leaders have signaled.

If US troops leave northern Syria, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) will be “forced to study all the available options,” Badran Jia Kurd, a Syrian Kurdish official with the SDF, told Reuters on Tuesday. He said that such a scenario could prompt the SDF to “hold talks with Damascus or the Russian side to fill the void or block the Turkish attack.” 

His comment echoes an earlier statement from SDF General Mazloum Kobani Abdi, who said that he is considering a partnership with Damascus and its allies to fight Turkish forces crossing into northern Syria.

US President Donald Trump said on Monday that he would be withdrawing forces from the region – a move that comes as Turkey gears up for its anti-Kurdish operation. However, reports that the US has abandoned its Kurdish allies – considered terrorists by Ankara – may be overstated.

The US has merely pulled “a very small number” of troops from northern Syria near the border of Turkey, a senior State Department official told AFP following Trump’s announcement.

Turkey says it wants to establish a “safety zone” along the border between the two countries, arguing that the military operation will allow Syrian refugees to safely return home.

Also on rt.com Pullout or ‘short-distance move’? Reports claim US troops hardly ‘left’ Syria & airspace still ‘under control’

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