Hybrid War in Reverse: Why the SDF can’t hold the Euphrates

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“With regard to this Middle East war which was waged for 7 years, we are finally near the end of it all. The border with Lebanon is sealed, the border with Iraq is established and Damascus-Tehran communication is up and running across Abu Kamal, just like small trade is too. ISIS, the last big obstacle for the New Middle East, is practically crushed and exists only in small parts in the Syrian desert like a mobile force, and across the Euphrates river east from the SDF-American forces.”

By Vladimir Gujanicic

This hybrid war, with multiple and difficult to distinguish sides against the Syrian state, is practically over and isolated now only to Idlib and part of Dara province with no perspective for the future. NATO’s humiliation with its failed cruise missiles strikes proved that NATO is incapable to win any war without full air supremacy.

So what is left? The only option is prolonging the war, forcing Damascus to liberate all the territory at a cost and not in a quick manner. The meeting between Putin, Rohani and Erdogan was established to put together a statement that they are against any US zone in Syria. But what does that mean in perspective, how will they crush US zone of influence?

The US established the SDF forces in the period of the war which was its last hope for a footprint in Syria. The number of this force is by some estimates as many as 40,000, and the US wants to expand this. The big problem for SDF forces is control of Arab areas which predominantly consider Kurds as occupiers of their land. The ethnic zones of Kurds are not in oil rich areas, which are key to their existence in forming a “state”. The Kurds found themselves beset by two sides.


Red arrows are the SAA Mukhabarat supply routes. Green are from Turkey. Yellow is the SDF American zone.


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One are pro-Assad militias which attacked US and SDF forces on several occasion and second are pro FSA fighters which are supported by Turkey. The continuation of a hybrid war against Syrian army is probably no longer possible,  but it is indeed possible for a hybrid war against any SDF/US zone, which will start in full scale in the near future. Several bridges have been built by Russian forces across the Euphrates and what is guaranteed is that full scale attacks will come after the SAA and secret service redeploy significant resources for supporting their own rebels from other side of the river.

What may be seen in an attack on SDF forces is that they can not control such a big area with such small numbers of troops, with rebels hunting them at home and in ambushes, proving the kills with video material dropped to social networking sites.


US financed ‘SDF’ forces protect a public asset they have stolen from the Syrian people


But that is just beginning. The big “border” down the Euphrates and Turkey can not be controlled by the SDF and Americans so the hybrid war will only expand in same way as it was against SAA in 2012, but with a big difference, the “border” with Syria and Turkey will never be closed until SDF zone collapse and be suppressed in ethnic Kurdish areas. The most important struggle is for oil on the other side of river, especially the Conoco gas field. The French president Macron put out a statement in which he asks from the US to stay in Syria as long as they can. The price for US staying in Syria will be payed mostly by  the Kurds which have no perspective to create any sort of state in Arab populated areas, and surrounded regionally by countries which do not want a US footprint in Syria.

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