Day after the other, the signs of the American project in Syria are revealed, or its attempts to formulate a vision about a solution in Syria, at least. Perhaps the successive visits of the U.S. Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, James Jeffrey, in addition to the U.S. Deputy Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, William Roebuck to the region, and their shuttle meetings with the Syrian Kurdish political parties, is one of the things which means that the U.S. is in the process of proposing a political project, after years of retreat on the political side and devotion to the military side, where it has got what it wanted, as it ended the military presence of the Islamic State terrorist groups (ISIS) with the support of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in spring 2019, after the latter took control over a third of the Syrian territories.
Turkey has dominated the Syrian opposition entities which have been formed since 2011, as it sponsored the Syrian opposition entities since its inception during the start of the Syrian war, and it contributed in the formation of the Syrian National Council in 2011, which has later become a major pole of the National Coalition for the Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (SNC) formed in Qatar in 2012.
After its stumble in the Yemeni war, and its inability to achieve its goals which it had announced after the formation of its Arab Coalition against Ansar Allah, the Iranian-affiliated Houthi group, Saudi Arabia's moving away from the Syrian scene along with the weak U.S. approach to the Syrian political file, gave the Turkish side an opportunity to exclusively represent the Syrian opposition, with some loyal groups to Russia, including Moscow Platform.
As for Cairo Platform, now it is the closest to the orientations of Saudi Arabia, which had invited about 70 Syrian figures to a conference which it sponsored by the end of last year, in order to elect 8 of them to be included in the Negotiations Committee.
The High Negotiations Committee (HNC) was established in December 2015, where the pro-Ankara groups (both political and military) have formed its backbone.
As for Riyadh 2 Conference, which was held in November 2017, the roles were distributed more than before and Moscow and Riyadh loyalists joined it, but the Turkish influence remained the strongest.
Washington wants to return to playing a role in the political process, by creating a Kurdish-Kurdish rapprochement, through bringing the Kurdish parties to the initiative of the SDF Commander-in-Chief, Mazloum Abdi late last year, and then attempting to join the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) to Cairo Platform, in an attempt to create a balanced entity inside the Syrian opposition body, which is mandated to negotiate with the Syrian government, according to the U.N. Resolution 2254 issued in December 2015, which calls for a political transition under the auspices of the United Nations.
Washington's plan focuses on finding a sort of rapprochement between the Autonomous Administration and the Syrian National Coalition SNC, in an attempt to reduce the Turkish influence on the ranks of the Negotiations Committee, in parallel with its relentless attempts to move away the members who are an extension of the PKK from the Autonomous Administration of northeastern Syria. In this case, the U.S. will pressure Turkey, which rebelled against its NATO allies and converged with both Moscow and Tehran in an effort to gain a role in the Syrian crisis, after a series of setbacks in which Ankara's allies suffered from the extremist organizations operating in the north and northwest of Syria.
The Syrian government didn't show any response to the Kurdish aspirations in demanding the decentralization in rule and went on to brand them as separatists, and in light of the Russian refusal to exert serious pressure on Damascus (for reasons related to the continuation of the Kurdish betting on Washington), it won't be forced to make any concessions which exceed the limits of the Local Administration Law, which is included in the “Legislative Decree” No. 107/2011, which is rejected by the Autonomous Administration, as it has pushed thousands of victims in order to preserve its regions and establish an autonomy since 2014.
The American mission seems very difficult, as the Kurdish parties have different loyalties, and it is difficult to bring them together at the same table, in addition to their agreement on the future of the Autonomous Administration areas, which have recently been eroded by successive Turkish military operations in the last three years. Also, trying to find an acceptable solution between the SDF and the Turkish government is very difficult, the former has repeatedly declared that it is looking for the best relations with Ankara, while the other isn't concerned with any understanding with it, but it has repeated its calls to dissolve these forces and to eliminate the Autonomous Administration project, as it considers it as a threat to its national security.
The strategic relationship between the United States and Turkey has never been a matter of dispute between the two sides, and the profound disparities which emerged during the recent years didn't break the ball rolling between them. The recent visit of the two officials, Kelly Craft and James Jeffrey to Bab al-Hawa border crossing in Idlib, is a proof of the depth of the alliance between the two sides, and it is known that the border crossing is under the control of "Salvation Government" which is a branch of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham HTS (previously al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, al-Nusra Front).
The visit also comes at the peak of Moscow and Ankara disparities in dealing with the recent military developments in Idlib, where more than 50 Turkish soldiers were killed in Idlib battles, and at the Turkish response through its fourth military operation in Syria, called Operation Spring Shield, where it regained many villages and towns from the Syrian army, and soon lost them within a few days after the intervention of the Russian air force, and ground support by the Lebanese Hezbollah and groups affiliated with Iran.
Relying on the U.S. as a single ally in these circumstances is more like gambling in a Las Vegas club, so betting on Washington is very dangerous, as any U.S. abandonment of the Kurds means losing all the gains made during the war years, and crying on the spilt milk would not help at the time.