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  • Author: Soner Cagaptay
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: U.S. concerns center on Turkey’s democratic backslide and deepening ties between Erdogan and Putin—but the Turkish president also wants to develop a rapport with Joe Biden and fortify his country’s weakened economy. In the seventh in a series of TRANSITION 2021 memos examining the Middle East and North Africa, Soner Cagaptay offers guidelines for reinforcing the strained U.S.-Turkey relationship. Principal causes for unease involve U.S. concerns about Turkey’s democratic backslide and deepening ties between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, particularly Ankara’s decision to purchase the S-400 missile defense system from Moscow. Yet Erdogan also wants to develop a rapport with President Biden and fortify his country’s weakened economy. Further, Ankara and Washington can find many areas for tactical cooperation in places such as Syria, Libya, and China’s Xinjiang province, where the government is carrying out a genocide against the Muslim Uyghur population “Erdogan needs to reverse the current dynamic by advancing the narrative that he is getting along just fine with Washington,” the author explains. “Thus, in this early phase of the U.S. administration, Biden would appear to have a brief window of leverage over his Turkish counterpart.” In the coming weeks, TRANSITION 2021 memos by Washington Institute experts will address the broad array of issues facing the Biden-Harris administration in the Middle East. These range from thematic issues, such as the region’s strategic position in the context of Great Power competition and how to most effectively elevate human rights and democracy in Middle East policy, to more discrete topics, from Arab-Israel peace diplomacy to Red Sea security to challenges and opportunities in northwest Africa. Taken as a whole, this series of memos will present a comprehensive approach for advancing U.S. interests in security and peace in this vital but volatile region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Joe Biden
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: Aaron Y. Zelin
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Even as U.S. policymakers must stay focused on the Assad regime’s culpability, they also face a complex web of power dynamics in which Russia, Turkey, Iran, Israel, and other actors are attempting to secure their various interests. After a decade of civil war in Syria, the core antagonist remains the Assad regime, which in 2011 ruthlessly suppressed peaceful protestors and has since tortured and executed tens of thousands of detainees. The regime also bears responsibility for fostering the growth of the Islamic State, in part by releasing Syrian jihadists at the start of the war. Yet even as U.S. policymakers must stay focused on Assad’s culpability, they also face a highly complex web of power dynamics in which Russia, Turkey, Iran, Israel, and other actors are attempting to secure their various interests. In this Policy Note, expert Aaron Zelin details how the world’s counterterrorism and Great Power challenges converge in Syria, and how they must be addressed holistically. To this end, he proposes policies on the diplomatic, humanitarian, legal, economic, and military fronts that can calm the fears of U.S. allies such as Israel, Jordan, and Turkey, and perhaps inspire a more robust opposition, backed by a diverse set of local and diaspora activists.
  • Topic: Counter-terrorism, Syrian War, Strategic Competition, Proxy War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Syria, United States of America
  • Author: Maged Atef
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Turkey is making overtures for rapprochement with Egypt. How will Sisi respond? In a surprising development, Turkey-based media channels opposed to the Egyptian regime announced the suspension of all political programs attacking President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and his regime, based on directives from the Turkish government. Supporters of the Egyptian regime met the news with happiness and approval, counting it as a victory for Sisi. Yet the Egyptian regime itself refrained from showing enthusiasm towards this paradigm shift, contenting itself with a remark by Minister of Information Osama Heikal in which the minister said the move represented a “good gesture from Turkey.” Meanwhile, Egyptian Islamists residing in Turkey were struck by concerns that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan could be contemplating handing them over to Cairo. Looking ahead, despite the importance of Erdogan’s gesture, any response from Sisi is still unclear
  • Topic: Bilateral Relations, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Muslim Brotherhood
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Egypt
  • Author: Can Kasapoglu
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In late 2020, Turkey finally secured a lucrative arms sale package to Tunisia after a long period of negotiations. The $150 million portfolio, which attracted key players of the Turkish defense technological and industrial base, such as Turkish Aerospace Industries (TUSAS) and British Motor Corporation (BMC), will mean more than only defense revenues for Turkey (TRT Haber, December 24, 2020). It will additionally mark Turkish weaponry’s entrance into the Tunisian market against the backdrop of Ankara’s geopolitical quests in North Africa, which has become a geopolitical flashpoint encompassing various forms of militancy, transnational terrorism, and proxy warfare.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Terrorism, Weapons , Drones, Arms Trade, Proxy War
  • Political Geography: Turkey, North Africa, Tunisia, Mediterranean
  • Author: Nienke van Heukelingen
