04:51 GMT +319 August 2019
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    Jarablus

    US Poised to 'Divide Northern Syria Into Several Zones of Influence'

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    Washington has supported the Turkish military operation in Jarablus, northern Syria. After Kurdish YPG forces leaves Manbij, the US could try to divide northern Syrian into several zones controlled by different players, a political analyst said.

    On August 25, United States State Secretary John Kerry told his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu that Syrian Kurdish forces retreated to the east from the Euphrates in Syria.

    Earlier, after Turkey launched the Euphrates Shield operation in Jarablus, US Vice President Joe Biden during his visit to Ankara demanded from Syrian Kurdish forces to withdraw to the east from the Euphrates if they wanted to receive support from Washington.

    Representatives of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) said that their mission in Manbij was completed and announced their withdrawal from the city.

    According to Al Masdar News, currently Washington does not want the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to advance to the west. The US pressured the group and the YPG had to retreat to the eastern bank of the Euphrates.

    In turn, Kurdish media confirmed that units of the Kurdish Democratic Union party, the main force of the SDF, started to retreat.

    Many international experts noted that the Turkish operation in Jarablus is aimed first of all against Kurds. They also suggested that the operation was agreed with the major players in the region, including Russia, Iran and the Syrian government.

    At the same time, Washington’s stance in the current situation remains unclear, especially in light of the demands for Kurds to retreat, an article on the Russian analytical website Svobodnaya Pressa read.

    After the US supported the Turkish operation in Jarablus, some experts said that the move was aimed at preventing increasing tactical cooperation between Ankara and Damascus as well as to supervise the operation in order to prevent large-scale clashes between Turkish and Kurdish forces.

    After Kurds backed by the US liberated Manbij from Daesh it was likely that Kurdish forces would advance on Afrin, via the town of al-Bab, in order to connect Afrin and Kobani, Leonid Isayev, specialist in Arab studies at the Higher School of Economics, told Svobodnaya Pressa.

    "When the Turkish operation started it seemed that Turkish forces and Kurds would compete to capture al-Bab. What is more, both Turkey and Kurdish forces are backed by a US-led international coalition," he said.

    Now, when the YPG leaves Manbij, it is possible that northern Syria will be divided into several zones of influence, he pointed out.

    "The US wants to prevent large-scale clashes between its allies. I think that Washington will further maneuver between Turks and Kurds and try to preserve relations with both. Washington is trying to be a mediator between Turkey and Kurds while Moscow – between Damascus and Ankara," Isayev said.

    Related:

    Kurds Say Something's Fishy About Turkey's Swift Victory in Jarablus
    US Still Backs Kurdish Forces in Syria Despite Demand for Kurds to Relocate
    Turkey 'Could not Have Launched Jarablus Operation Without Russia’s Consent'
    Turkish Army Destroys Kurdish Militia Group Near Syria's Jarablus
    Tags:
    Kurds, military operation, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Jarablus, Syria, Turkey, United States
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