|Kurdish YPG Fighters|
Screwed Over by Dear Leader Obama
- Obama has starved the Kurds of modern weapons while allowing U.S. jets flown by the Turks to bomb them. So it is no surprise that the Kurds are turning to Russia for support.
(US News & World Report) - America’s most effective ally on the ground in Syria is defecting to its chief adversary in the war against the Islamic State group, risking the very foundation of the U.S.-led effort to defeat the extremist network.
At least some elements of the Kurdish YPG, the militant arm of the main Kurdish political body in Syria, are now operating with the Russian military in support of the regime of Bashar Assad and his Iranian backers.
Sen. John McCain, the powerful chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, says the Obama administration has mishandled the critical relationship with the YPG and now is paying the price.
“I’m confident it’s not all the Kurds, but there is a segment that has aligned with the Russians because they want to win, and they see the Russians succeeding where we have failed,” McCain told a group of reporters last week. “Now we are faced with a dilemma … because they think that’s the best way of winning.”
The Arizona Republican is one of a series of coalition officials, analysts or observers who believe America’s self-imposed restrictions for the bloody conflict in Syria have forced the Kurdish fighters on the ground to look for other sources of international support to achieve their goals.
Losing the Kurds would hurt whatever hopes the U.S.-led coalition has of finding victory on the ground in Syria. Fighting units like the YPG have been among the most successful in a war to which Obama has refused to deploy large ground forces. Amid the failed U.S. effort to build an army in Syria of its own, the Kurds are now among the only groups left capable of making such gains.
Recent combat maneuvers indicate they’re at least coordinating with forces loyal to the Assad regime, trained and supported by Russian special operators and protected by Russian airpower overhead. (Some reports even indicate Syrian opposition fighters have heard Kurdish radio chatter calling in Russian airstrikes directly – but those are unconfirmed and would align with previous false claims the opposition has made.)
For example, when the YPG liberated the Syrian town of Tell Rifaat in mid-February – less than 20 miles north of the opposition stronghold of Aleppo and roughly halfway from Aleppo to the Turkish border – regime forces simultaneously moved on the two villages of Ahras and Misqan to the south of the town, supported by Russian airstrikes.