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Syrian Kurds still fight for rights on unrecognizable battlefield

Nine years into the Syrian war, much has changed for the Kurds, but conditions seem riper today than ever for them to obtain their rights.
A boy stands holding a Kurdish flag near a bonfire marking the Kurdish holiday of Noruz in Qamishli in Syria's northeastern Hasakah province on March 20, 2020, after the local authorities cancelled holiday celebrations due to fears of the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus disease. - The Persian New Year is an ancient Zoroastrian tradition celebrated by Iranians and Kurds which coincides with the vernal (spring) equinox and is calculated by the solar calendar. (Photo by DELIL SOULEIMAN / AFP) (Photo by DELIL SO

Syrian Kurds are surrounded on all sides by conflicting forces, but their internal division has also held them back. Could they finally be ready to unite their efforts to build a workable autonomy?

Kurds have long borne the weight of the Syrian civil war, which this month entered its ninth year. Kurdish cities are home to several militias and military factions, in addition to the Syrian regime and opposition factions backed by Turkey. The Russian army is also deployed in specific Kurdish areas, while the US military has set up its own bases. The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-Arab alliance, partnered with the international coalition in the fight against terrorism.

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