kurds

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley hold a news conference at the Pentagon on Oct. 28.

The United States Can’t Have It All

The debacle over Syria shows that neither party understands the country’s real goals in the Middle East—or what it would take to achieve them.

Smoke rises from an Israeli army post blown away by army engineers near the town of Zarit on the Israeli-Lebanese border on May 16, 2000, as part of the preparation for an Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.

Israel’s Occupation of Lebanon Failed. Turkey’s Invasion of Syria Probably Will, Too.

Safe zones rarely bring security benefits, and the Turkish incursion in northern Syria risks ending the same way as Israel’s disastrous occupation of southern Lebanon.

Turkish-backed Syrian fighters patrol the northern Syrian Kurdish town of Tal Abyad on the border with Turkey on Oct. 31.

The Kurds Are the Nation-State’s Latest Victims

The global order has been stuck with states since 1648. It’s time to move on.

A Russian military police armored personnel carrier drives past an equestrian statue of Bassel al-Assad, the late brother of President Bashar al-Assad, in the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli on Oct. 24.

Russia Is the Only Winner in Syria

With Washington’s policy in chaos and Erdogan moving into Putin’s orbit, Moscow has come out on top.

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during a joint press conference following their talks in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi on Oct. 22.

Putin and Erdogan’s Deal for Syria Can’t Last

Since neither leader can enforce the terms, the country’s war will wear on.

Turkish riot police clash with demonstrators protesting Turkey's crackdown on Kurdish mayors, in Istanbul on Aug. 24.

Turkey’s Crackdown on Kurdish Mayors Could Backfire

The country’s offensive in northern Syria was preceded by the suppression of the Kurdish political movement at home.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he arrives at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth in Texas on Oct. 17.

America’s Syria Debacle Is Not Trump’s Alone

By going along with the myth that the president is pulling out of the Middle East, his critics are helping make U.S. wars there worse.

Turkish soldiers secure a road before army tanks start moving toward the Syrian border in Ceylanpinar, Turkey, on Oct. 18.

Trump Can Forget Burden Sharing Now

By abandoning the Kurds in Syria, Trump has undermined one of his central foreign policies.

Turkish-backed Syrian fighters drive into northern Syria.

Fighting Continues in Syria Despite Cease-Fire Agreement

The tentative agreement negotiated by the United States was seen as a major victory for Ankara.

Kurdish female troops from the Syrian Democratic Forces overlook the front line.

Why Is Turkey Fighting Syria’s Kurds?

Turkey’s president says Syrian Kurdish fighters are terrorists—but he’s a very unreliable narrator.

A line of U.S. military vehicles in Syria's northern city of Manbij on Dec. 30, 2018 after U.S. President Donald Trump first announced in  that U.S. troops would depart Syria.

Kobani Today, Krakow Tomorrow 

Washington has abandoned the Kurds. If Europe doesn’t bolster its defenses, the Poles, Lithuanians, and Latvians could be next. 

Relatives visit the tombs of Syrian Democratic Forces fighters in the northern Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani.

Turkey Advances on Kobani in Latest Broken Promise

Erdogan told Trump he would not attack the symbolically important Kurdish-held town in northern Syria.

A Syrian woman walks with a boy past a banner showing Russian President Vladimir Putin shaking hands with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, after arriving in a convoy carrying displaced people into government-controlled territory at Abu al-Zuhur checkpoint in the western countryside of Idlib province, on June 1, 2018.

The United States Still Needs a Syria Strategy

Leaving the refugee crisis unresolved while legitimizing the brutal Assad regime will only do further harm to U.S. interests in the Middle East.

Turkish-backed Syrian fighters evacuate a wounded comrade near the Syrian border.

If We Have to Choose Between Compromise and Genocide, We Will Choose Our People

The Kurds’ commander in chief explains why his forces are finally ready to partner with Assad and Putin.

A refugee camp near Suruc in southern Turkey, across the border from Kobani in February 2016. Many Kurds fled Kobani and other areas of Syria in 2014 to escape the Islamic State. Now, with a new war launched by Turkey near their homes, people are fleeing again.

Turkey’s War in Syria Was Not Inevitable

U.S. strategy in Syria has long been plagued by short-term thinking, while Russia, Turkey, and Iran played a long game. Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds is just the latest chapter in Washington’s bungled approach to the region.

A Peshmerga soldier places a Kurdish flag near the front line with the Islamic State in Iraq.

There’s Always a Next Time to Betray the Kurds

The Kurds have no choice but to always trust the United States—and to suffer the inevitable consequences.

Load 10 More Articles

Want unlimited access? Subscribe today.