BEIRUT: A close alliance between the US-led coalition battling the Islamic State jihadist group and Syrian Kurdish fighters has racked up successes, but also stirred resentments that could hamper the campaign. Analysts warn that IS can only be defeated in Syria with support from Sunni Arabs, many of whom are being alienated by what they see as US favoritism towards the Kurdish minority. In recent months, fighters from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) have repelled several IS attacks and deprived the group of its key border bastion of Tal Abyad. US-led air strikes have been key to these advances, and Washington has praised the Kurds as a reliable ally. But in areas where ties between Kurds and Arabs are already tense, the alliance is viewed with suspicion and anger. Osama Abu Zeid, a legal adviser to rebel groups under the Free Syrian Army banner, slammed Washington for playing favorites. “We reject this policy of supporting parties based on ethnic or sectarian affiliation,” he said, accusing the US-led coalition of sowing mistrust. The Kurds “are seen as the darlings of the West,” said Emile Hokayem, a senior fellow and Syria expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. “They get… Read full this story
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