A few days ago B. Asad paid a landmark visit to Moscow. According to the South Front: Analysis & Intelligence’s information, the agenda of extended Kurdish autonomy in Syria, which Syrian Kurds from the Party of Democratic Union proposed, was discussed and partially agreed during the visit. We use a cautious term “partially agreed” as foreign policy has consistently demonstrated that even concluded treaties are often fragile. The history of relations between the Kurds and Arabs is complex. Even before the civil war, the idea that the next war will be not with Israel but with the Kurds had been promoted to the Syrian cadets in military academies. Such sentiments are common to most of the Arab population of Syria, both to Sunni, Shia and Alawite.
However, today the situation has changed significantly. The government army is actually fighting not against the Kurds, but against a common enemy – Salafi extremists. In this situation, apparently, Damascus decided to make the first step towards the possibility of Kurdish autonomy. Such political decisions will certainly lead to even greater aggravation of relations with Turkey, but it will create a “safety zone” for a large part of the Syrian-Turkish border, through which the main flow of the material and technical support to terrorist groups goes. From the air, the control of the zone will implemented by the Russian Air-Space Forces as per agreement with the government in Damascus and with the Kurds. Receiving from the Syrian Kurds the latest information on the battleground targets will significantly increase the effectiveness of air strikes.
Of course, there is discontent among the Arab population, which supports a unity of Syria, but the “of two evils choose the lesser.” Moreover, it gives Assad the opportunity to solve the issue of Kurdish autonomy within the Syrian state. In addition, the Kurdish autonomy would put the United States before a difficult dilemma. If Washington accepts the very fact of such autonomy, it will jeopardize its relations with Ankara. If not, the chance for the US to count on the Iraqi Kurds fighting on the ground with the common enemy Salafi extremists will be negligible, especially in eyes of the Kurdish people. As for the elite, the trust between the Americans and the Kurdish leadership will be significantly reduced.