Will U.S. Take a Side in War Between Two of America's Allies in Syria?

Will U.S. Take a Side in War Between Two of America's Allies in Syria? by Tom O'Connor – Newsweek

The U.S.'s primary ally in Syria has come under attack from another partner, Turkey, putting the Pentagon in a difficult position as a new front opened violently between two friendly forces.

Turkish forces began an assault Friday on the northern enclave of Afrin, controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces, a U.S.-backed, mostly Kurdish alliance that includes Arabs and ethnic minorities. The operation came amid conflicting messages from the U.S., which initially suggested it was building a 30,000-strong force along the Turkish border, angering Ankara even after Washington backpedaled. Turkey considers Kurdish militias such as the People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorist organizations and has long threatened to defy the U.S. and attack them…

Russia also stood in the middle of the conflict between Turkey and Syrian Kurds. Turkish reports earlier this week suggested that Russian observers vacated Afrin in anticipation of the upcoming offensive, but Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov denied this on Friday, according to Russia's official RIA Novosti outlet.

While Lavrov joined Turkey, Iran and Syria in condemning the alleged U.S. border security plan that initiated the current conflict, Moscow has worked directly with the YPG in their common fight against ISIS, and sought to include Kurdish groups in the Syrian National Dialogue Congress set to be held in Sochi, Russia, in hopes of reconciling warring factions in Syria.

Read on.

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