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: This policy brief considers how to move forward with the (financial element of the) EU-Turkey statement agreed in 2016, under which the first tranche of 3 billion euros will end mid-2021. In order not to reverse the progress achieved and to continue the work on improving the resilience of the 4.1 million refugees in Turkey, there is an urgent need for the European Union and Turkey to agree on a new financial framework. One that builds on the current, generally successful framework – the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey (FRiT) – but which would divide the burden between Turkey and the EU more equally. Both blocs would, moreover, do well to look into the possibilities of extending the area of cooperation to Idlib. In that area, which is currently under Turkey’s military control, almost three million internally displaced persons (IDPs) currently lack adequate shelter and essentials, which could potentially lead to various displacement scenarios. Neither of those decisions will be easy and will require serious support from all EU member states, but the fact is Turkey remains essential in pursuing the EU’s core interest: preventing another refugee flow into Europe.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Migration, European Union, Refugees, Borders
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Christopher Houtkamp, Kars de Bruijne
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: This Clingendael policy brief seeks to explain visible manifestations of Turkish politics in European cities. Why does Turkish politics lead to unrest in Rotterdam and Berlin and what institutional mechanisms facilitate this? The brief highlights various drivers, institutional manifestations and historical changes, but also points out that there are a number of uncertainties and questions about the motivations for, and modus operandi of, Turkey’s influence in European societies. These questions are all the more relevant as European policy-makers increasingly seek to take measures in order to curb this. The main argument developed in this brief is that effective policy ‘at home’ (in Europe) will require better knowledge of socio-political developments ‘abroad’ (in Turkey). The first and second parts of this brief, therefore, show how the drivers of Turkish influence on the diaspora have changed over time. The third section highlights how present-day diaspora politics is institutionally anchored in Western Europe. Most of the practical examples in this brief are drawn from the Dutch context, but the dynamics will be familiar to those observing this phenomenon in other Western European countries.
  • Topic: Politics, Diaspora, Institutions
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Erwin van Veen
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: The trigger for the Turkish Operation Spring Shield in northern Idlib in February 2020 was to prevent the Syrian conflict – especially extremists and refugees – spilling over into Turkey as the result of a new regime offensive. A deeper driver of the operation was Ankara’s desire to draw a line against further regime advances that might jeopardise Turkish territorial gains across northern Syria. Millions of Syrian internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the Islamist group Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) were the main – although unintended – beneficiaries of the operation. Tactically, Operation Spring Shield was a success because of a surge in Turkish military resources in northern Idlib, Ankara’s willingness to use them, and the speed with which Turkey acted. Strategically, it helped a great deal that Russia decided to stand aside for a few days. Russian-Turkish diplomacy resumed after battlefield conditions had shifted in Turkey’s favour and Syrian regime forces were stopped in their tracks. In the short term, Operation Spring Shield can be considered as having brought a measure of humanitarian and geopolitical stabilisation by clarifying Turkey’s red lines to Damascus, Tehran and Moscow, and by bringing about a new equilibrium between Russiansupported forces and Turkish forces in Syria. The operation did not negatively affect Turkey’s relationship with its NATO partners, the EU or the US. This was in part because the operation highlighted the limitations of the Astana process – a diplomatic initative in which Turkey, Iran and Russia pursue opposing aims vis-à-vis the Assad regime – from which these actors are excluded. In the medium term, the impact of Operation Spring Shield will depend on the permanence of the Turkish presence, the level of Turkish developmental investment and the evolution, as well as the place, of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in the future governance of northern Idlib.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Refugees, Military Intervention, Regional Power
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Engin Yüksel
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: The strategic objectives of the Turkish military intervention in Libya in 2019–2020 in favour of the Government of National Accord (GNA) were geopolitical (establishing an entry point into Africa in addition to Somalia), geo-economical (related to gas exploration in the Mediterranean) and commercial (facilitating repayment of outstanding business debts and enabling future profits). The deeper drivers of Ankara’s intervention include a mix of more assertive nationalism based on a hegemonic conception of Turkey’s ‘near abroad’, a perceived need to counter the military campaign of the Libyan National Army (LNA)’s to conquer Tripolitania, and Turkey’s exclusion from Mediterranean gas politics. Ankara’s intervention and its institutionalisation proved effective in counterbalancing the LNA and its international backers – chiefly Russia and the UAE, but also France and Egypt – and produced a more stable political situation in the process. While Turkey has achieved its short- to medium-term objectives and is likely to retain a substantial permanent military, commercial and political presence in Libya, it also created tensions with the EU and US as well as antagonizing the LNA’s international backers. In brief, an improvement in Turkey’s geostrategic position might have come at the cost of its regional strategic relations.
