The SDF is preparing for a military confrontation with Turkey by allying with Damascus, pressuring international backers and declaring a state of emergency. Civilians are waiting anxiously, stocking up on supplies, and considering escape routes.
On a map, the Syrian Democratic Forces control more than 25 percent of Syria’s territory, but the on-the-ground reality is more complicated. IS cells persist in the northeast and some highways remain too risky even for security forces to travel after sunset.
Military and civilian sources in northern Syria said this month that US forces began to redeploy to multiple points they withdrew from in October 2019. What could that mean, amid reports of an upcoming Turkish offensive?