Yesterday, we wrote about the ongoing cluster**** in Syria, where the withdrawal of American troops and the total betrayal and abandonment of our Kurdish allies in the northeast part of the country created a vacuum that was immediately filled by Turks invading from the north and Assad’s Syrian army moving in from the south. The new development, reported Tuesday by the Times should come as no surprise: the Russian army has entered the scene.
The Americans had until Monday maintained two military bases in the area, and Russia’s announcement signaled that Moscow, the Syrian government’s most important ally, was moving to fill a security void left by the withdrawal of both the American military and its partners in their effort to destroy the Islamic State and its Syrian base.
Videos circulating on social media appeared to show a Russian-speaking man filming himself walking around a recently evacuated United States military base in northern Syria, punctuating the message that the Russians were now in charge.
Here’s that video:
— CNW (@ConflictsW) October 15, 2019
The Russians claim they are “coordinating” with Turkish forces, but clearly this is a volatile situation in which hostilities could erupt at any given moment. If not for the Russians, it would only be a matter of time before Erdogan’s Turkish forces engaged Assad’s army, and now Russia has installed itself as something of a peacekeeper.
Meanwhile, because they were forced to turn to Russia and Syria for protection, the Kurds have essentially lost their autonomy:
The last-minute alliance comes at great cost to the Kurdish authorities, who are effectively giving up self-rule.
That’s what you get for helping America root out ISIS, apparently—at least when Donald Trump is president.