What to expect from Arab tribes’ uprising in Syria?

Recently, Arab tribes in PKK/YPG-controlled areas in Syria have rioted against the long-standing oppression and raised the flag of rebellion. In the first days, the tribes captured some critical points and killed many YPG terrorists. However, as Russian warplanes bombed the Arab tribes’ armed members, the terrorist organization regained its position. However, despite the United States Army’s mediation, the tribes continued to fight.

To justify its actions, the PKK’s Syrian offshoot YPG claimed the tribes are collaborating with Syria’s Bashar Assad regime and Iran’s proxy groups. It is lying because the rebelling tribes have repeatedly offered the YPG to fight Assad and Shiite militants, but the terrorist organization turned down the proposal every time. The YPG will probably also accuse the tribes of collaborating with Daesh – at least some pro-YPG social media accounts did it. But their job is tough this time because the Americans know very well that tribes have no connection with Daesh. That must be why they did not take sides in the clashes between the tribes and the YPG.

The U.S. does not want to lose the Sunni Arab tribes. The tribes are careful to get along well with the U.S. since they are already enemies with Russia, Assad, and Shiite militants. They are also enemies of the YPG but do not want to worsen relations with the U.S. because of the terrorist organization. However, if the U.S. has to make a choice, it will undoubtedly support the YPG.

Flawed U.S. policy

Yet, the U.S. support for the YPG is not sustainable and was a wrong policy from the beginning. Some 80% of the people living in the territories controlled by the YPG with U.S. support are of Arab origin. The U.S. abandoned so many people to the YPG’s oppression under the pretext of fighting Daesh. Not only the Arab tribes but even the Kurdish people in the region are uncomfortable with the YPG’s rule. Therefore, a change in U.S. policy on Syria is necessary and urgent for the reinstatement of peace.

However, past experiences show that U.S. forces wait until things reach a stalemate before abandoning the groups they are using. Washington does not seem to be cutting its support to the YPG yet. Russia, on the other hand, does not leave alone the groups or regimes it supports and does not hesitate to oppress rioters. Therefore, these two countries will not leave Syria easily or anytime soon.

In the YPG and regime-controlled areas, the problem is not only the tyrannical regimes and the countries that support them. As can be read from news reports, those who rebel against the YPG are not ordinary people but tribes. The difference between people and a tribe may not matter during the fighting, but when the rebellion ends with a victory, there is always the possibility of tribes clashing with each other. Unfortunately, tribalism is a reality in Syria as it is in the Middle East. However, this does not legitimize the oppression of them.

Big powers in Syria: Peace or conflict?

Even this problem could have been solved if foreign powers had spent time building a state system where the people could live in peace instead of supporting terrorist organizations and dictators. Currently, Türkiye is helping the Libyan government with state-building and will probably achieve it provided there is no foreign interference. The exact mechanism can be launched by great powers in Syria, too.

The foreign powers that interfere with Syria can come together and try to ensure peace in the fragmented country. Is this possible? Since they are the ones who divided the country into parts, they could re-integrate it, but they will hardly do so. Unfortunately, as long as foreign powers are not satisfied with the outcomes of a civil war in another country, they continue to cause conflict and inflame it.

Peace is not in the hands of locals but foreigners in Syria, as in many other countries experiencing similar anarchism. Consequently, the revolt of the Arab tribes is likely to remain just another ordinary incident among countless others happening in the past.

Source: Daily Sabah

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