Russia ramps up bid to wrest Syria’s Kurds from U.S. clutches - analyst

Russia has stepped up efforts to intervene in the strategic relationship between Syrian Kurds and the United States and persuade them to consent to its plans for the country, Middle Eastern affairs analyst Zvi Bar'el said in an article for Haaretz newspaper on Monday.

Russia brokered meetings between the Kurds and the Syrian government and held talks with Arab tribes in Kurdish-controlled northern Syria on establishing an autonomous military force that would be subjected to the Syrian government's command, Bar'el said.

"Russia wants to break up the close relationship between Washington and the Kurdish forces and bend the Kurds to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s plan to complete the takeover of all Syria," Bar'el said.

Russia’s efforts have failed to bear fruit, he said. 

Syrian Kurds have been the most important force in the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State (ISIS), taking heavy casualties but securing control of one-third of the country. But their prospects of holding onto territories gained took a blow after President Donald Trump announced in December 2018 that U.S. soldiers would leave Syria and Turkey started cross-border military operations against the Kurds.