In a strange turn of events the Syrian regime has been allowed to move in and out of Shengal with permission of the Syrian Kurdish Militia (YPG). The YPG is being funded and supported by the Trump administration and makes up the majority of the Western backed SDF, which is leading the battle on Raqqa.
Have the Syrian Kurds backstabbed the American coalition? The answer is no.
My sources in Northern Syria give two possible explanations for the seemingly about face of the Syrian Kurdish militias.
The first possibility involves the consolidation of YPG controlled territory West of the Euphrates. Where as East of the Euphrates is now undeniably Kurdish, the Western part is still in dispute. The YPG is making a calculation to build up their holdings using American backing, while regrouping to take the rest.
The second possibility is related to the announcement by the Turkish military has announced a build up of its armed forces in the Kilis triangle right near Shengal. It is clear Erdogan means to use the triangle area to advance against the Kurdish positions in the area in order to crush the YPG West of the Euphrates. Erdogan recently said as much when he stated the following on his official Twitter account:
“I am calling on the whole world. We will never allow setting up of a [Kurdish] state in northern Syria no matter what the cost may be.”
Given this situation the YPG has had to capitulate to allowing Syrian Regime forces and Hezbollah move freely in and out of the Shengal area.
A further complication is the upcoming G-20 Summit where rumor has it that Trump and Putin will meet to find a way to tamp down the proxy war now underway in Syria.