By Syrian Democratic Times
The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee is holding a hearing on Wednesday, March 11, on the Syrian government and the Idlib crisis. However, the worst part of the crisis may soon be behind us, if the ceasefire brokered on March 5 between Putin and Erdogan holds. Many in Idlib fear that the ceasefire will not last, as it does not address the humanitarian crisis caused by the roughly one million refugees or establish a no-fly zone.
During the intensity of the Idlib crisis, Ambassador James Jeffrey, the US special envoy to Syria, has once again underscored that United States is committed to its relationship with Turkey. Not every US official feels positive about the US-Turkey relationship, but Jeffrey has frequently shown his support for the relationship. Jeffrey indicated that there could be ammunitions deliveries, and talked about how the US intends to continue intelligence sharing with Turkey.
Jeffrey’s comments about giving Turkey weapons capacity prompted some observers to wonder how the US would prevent this ammunition and intelligence from being used against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), key US allies in the fight against ISIS. Turkey invaded North and East Syria and attacked the SDF in October 2019, and its forces are still occupying the sovereign Syrian territory of Afrin, Sere Kaniye, and Gir Espe, which are territories of North and East Syria.
Meanwhile, meaningful US legislation to help the people of North and East Syria continues to wait for Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell to simply put the legislation up for a vote. Many in US Congress wish to do something meaningful in support of the people of North and East Syria. The Senators might pass bill S2641, which puts meaningful sanctions on Turkish officials, promotes humanitarian aid to North and East Syria, and creates a refugee program for political refugees from North and East Syria — if McConnell allows the Senators to hold a vote on it.