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US pullback in Syria may spell trouble for Kurds, analyst says

According to the analyst, the scale of problems is not obvious yet

MOSCOW, October 8. /TASS/. US troop pullback from the zone of Turkey’s operation in northeastern Syria will most probably put the Kurds in a precarious position, the board chairman of the Foundation for the Development and Support of the international discussion club Valdai, Andrei Bystritsky, told TASS in an interview.

He sees several reasons why US President Donald Trump ordered the pullback from this area, in particular, the US intention to distance itself to the maximum extent from conflicts and to focus on the country’s own interests, as well as "prolonged internal political struggle in the US."

US-Turkish relations is another reason, Bystritsky said.

"It goes without saying that the pullback meets Turkey’s interests. One has an impression that it may harm the Kurds," Bystritsky said. "Strictly speaking the Americans for sometime provided an umbrella for their Kurdish allies, who played a tremendous role in the struggle against the Islamic State (terrorist organization outlawed in Russia - TASS). Most probably this [pullback] will spell trouble for the Kurds. But the scale of problems is not obvious yet." In his opinion at this point it is too early to say that Washington has betrayed the Kurds. The further march of events is anyone’s guess.

Bystritsky did not rule out that there may be a "certain arrangement with Turkey" behind the US actions.

"Turkey is carrying out its own maneuver in order to create a buffer zone. In the light of the complex and multi-vectored moves by Turkey one may assume that in this context they have come to terms with the Americans," Bystritsky said.

Instant worsening

Bystritsky sees certain risks the situation in Syria may turn for the worse, because "this is a very volatile, explosive and fragile region."

"A balance is always hard to achieve, but it can be upset in an instant," he added.

The future situation will depend on concrete action to be taken by the Turks, the Americans and the Syrians.

"Naturally, Turkey’s strong wish to use this region as a buffer zone makes the Syrians and also some others feel uneasy," he concluded.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on October 1 said Ankara was going to create its own security zone east of the Euphrates in Syria, because it had failed to achieve the desired result at negotiations with the US. On October 6, Erdogan held a telephone conversation with US President Donald Trump. The White House said afterwards that Washington would not support Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria or participate in it in any way. The US military will stay far away from this area.

On October 7, Erdogan said the United States had begun to withdraw forces from northeastern Syria where Ankara was going to hold an operation to create a security zone.