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Al-Bab Liberation Ruins Kurdish Dream of Federal State | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Syrian rebels walk in the northwestern border town of al-Bab on February 24, 2017. Nazeer al-Khatib / AFP

Beirut- After the Turkish-backed Euphrates Shield Forces controlled al-Bab city, Syria’s Kurds began to feel that their dream of having a “federal state” has faltered although it was not completely shattered.

The latest developments in the battlefield in the Syrian city of al-Bab prevent the Kurds from annexing – in the near future – the two towns of Al-Jazeera and Kobani to the Afrin district.

Al-Bab, located 25 kilometers south of the Turkish border, was ISIS’ last stronghold in the northern province of Aleppo.

Riad Qahwaji, CEO of the Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, told Asharq Al-Awsat about the presence of “Turkish-U.S. and Russian-Turkish agreements to prevent the establishment of any Kurdish state in the north of Syria.”

Qahwaji ruled out that Kurds could use force to challenge those agreements. “They have no interest to confront everyone,” Qahwaji said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights believes that when the Turkish forces expand their control in the city to around 2,400 kilometers from the northeast of Aleppo’s suburbs, these forces could say they have practically reached the target of their operation, which is ending the Kurdish dream of forming a federal state in the north of Syria.

However, experts close to Washington refuse to be decisive in this regard.

Former Lebanese ambassador to Washington Riad Tabbara told Asharq Al-Awsat: “What the Kurds were incapable of achieving through force, could be achieved through a comprehensive solution … on the Syrian crisis, even if such a solution was still unclear due to the U.S. hesitation in dealing with the Syrian file.”

Tabbara asserted that the team of U.S. President Donald Trump has still not placed a complete strategy for Syria.

At the battlefield, groups fighting in the north of Syria currently await Ankara’s next move, after the Euphrates Shield Forces controlled al-Bab city earlier this week.

Meanwhile, Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced that the country’s air force had carried out its first strikes against ISIS in Syria since the country started to fight the extremist group in 2014.

A source close to the Syrian Foreign Ministry asserted that the Iraqi assault was conducted in coordination with Damascus.