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.
Mar 26 2016
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