The United States has used the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), largely made up of Kurdish militias, to advance its interests in Syria which entails taking several zones across the country under Washington’s control, political analyst and expert on Middle East Selim Sezer told Sputnik Turkey.
“The United States intends to create several security zones across the country. These areas would be beyond the control of the central government. For instance, the province of Daraa located on the border with Jordan is part of this plan. The province of Idlib located close to Turkey is also under discussion. In addition, attempts have been made to take control over northern Syria populated largely by the Kurds, as well as territories stretching to Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor,” he said.
Sezer added that the Syrian Democratic Forces, Washington’s primary ally on the ground in the war-torn country, are part of a “multi-stage game of chess.”
“We can say that the SDF is currently the key player. This force is the means that the United States uses to carry out its plans in Syria,” the analyst noted, adding that ambitions of both Washington and the Kurds have evolved in the years since the war broke out in the Arab country in early 2011.
The Kurds initially focused on protecting areas with a predominantly Kurdish population from Daesh and other terrorist groups. They have since decided to “expand their influence in the region,” he said.
“It should also be noted that the changing balance of power in Syria forced Washington to readjust its policy toward the country. The US initially wanted to change the regime in Syria, using all available means to achieve this goal. However, once it became apparent that Washington could not do this, it turned to plan B,” the analyst said.
Sezer insisted that anyone genuinely intent on tackling extremist groups in Syria has to coordinate counterterrorism efforts with Damascus.
“However, the SDF has worked together with the United States instead of looking for a common solution with the Syrian government,” he said. “Those who think that destroying Daesh is a critical priority have to devise an approach that would see all stakeholders discuss Syria’s political future both at the time of an anti-Daesh operation and beyond. The SDF has blatantly refused to do this, which points to a difference in priorities.”