A recent pledge by US president Joe Biden that the US would not abandon Kurdish allies in Syria has gone a long way to allay their fears, according to Reuters.
In meetings held in August and September between US officials and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Biden’s pledge was conveyed to the Kurds who have played a pivotal role in the fight against the Islamic State group. They are supported by around 2,000 US troops stationed in Syria.
The US military presence in Syria is also needed to curb Iran’s influence in both Iraq and Syria and address the security concerns many US allies – particularly Israel – in the region feel as a result.
The hasty and badly organized US withdrawal from Afghanistan in August prompted fears among Washington’s other allies about the durability of US friendship. Kurdish troops in northeastern Syria, facing multi-pronged opposition from Islamic State fighters as well as the Assad regime and the prospect of Turkish incursion, have felt particularly vulnerable.
The election of Joe Biden in November 2020 raised the hopes that the US would adopt a steadier approach in its dealings with the Kurds in Syria. And it seems that, on appearances at least, the US is willing to do so.
Reporting by Reuters