IF YOU TREAT THEM MEAN, IT DOESN’T KEEP THEM KEENIf you don’t show love to your allies and supporters, someone else will:

Russia has invited the Kurdish-led authorities in northern Syria to its proposed congress of Syria’s rival parties in November, a senior Kurdish official says, as Moscow seeks to launch a new initiative to end the Syrian conflict.

“We are studying the issue and our stance has been positive so far,” Badran Jia Kurd, an adviser to the administration that governs Kurdish-led autonomous regions of Syria, told Reuters.

It would mark the first time Syria’s main Kurdish groups have been brought into peace talks. Although they now control at least a quarter of Syria, Kurdish authorities have so far been left out of international talks in line with Turkish wishes.

Three quick points:

1.As I will never tire of saying, the Kurds are the only group in the Middle East (besides the Jews) who actually deserve to have a state of their own. That this much-persecuted but also the most pro-Western (and even pro-Israeli) minority still does not have one, nearly a hundred years after the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, is a travesty of international justice.

2.Admittedly, the Russians have it far easier than anyone else making gestures like that, since they are happy to play the role of the anti-American spoiler in the region: they don’t care about Turkey, they don’t care about the territorial integrity of Iraq, and Assad in Syria owes them the debt of his survival in the civil war, which gives Putin much leeway.

3.The United States, on the other hand, have to mind Turkey, the most unhelpful ally but still in NATO, as well as Iraq, which remains its post-Saddam baby, even if it has moved to live with its mum in Tehran. There is not much room for manoeuvre as far as independence or greater autonomy for the Kurds are concerned, scattered as they are across most of the region – a true house of cards if there ever was one. Still, they have been the strongest allies, as well as the most sensible group in the Middle Easter madhouse, and as such deserve more help and support than they have been getting from the West.