  • Topic: Politics, Military Affairs, Geopolitics, Military Intervention, Regional Power
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Libya
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: As long as Turkey pursues its regional ambitions, any understandings with the US and the West will necessarily have a hard ceiling. However, Ankara seems to be pursuing a more conciliatory policy in the region and in its relations with the West for both economic and strategic reasons.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Bilateral Relations, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Rapprochement, Strategic Interests , Joe Biden
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: An imminent crisis between the Biden administration and Ankara is anticipated due to circumstantial differences and structural shifts in the balance of power, but the mutual interests of the two parties may push them to agree on new foundations for a sustainable partnership.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, Partnerships, Alliance, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: Turkey’s endeavor to improve its relations with Israel were evidenced in its recent official contacts with Israel. Most recently, on July 12, 2021, Israeli President Issac Herzog and Turksih President Recep Tayyib Erdogan held a phone call, followed by official contacts between ministers and officials from both countries. The contacts are perceived as a Turkish attempt to overcome years of strained relations between the two countries.
  • Topic: International Relations, Military Affairs, Economy, Strategic Interests
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Israel
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: Ousted Afghan president Ashraf Ghani left Afghanistan on August 15th when the Taliban reached the outskirts of the capital Kabul. At the time, a source close to Taliban stressed that the two sides reached an agreement whereby Ghani should step down and hand over power to a transitional administration. While the United States and the European Union might well consider the use of sanctions as a weapon against the Taliban, if the movement does not live up to its commitment not to target US and European citizens leaving Afghanistan, it should be noted that most of Afghanistan’s neighbors expected the collapse of the Afghan government – although not this fast- and even began to open up to the Taliban. Irreversible US Withdrawal The United States defended its decision to pull out of Afghanistan rebuffing criticism both at home and abroad. It reiterated that kept forces in Afghanistan twice as long as the Soviets. The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said remaining in Afghanistan is “simply not in the national interest.” He added that the US succeeded in the mission of reducing attacks on its soil and interests. The US withdrawal will leave wide repercussions both regionally and internationally.
  • Topic: Military Affairs, Taliban, European Union, Refugees, Humanitarian Crisis, Adaptation, Pragmatism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Iran, South Asia, Turkey, India, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: The US Embassy in Libya recently announced that US Special Envoy and Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland met General Khalifa Haftar, Commander of the Libyan National Army in Cairo between August 11-12 2021, as part of US efforts to support the parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for December. The announcement followed statements in which Noland noted Haftar’s role in unifying the Libyan army. Norland also called on regional and international parties to help in the removal of foreign forces from Libya, much to the anger of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood, who sensed a change in Washington’s attitude towards their organization. This was made even more evident when Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the second son of Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi, spoke to the New York Times in an interview published on July 30. In the interview, Qaddafi asserted that he would run for president in the coming elections. The development indicates Washington’s current attitude towards parties to the conflict in Libya and its potential approval of Gaddafi’s presidential candidacy.
