October 2, 2013
No Friends But the Kurds (Aliza Marcus | October 2, 2013, National Interest)
Posted by Orrin Judd at October 2, 2013 4:46 PM[A]s President Barack Obama seeks to strip Syria of its chemical weapons, it's time for Washington to build ties to those inside Syria who are committed to the same anti-Assad and anti-jihadist goals: the Kurds.Many Kurds in Syria, for decades oppressed and marginalized by the regime, oppose both Assad and the jihadists. They have championed reshaping Syria into a democratic state that can protect their rights. They have expanded their hold over the traditionally Kurdish region of north and northeast Syria bordering Turkey and Iraq. In the process, the Kurds have built up fledgling and secular local governing institutions.Just as importantly, the Kurds are actively fighting Al Qaeda-linked militants from Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. In late August, following months of intermittent clashes, Kurdish fighters from the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the largest and most powerful of the dozen or so Kurdish political groups inside Syria, launched a counter attack against the jihadists. The Kurds killed tens of jihadists of Jabhat al-Nusra, Al Qaeda's Syrian arm. Clashes with armed Islamist groups continue.