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Iraqi Kurds have lost control over the disputed city of Kirkuk after Iraqi central government forces and Iranian-backed militias retook the territory this October.The Syrian Democratic Forces, dominated by Kurdish forces and backed by the United States, declared Raqqa liberated and ready for its post-Daesh operations. However, with the United States still operating without a post-combat plan for northeastern Syria, and with enemies of the Kurds – Turkey, Iran and the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad – continuing to make advances from west and south, the question of whether Washington will protect its Syrian Kurdish allies in the long run is significant to the calculus of Kurdish political survival in the war-torn country. Nevertheless, the alliance the United States made with the Kurds in Syria is tactical and has thus far focused only on countering Daesh.The United States' reliance on the Kurds in Syria has hurt Washington's influence in the country by causing it to lose influence with other forces in the country and damaged its relationship with Turkey.
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