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  • Syrian Democratic forces flag flutters on a damaged building in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province

    Syrian Democratic forces flag flutters on a damaged building in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 March 2019

Kurdish-led forces said they captured the Islamic State groups last shred of territory in eastern Syria at Baghouz Saturday, but according to teleSUR's Syria correspondent Hisham Wanus, not all Kurds are on board.

The Islamic State group's last bastion has been captured by Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). According to teleSUR correspondent Hisham Wanus, this final battle will be followed by a discussion of Syrian Kurdish representation in Syrian society as a whole.

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"Baghouz has been liberated. The military victory against Daesh has been accomplished," Mustafa Bali, a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) spokesman, wrote on Twitter, declaring the "total elimination of (the) so-called caliphate."

Despite this declaration, journalists at Baghouz said some shooting and mortar fire continued Saturday morning and an SDF commander warned that the coming phase in the struggle, with jihadist sleeper cells plotting mayhem, might be even harder.

The SDF is mostly composed of Kurdish factions and a smaller portion of Syrian Arab forces.

In general, members of the SDF are allied with Washington and the United States coalition in Syria, but, according to Hisham Wanus, their stance does not represent those of Syrian Kurds as a whole.

While the Kurds may classify themselves as allies, Wanus says, "Washington considers them a tool that helps it achieve its divisive plan against Syria." He also says the Kurds' main takeaway for fighting the IS group with U.S. support is "to gain dominion over the north and northeast of Syria and form a quasi-state in that area."

President of Syria Bashar Assad, said in a speech in February, that "We tell those groups who are betting on the Americans that the Americans will not protect you. ... The Americans do not hold you in their heart ... They will put you in their pocket so you can be a bargaining chip."

Inddeed, according to France 24, "Now the Islamic State group's "caliphate" has fallen, the hard-won limited autonomy of Syria's Kurds will be left in peril if their key U.S. ally goes ahead with its announced pullout.

Bashar has told Kurdish soldiers that the only institutions capable of protecting them are the Syrian state and the Syrian army. While he extended the invitation to join in the reconciliation process, the response has been negative so far.

Syrian Kurds have been an essential component of the country's society and, according to Wanus, while there are those Kurds in the SDF who claim to protect the general populace, they do not not represent the aspiration of all Kurdish Syrians, but rather the minority that advocates separation, and goes along plans of the U.S. 

The fight against the IS group, Wanus states, is merely an excuse by this faction to take advantage of their seccesion plans encouraged by the U.S. and Israel

Russia defends Damascus' official stance, which calls for dialogue with the Kurds in hopes of preventing them from carrying out this plan. If the SDF does not accept the invitation to partake in dialogue, Wanus points out that they will have to confront the Syrian army and its allies. 


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