Kurdish-Arab tensions in north-east Syria
Significant protests between April and June by Arab tribes in north-eastern Syria against Kurdish governance have subsided in north-eastern Syria after Saudi Arabia intervened to encourage de-escalation. However, the underlying causes, including grievances over economic distribution, heavy-handed security methods and a lack of Arab representation in decision-making, have not been resolved.
- A deterioration in cooperation between Arab tribes and the SDF may facilitate the operations of IS sleeper cells.
- The United States and partners will look for further ways to alleviate the concerns of Arab tribes in the area.
- Ankara and Damascus, which both have designs on the north-east, will play up protests to justify intervention.
- A mooted Turkish invasion of the border area could radically shift the power dynamic in the region.