With the battle for Raqqa about to get underway, those countries looking to pickup the scraps after ISIS is dead and buried are numerous, but essentially fall into two categories. The first are Iran, Russia, Allawite Syria, and Turkey. The second group is made up of the emerging Sunni alliance led by Saudi Arabia, Syrian opposition groups, the Kurds, and Israel.
The emerging strong man in the battle for Raqqa is the YPG, which is the American backed Kurdish militia of Northern Syria. Just like the Peshmerga in Iraq, the Kurds in Syria fight with the same determination against ISIS. Yet, with ISIS on the run and the Kurds fully backed by the USA a post caliphate Middle East is already emerging. It is clear as that the Turks have increasing nightmares of a Kurdish state rising on their border from the Mediterranean to Iran. Furthermore, this Kurdish state would be backed by the USA. the irony cannot be mistaken as the plan of the Shiites led by Iran has always been to create a corridor from Tehran to the Mediterranean.
The battle after Rakka will be an attempt to destroy the nascent Kurdistan by Turkish and Shiite forces. The Turks opposed the US arming of the YPG a month ago. One Turkish official said the the decision to arm the YPG was “tantamount to placing dynamite under Turkey-USA relations.”
Israel Must Back Syrian Kurds
With Iran on the march and the US still trying to find its footing in the Middle East, the long standing covert alliance between Iraqi Kurdistan and Israel, must be applied to the YPG and the autonomous Kurdish cantons in Northern Syria. The only force capable of providing stability East of the Levant are the Kurds. They, like the Jews, Druze, and Arameans have been systematically displaced over the 1400 year Jihad led by arabized Muslims who were only indigenous to Saudi Arabia until they pushed out of the Arabian peninsula after Muhammad died.
ISIS was conceived by the Obama administration, Turkey, and the Gulf States to hold back Iranian influence in the region. The problem was that this entity turned on its masters and subsequently invited itself to be destroyed. The Kurds, whom most of the players used and then abused over the years are the only stable option to holding back the rising Shiite influence in the area. The challenge is that Erdogan’s Turkey has decided that Iran is a far better partner than allowing a sovereign Kurdish entity from exposing the myth of Turkish control and historical continuity in the region.
The Trump Administration has clearly opted for the approach that backs a rising Kurdistan despite the threats from Turkey in doing so. The lines are being drawn.
Post Raqqa, the real war will begin. Israel’s backing of a rising Kurdish state can ensure a totally different Middle East.