  • Topic: Oil, Islamic State, Conflict, Muslim Brotherhood, Khalifa Haftar
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Libya, North Africa, North America, Tunisia, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: Although the difficulties’ health personnel face, are quite similar to those of workers in other fields, the political dimensions of physicians ’crises in the region have increased remarkably. Medical doctors are kidnapped in some hotbeds of several Arab armed conflicts to provide treatment for some Militia members, in addition to their indirect involvement in military confrontations in Northeastern Syria through Turkey. Moreover, there is a gap between the medical syndicate and the political authorities regarding the actual number of COVID-19 cases, which was quite evident in Turkey. Medical doctors in some states of the region suffer from delayed payment of their salaries as a result of the decline in oil prices as well as the decline in the financial budgets of their countries. This leads to what is known as the ‘brain drain’, in addition to their contracting diseases such as the coronavirus due to their presence on the front lines confronting the epidemic with short medical supplies. The lives of medical doctors in some countries are endangered, as they get exposed to repeated attacks by community members due to the absence of adequate security measures. The crises of medical doctors in the region are by no means a recent phenomenon, but their features evolve according to different regional conditions and the emergence of transnational epidemics. The Middle East reflects a variety of crises that physicians are exposed to, particularly in hotbeds of tension.
  • Topic: Health, Crisis Management, COVID-19, Armed Conflict
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Libya, North Africa, Syria
  • Author: Ben Fishman
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: After the fall of Sirte, Erdogan and Putin’s desired ceasefire can only be achieved with Washington’s support. Over the past week, regional and European actors have increased their diplomatic activity around Libya in response to intensifying violence in the nine-month-old civil war. On January 8, less than a week after the Turkish parliament approved sending forces to support the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian leader Vladimir Putin met in Istanbul and called for a Libya ceasefire to begin on January 12. Whether or not Moscow and Ankara manage to pause the violence temporarily, their growing influence in Libya represents an epic failure of Western attempts to resolve the conflict diplomatically. The longer-term effort to jumpstart Libya’s political transition requires a wider international effort at peace and reconciliation—something Russia and Turkey can support but not lead. Putin and Erdogan seemed to acknowledge that fact at their summit, endorsing a long-planned multilateral conference in Berlin aimed at recommitting all relevant actors to support an end to hostilities and respect the UN Security Council’s mandatory but widely ignored arms embargo. Even assuming Putin is serious and withdraws Russian mercenaries from the frontlines, a full, lasting ceasefire cannot transpire until the other actors who support Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) agree to withdraw their equipment and personnel for a fixed period while negotiations are launched—especially the United Arab Emirates, which provides the LNA with critical air superiority. At the same time, Turkey would have to take commensurate de-escalatory steps of its own. The United States is the only actor that holds enough weight with all the foreign parties to bring about an authentic ceasefire. Despite being consumed with crises in Iran and Iraq, Washington should expend the diplomatic effort required to pursue durable stability in Libya before the country slips further toward endemic chaos.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, United Nations, Conflict, Negotiation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Middle East, Libya, North Africa, United States of America
  • Author: Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: During the war years in Syria, the northwest, specifically Idlib, has become a site of heavy internal displacement. Observers on the ground recognize the green buses traveling to Idlib carrying migrants who have refused reconciliation agreements with the Damascus regime. Since around 2014, a range of jihadist, Islamist, and Salafi actors have wielded control in the area, the most recent being the al-Qaeda offshoot Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which has ruled—ineffectively and brutally—through its so-called Syrian Salvation Government. But the group's reign is unlikely to last long if current trends persist. The regime's recent move against the town of Maarat al-Numan suggests plans for a broader takeover in the northwest, aided by Russian firepower and other allies such as Iran. In this Policy Note filled with local insights, jihadism expert Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi presents the current scene in and around Idlib province, the last Syrian outpost still run by independent rebels. Absent an intervention by Turkey, the Assad regime will likely prevail in a campaign that quashes the insurgency at a high humanitarian cost.
