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Syria conflict takes Kurds towards autonomy

The long-cherished ambition of Syrian Kurds is to set up an autonomous region like their Kurdish brethren across the border in IraqSyria’s Kurds, long held in disdain by Damascus, are edging towards autonomy in their heartland along Turkey’s border as they capitalise on the tactical goals of both Washington and Moscow. To the dismay of Ankara, Kurdish forces have seized on the collapse of rebels in the northern province of Aleppo in the face of Russian-backed regime gains to advance to within 20 kilometres (12 miles) of the border. From the outset of the Syrian conflict in 2011, the Kurds benefited from the regime’s pullback from their regions to establish a local administration spanning from northwest to northeast Syria.

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