An article in the Russian blog, Russia Behind the Headlines asks the question “Why does Moscow need Syrian Kurdistan?” I think they are asking the wrong question. The Russians initially allied with the Kurds to make sure that the Syrian border with Turkey would be sealed. To end the Syrian war, it is necessary to bar the flow of fighters and goods for ISIS and al Nusra crossing the border. It is necessary to end the flow of oil crossing into Turkey from Syrian wells under ISIS control. There was no problem with being allied both with the Syrian central government (with Assad as President) and with the Kurds, because the Kurds have been allied with the central government throughout the war. They may have wavered for a moment when the U.S. came in and supported them in Kobani, but that is an old story now.
On the Canadian blog, Global Research, there is an article that asserts “The US is offering False Hope to Syria’s Kurds.” As is their usual policy, the US has encouraged the Kurds to ‘become independent’ of Syria. However, given the situation with the Erdogan government persecuting Kurds on the Turkish side of the border, and the ISIS and al Nusra takfiris attacking from west and south, it would be insanity for the Syrian Kurds to relinquish the support of the national government in Syria.
Worse, the United States has not taken a public stand in opposition to Erdogan’s pogrom against the Turkish Kurds. He has been willing to shut down the press and send the military to raze southern cities in Turkey, and even then, the US and EU have not complained. They have not supported the Kurds to participate in the Geneva Talks which will supposedly decide the peace in Syria. Neither did they provide the Kurds in Syria or those far more west-dependent Kurds in Iraq with the same wealth of arms they had supplied to the Free Syrian Army, who have in every case passed those arms on to the Al Qaeda and ISIS fighters who will use them against the Kurds as well as the Syrian government.
So, the US did reach out to the Syrian Kurds first, but the support they gave was circumscribed and, propaganda aside, lacking in substance over the long run. But, no. I don’t think the Syrian Kurds are fooled by the US diplomatic cajoling. The Iraqi Kurds are another story to be investigated at another time. Meanwhile, it isn’t so much that the Russians need the Syrian Kurds as that they are working with any and all Syrian factions who will support the central government with Assad at its head.