To set up ‘safe zone,’ US wades into muddled Syria politics

A U.S. armored vehicle drives through Tal Abyad, Syria, on a joint patrol with the Tax Abyad Military Council, an affiliate of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. (Maya Alleruzzo/AP)

TAL ABYAD, Syria — U.S. flags fluttered on the back of coalition armored vehicles as they whizzed past tiny hamlets in northeastern Syria. Once part of the sprawling territories controlled by the Islamic State group, the areas are now under threat of an attack from Turkey, which considers these villages’ liberators, the U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish-led forces, to be terrorists.

“When it comes to politics, we don’t know what goes on. In the morning it is something and in the evening it is another,” said Khalfo, who once commanded a battalion in the fight against IS in his town and other areas. He shyly put the yellow badge of his new military council on his left shirt pocket. A flag with the new council’s name was hoisted on his pick-up car.

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