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Where do Kurds fit in Syria conflict?

The future of the Syrian Kurds hinges on the policies of US President-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin toward Turkey.
People sit in the back of a truck as they celebrate what they said was the liberation of villages from Islamist rebels near the city of Ras al-Ain in the province of Hasakah, after capturing it from Islamist rebels November 6, 2013. Redur Xelil, spokesman for the armed wing of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), said Kurdish militias had seized the city of Ras al-Ain and all its surrounding villages. Syrian Kurdish fighters have captured more territory from Islamist rebels in northeastern Syria
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As the people filling the large hall of the European Parliament building for a conference on the Middle East listened to responses by the panel featuring British writers Jonathan Steele and Carne Ross, I thought about what their co-panelist, Salih Muslim, the leader of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), would say.

It had been only a few weeks before that I had met Muslim, whose party administers swaths of territory in northern Syria and two Kurdish-inhabited neighborhoods in Aleppo, Sheikh Maksoud and Ashrafieh. Since our meeting, there had been two significant developments involving him and actors involved in the Syrian conflict: Turkish authorities had issued an arrest warrant for Muslim, and Syrian regime forces had defeated Turkish-backed opposition groups in eastern Aleppo.

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