Syria: US-Backed Forces Suspend Anti-IS Operations

    Photo: AFP [via The National News]

    The Facts

    • The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced on Friday that it would suspend “all coordination and joint counterterrorism operations” with the US-led coalition battling remnants of the Islamic State (IS), as well as “all the joint special operations we were carrying out regularly.”

    • The SDF stated that the reason for the decision was Turkey's alleged increased attacks on SDF-controlled territory in northern Syria following the bombing of a popular tourist street in Istanbul last month.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Though Turkey says it's fighting terrorism, in reality, it's just attacking the Kurdish people. Turkey has always sided with groups like IS when it served its interests, and another ground invasion would be a gift to the group as SDF forces would be pulled from other regions in northeast Syria to resist Turkish aggression, thus allowing IS fighters to regroup and launch attacks. The US must pressure its so-called ally into not attacking northern Syria.

    Narrative B

    Turkey can't allow rampant terror on its border with Syria. Though the SDF pretends to be some sort of bulwark against IS, Turkey has consistently proven a reliable partner against the group. The Turkish army has killed over 4k IS terrorists, and its local Syrian allies, the Syrian National Army, are more than capable of handling security in northern Syria. Turkey must respond to Kurdish terrorism.

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