>>131494>Can you explain in what way they were backstabbed?
Firstly you must understand that there is a longstanding agreement between Syria and Turkey that the Turkish military can enter Syrian territory to hunt the PKK there. They have not been doing this for a while however.
Now, when Turkey invaded Syrian territory, it was the YPG defending the trouble areas. Assad had a choice of defending his border and joining them or ceding it to the Turks and handing them Syrian Kurdistan.
What happened initially was that Assad did nothing, then with a deal brokered by Russia, Assad moved troops to the border in order to defend it from Turkey.
All of this a period of violence. then Assad made a deal with Turkey also brokered by Russia, that the YPG would move back from the Turkish border by 35km (most of their cities are within these border- their capital was exempt) and that joint Russian/Syrian troops would patrol the border to keep the YPG out, as well as Turkish/Russian troops patrolling a large chunk of the border also.
So, Assad "stabbed them in the back" as he ceded large amounts of their land to Turkey.
While the Kurd's still control some territory they have made huge losses
Now, when I say "stabbed in the back" Assad probably had not that much say in what went on. Not only does he not want to go to war with Turkey, but neither does Russia, the broker want to spoil its relationship with Turkey, but neither its relationship with Syria. The other aspect for Russia is that destabilisation in the middle east directly effects them, as there is huge crossover between Syrian civil wars groups and groups engaged in terrorism against the Russian state. Russia also had economic interest in Syria. Putin, the broker of the deal is essentially there to end the Syrian civil war and keep all parties happy so that he can continue to do business with all of them in future. The kurds are the smallest business interest so they got fucked, the deal for Assad and Erdogan is agreeable to both, Assad damages what he deems a separatist movement in his country, without having to go to continue the civil war, Erdogan obviously delivers a huge blow to the Kurds, cutting them off from the PKK and vice versa.
As for Putin himself, pretty much everyone in the region benefited from this decision besides the Kurds, so in reality, its hard to call him some hammer of the Kurds, the deal has delivered a modicum of peace the to the region.
Assad could have however defended his border with more vigour, earlier on, on many occasions and on that occasion, and it is likely that this situation where Turkey pays no heed to Syrian sovereignty would not have happened, or Turkey would have settled in the end for a ceasefire with Assad where he controls his own border.
It is also the case that this could end up being the defacto deal, when Russia tires of providing security for them both and when things in the region have generally calmed down.
At the end of the day, the deal he ended up making was to appease Turkey, not to defend the Kurds, these were no minor concessions, this is huge swathes of the most populated Kurdish/Syrian land. Evidently, Assad didn't bargain too hard.