Syria has managed to bring both the Turks and Kurds to its door by skillfully outplaying the two enemies to make itself indispensable to both. Syrian government forces claim they have entered Manbij, and the Kurdish group People’s Protection Units — fresh from a U.S. betrayal — are reaching out to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Simultaneously, the Turkish government is making its biggest concession yet in announcing that it would consider working with Assad should he win a democratic election. One is reminded of former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s maxim: “The Arabs can’t make war without Egypt; and they can’t make peace without Syria.”
It was a backhanded tribute to Syria’s consistent hard line against Israel and the United States. Its critical geographical position and what David Lesch called ‘’Syria’s consistently punching above its weight’’ made it the key lynchpin for stability in the Middle East. Without any love lost between the Turks, Kurds, and Damascus, it is a testament to the staying power and resilience of the Baathist state that it is the one that has outlasted all its enemies one by one and, furthermore, is seen as the solution to preventing further chaos.