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Kurds Strike Deal with Putin and Assad in Syria: 'We Had to Choose Between Compromises and the Genocide of our People’

Published: October 14, 2019
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Source: newsweek

Kurdish-led forces in north-eastern Syria have struck a deal with Russia and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in an effort to repel Turkey's march into the country—as upwards of 750 Islamic State militants (ISIS) escaped from detention centers and more criticism was heaped on U.S. President Donald Trump.

When Trump announced U.S. troops would be withdrawn from Syria's north east last week, seemingly giving the green light for a Turkish invasion, he was accused of betraying the Kurds—a longtime American ally in staving off ISIS in the region—and a number of experts and analysts warning that the move would give the minority group no choice but to negotiate with Russia and Assad.

Now with Turkey's Operation Peace Spring intensifying and its incursion going far deeper into Syrian territory than anticipated, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have done exactly that, stating it had no other choice when faced with possible extermination and after America turned its back.

"We know that we would have to make painful compromises with Moscow and Bashar al-Assad if we go down the road of working with them," Mazloum Abdi, the SDF's commander-in-chief, wrote in an article for Foreign Policy on Sunday. "But if we have to choose between compromises and the genocide of our people, we will surely choose life for our people."

 
The deal—brokered on Sunday between Syria, Russia and the Kurds—hands over the Kurdish-controlled, semi-autonomous border towns of Manbij and Kobani to Damascus, with Syrian state media announcing that Assad's army was moving north "confront Turkish aggression on Syrian territory."

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