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Monday, 27 June 2022
The American-Russian battle in northeast Syria
zara saleh

Recently, the United States has increased its military and political presence in Syria’s Kurdish-controlled northeast areas. A days after the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s visit to Syria for the first time since 2012. The Russian delegation's visit took place at the time when Moscow has led a dialogue and then signing a political agreement about the future of Syria between the Syrian Democratic Council and the People’s Will Party that led by Moscow's man Qadri Jameel.

Due to a several number of frequent interactions and incidents between American and Russian armored vehicles, the US decided to deploy the Bradley fighting vehicles in Kurdish controlled areas in northeast Euphrates that aiming to "ensure the protection of Coalition forces and continue to defeat ISIS" as the coalition spokesman US Army said that. Added to that, about 100 American troops were part of the deployment to north-east Syria, as the US troop remained to guard and protect the oil fields.

Simultaneously, the American special envoy for Syria James Jeffrey, who is well-known as Erdogan's friend, has visited the Kurdish controlled region in northeast Syria and attend the Kurdish unity negotiation that were hold in American military base near Hasakah.

 Since November 2019, US has sponsored a unity talks between the Kurdish National Council and the Democratic Union Party and its allied Kurdish parties . The both political sides had accepted the American proposal to establish a new political body with participation of other Kurdish parties outside of these two bodies. Whereas, the first step of this Kurdish negotiation has been done in June 2020 and the joint political statement had published. Furthermore, these talks considered as an important political action for US and even the American embassy in Syria described this agreement as “an important first step towards greater political coordination between Syrian Kurdish and political factions.”. However, the Syrian regime and Russia in one side, and the Syrian National Coalition that supported by Turkey had opposed the Kurdish negotiations, and even they considered the Kurdish talks under the US umbrella as attempt to divide the country.

Arguably, the US initiative to sponsor the Kurdish unity talks as well-known as the General Mazloum Abdi initiative, the leader of the Syrian Democratic Forces can be considered as part of  American new strategy in northeast Syria, especially after the US decision last October to withdraw part of its troops from the Kurdish areas. Also, it can be understood as a clear political message to Russia first and rising a red card to not enter the northeast Syria. That has been more obvious after the oil deal between the American oil company Delta Crescent Energy and the Kurdish Democratic Forces.

Nevertheless, the Moscow's last minutes game and attempt, before the US election, to win the Kurdish file in Syria and to pull the Kurdish card of from US. That is why Russia had sponsored in Moscow the signing the agreement between the Kurds and the Moscow's platform led by Qadri Jameel's party. Added to that, Moscow has invited the Peace and Freedom Front to meet with the Foreign Minister Lavrov regarding the Syrian talks. The PFF has been established in northeast Syria that include the Kurds, Arab and Syriac.

Alongside that, the US special envoy J. Jaffrey's last visit in Kurdish areas can be considered as an American-Russian struggle for power in northeast Syria, and it can be understand as a James Jeffrey's attempt to ensure that the Kurdish unity negotiation should be finished before the US election and then to be as another success for President Trump.

Zara Saleh