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Has Syria's Arab-Kurdish rivalry reached a breaking point?

The establishment of a safe zone on the Turkish-Syrian border is likely to further deepen the divide between the Arabs and Kurds in the area.
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The Syrian Kurds, one of the most effective fighting forces against the Islamic State (IS), established the Euphrates Volcano joint operations room (Burkan al-Furat) with various small Arab factions in September 2014, in spite of distrust between the ethnic groups. Now, the establishment of a new buffer zone in Syria extending from the town of Aazaz to Jarablus might add greater pressure on already tense relations between the Kurdish and Arab factions.

On July 27, US and Turkish officials announced a deal to fight IS by allowing the creation of an IS-free zone in Syria and allowing US planes to use the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. On Aug. 12, US warplanes carried out their first airstrikes on IS targets in Syria after taking off from Turkish soil, in a new phase in the anti-IS campaign.

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