Defense Secretary Mark Esper says the United States will be withdrawing all troops from northeastern Syria and that he expects Syrian Kurds to seek aid from Russia and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Historically, Syrian Kurds have been banned from owning bookstores, printing presses and television stations, however, all of this has changed with the start of the Syrian conflict, which has allowed the Kurds to have more autonomous rule over their villages and cities.
After pausing operations last month o of Turkish shelling the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are resuming the fight against the Islamic State (IS) in eastern Syria.The Syrian Kurds who make up most of the SDF have served as the backbone of the US administration’s military push in Syria since early last year.
Villagers in northeastern Syria seek protection from bombardment. The village of Ashma is nestled in olive groves in the region of Kobani and directly looks out onto the Turkish flags and wire fencing that mark the demarcation the border with Turkey.
A schism has developed between the Kurdish authorities in the Syrian northeast and the Syriac Christians, after the latter shut down over a dozen schools run by the Kurds. The schism reflects broader fissure between those supporting formal state institutions and those defending parallel bodies developed by the Kurds.