  • Topic: Al Qaeda, Displacement, Military Intervention, Conflict, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Syria, Idlib
  • Author: Ben Fishman, Charles Thépaut
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: If the latest conference is to succeed, the principal actors stoking the civil war must endorse a genuine ceasefire and a return to Libyan internal dialogue. On January 19, international leaders will convene in Berlin to discuss a way out of the nine-month civil war between the so-called “Libyan National Army” led by Gen. Khalifa Haftar and the internationally recognized Government of National Accord led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj. The Germans led several months of preparatory efforts at the request of UN envoy Ghassan Salame, but had been reluctant to choose a specific date until they were assured that the event stood a reasonable chance of producing practical steps to improve the situation on the ground and jumpstart the UN’s stalled negotiation efforts between the LNA and GNA. Chancellor Angela Merkel finally took that step after several key developments unfolded earlier this month, including a January 8 ceasefire proposal by Russian president Vladimir Putin and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Putin’s subsequent failed attempt to have each side sign a more permanent ceasefire agreement in Moscow on January 13 (the GNA signed but Haftar balked, though most of the fighting has paused for the moment). Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been averse to engage on Libya during his tenure, but he is expected to attend the Berlin conference alongside National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien. Accordingly, the event gives the United States a chance to play a much-needed role on several fronts: namely, pressuring the foreign actors who have perpetuated the war and violated the arms embargo; working with Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Russia to codify a ceasefire at the UN Security Council; and backing Salame’s efforts to reinvigorate the Libyan national dialogue, which Haftar preempted by attacking Tripoli last April despite European support to Salame. Since 2011, Libya has struggled to establish a legitimate transitional government despite three national elections and the creation of at least four legislative bodies. Challenges to the 2014 election results eventually led to rival governments in the east and west, and the division solidified when Haftar started the first civil war with support from his allies Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. That war halted in 2015, but several years’ worth of domestic and international efforts failed to bring Sarraj and Haftar to an enduring resolution.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, United Nations, Conflict, Negotiation, Conference
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Middle East, Libya, Germany, North Africa, United Arab Emirates, Berlin, United States of America
  • Author: Fabrice Balanche
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Various displacement scenarios may unfold as the fighting escalates, each carrying a high risk of negative humanitarian and economic consequences even if the parties live up to their promises. The battle for Idlib province, the last stronghold of Syrian rebel forces, is heating up again. As Turkish troops clash with Assad regime forces and displaced civilians continue piling up along the border, various foreign and domestic players are considering moves that could send hundreds of thousands of refugees to other parts of Syria, northern Iraq, or Europe.
  • Topic: Refugees, Displacement, Conflict, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Turkey, Syria, Idlib
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay, Reilly Barry
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Challengers to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are proliferating, with two breakaway parties drawing particular notice. In December 2019, Ahmet Davutoglu, who served under Erdogan as foreign minister and then prime minister, formed Gelecek (Future) in an attempt to resurrect a gentler version of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). And this past March, former finance minister Ali Babacan, credited with masterminding the country’s “economic miracle” in the early Erdogan years, established the Democracy and Progress Party as another right-leaning alternative to the AKP. The remaining aspirants include the Peoples’ Democratic Party, whose capable leader remains imprisoned for allegedly supporting Kurdish militants. This Policy Note, by Soner Cagaptay and Reilly Barry, examines the political identities of Turkey’s opposition parties as compared to the AKP and allied Nationalist Action Party. It does so through an unconventional method: analyzing voter outreach through Twitter, a medium widely used by Turks. The results reveal striking trends in how these parties view Turkey’s republican (and imperial) past, and what these views suggest about the country’s political future.
  • Topic: Government, Domestic politics, AKP
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Sirwan Kajjo
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In October 2019, the U.S. troop withdrawal and subsequent Turkish invasion of northern Syria upended Kurdish plans in the region. But a year later, the major Syrian Kurdish rivals—the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and Kurdish National Council (KNC)—are coming together after a lengthy estrangement. This past June, representatives from the two blocs announced a new understanding to govern Syria’s northeast, in talks mediated by the Syrian Democratic Forces. The negotiations are aimed at creating a representative Kurdish-led leadership that could prevent further Turkish military interventions while also reducing Syrian-regime and Russian influence. But the PYD and KNC’s differing approaches to governance, as well as divergent alliances, pose serious challenges. In situating this timely Policy Note, Sirwan Kajjo offers a revealing history of Kurdish politics in Syria, especially in the post-Arab Spring period. Despite the uncertain outcome of the talks, for which activity resumed in late summer, both sides assert that a positive course can only be ensured by a strong U.S role.
  • Topic: Military Intervention, Syrian War, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Syria, Kurdistan, United States of America