US not able to save Kurdish militants
Turkey's army and Free Syrian Army continue the military operation, launched on January 20 in northern Syria, code-named Olive Branch, aimed against against Kurdish YPG and SDF fighters. President Erdogan, going against the will of his Western partners and NATO allies one more time - primarily the United States - not only talks about pushing Syrian Kurds out of the Afrin region, but also threatens to expand the operation to the east - to Manbij and further to the border with Iraq.
Western countries accuse Ankara of undermining stability in this Syrian region, saying that Turkish actions interfere with international attempts to defeat ISIS. In this regard, Germany even put on hold the decision on upgrading German-made Leopard tanks in Turkey. Although it is already clear that ISIS does not pose any serious threat to Syria at the moment: in last December the Russian General Staff announced the final defeat of the once powerful terrorist group, which is trying to shift to the tactics of guerrilla warfare. According to the US-led international coalition, ISIS has lost 95% of its territory in Syria and Iraq.
Nobody had any doubts that ISIS has absolutely no chance of opposing Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, the Syrian army and the international coalition at the same time. It was initially clear that the main intrigue will develop around Syria's division during the post-ISIS era.
The US military bet on the Syrian Kurds, represented by the YPG and the SDF, which maintain close ties with the PKK, is dictated by the desire of the Americans to gain a firm foothold in Syria. It is obvious that the US delivery of portable anti-aircraft missile systems to the Syrian Kurds, which became known to the media, was directed not against ISIS, but to protect them from the parties that possess military aircraft - the Syrian government, Russia and Turkey.
The US actions, in terms of their geopolitical interests, are quite logical. The CIA's program for training the moderate Syrian opposition was curtailed last summer, because it turned out to be extremely expensive and at the same time completely ineffective. Kurdish militants are well organized and combat-ready, they have a clear goal of creating their own state, for the sake of which they are ready to enter into an alliance with anyone.
If the US succeeds in implementing the Rojava project, then they will receive a powerful lever of pressure on Erdogan's disobedient Turkey, actually taking control of the entire Syrian-Turkish border, as well as will be in close proximity to Russian bases. It is quite obvious that these plans caused sharp opposition of other actors in the Syrian conflict. And not just Turkey, which is afraid of inciting the fire of Kurdish separatism in its own territories, but also Russia and Iran, which do not want watching the US creates a basis for a long-term presence in Syria.
As a result, Ankara, Moscow and Tehran came to a temporary agreement on the Turkish military operation in Syria. Another question is how long this tactical alliance would last, and what "red lines" were outlined for Ankara by Moscow and Tehran. Although Russia and Iran do not want strengthening of the US positions in Syria, but the creation of a full-fledged Turkish protectorate in the north of the country is also not profitable for them - which the Turkish leadership will undoubtedly strive for.
President Erdogan's statement that Turkey wants to return the region captured by Kurdish groups to "its true owners" should be considered in this context. Both Russia and Iran would like to achieve the restoration of Bashar Assad's power in the territory of the entire SAR, and if this proves impossible, then the maximum weakening of his opponents. At the same time, Russia and Iran are watching with satisfaction how the two NATO allies, Turkey and the United States, are actually fighting on opposite sides.
YPG/SDF faced with the most difficult situation now, as they overestimated their resourses, and today they are actually left alone with a powerful opponent in the person of Turkey, as the US, judging by the latest statements from the White House, clearly does not intend to sacrifice its relations with Ankara for the sake of the rather risky Kurdish project. In the current situation, the adjustment of the YPG/SDF policy, which have so far carried out the policy of ethnic cleansing in the Syrian territories under their control, has become a matter of time.