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Kurds plan ahead for shifting status in Syria

Syrian Kurds, worried by Turkey’s threat to enter Afrin and a possible rapprochement between Washington and Ankara, are firming up their plans for autonomy.
Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) stand near a U.S military vehicle in the town of Darbasiya next to the Turkish border, Syria April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Rodi Said - RTS14EG4

Syrian Kurds are taking critical steps to deal with the threat of being caught in a vise between their worsening relations with the Damascus regime, and Turkey's possible cross-border operations. Syria's Kurds have just proposed a new governmental structure comprising three federal regions and six cantons in the Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria (previously known as Rojava). They have devised a three-phase election calendar to decide who will run these new areas.

Kurds worry that the US alliance with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) will be diluted once the Islamic State (IS) is forced out of Raqqa. They believe that Washington will then opt to improve its ties with Ankara. They are now moving quickly to consolidate their gains before the next Geneva conference on the Syrian civil war.

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