With Turkey preparing a new offensive against the reduced Kurdish autonomous zone in northern Syria’s Rojava region, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have announced a halt to military cooperation with the United States. In a Dec. 2 statement, the SDF said that “all coordination and joint counterterrorism operations” with the US-led coalition battling ISIS remnants in Syria have been suspended. The move is evidently intended to place pressure on the US to do more to constrain Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who reportedly now has his sights on the remaining significant strongholds of the autonomous administration, Tal Rifaat, Manbij and Kobane. The US has some 600 troops embedded with the SDF in Syria. (MEE, PBS, PRI, Al Jazeera)
The SDF has made similar declarations in response to Turkish designs on their territory before. The SDF alliance with the US temporarily broke down after the last major Turkish thrust into Rojava in late 2020. Before that, the number US soliders embedded with the SDF stood at some 2,000.
For weeks, Turkey has been intermittently bombing Kurdish-held territory in Syria. Last month, the Kurdish-operated Suwaydiyah gas plant in Qamishli was put out of operation by Turkish air-strikes. (North Press Agency)