Syria, Kurds discuss pending departure of US troops
Russia is playing a positive role in discussing agreements that could be reached between the Kurds and the government. He gave no further details saying that discussions are still ongoing.
“There are hopes to reach a deal that pleases both sides as we are all Syrians,” he said.
Ibrahim Hamidi, a journalist with the Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq AlAwsat, wrote in a report Saturday that the top commander of the YPG, Sipan Hemo, secretly visited Damascus and Moscow where he offered “a secret deal” that would include handing over border points to the Syrian government in return for accepting a Kurdish local administration with Russia as a guarantor.
The SDF, of which the YPG forms the backbone, controls areas along the border with Turkey in the north and Iraq in the northeast. Hamidi added that the offer aims to reach “understandings to fill the gap following the American withdrawal and to cut the road for Turkish intervention.” forces in Syria. Trump’s move has raised fears over clearing the way for a Turkish assault on Kurdish fighters in Syria who fought alongside American troops against Islamic State group extremists. Turkey considers the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, a terrorist group linked to an insurgency within its own borders.
The main U.S.-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces has expressed concerns over the planned withdrawal as Turkey has threatened to attack Kurdish fighters in Syria.
The Kurdish official said “discussions are ongoing and the atmosphere is positive.” He said that an understanding has been reached to “face any force that wants to occupy Syria especially in the north.”
The official told The Associated Press that
Talks are ongoing between the Syrian government in Damascus and Kurdish officials to reach a deal on how to fill the gap after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country, a Syrian Kurdish official said Saturday.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the talks’ secrecy, said Syrian Kurdish officials have visited Russia, which is a main backer of the Syrian government. He added that Russia supports the talks between the government and the Kurdish-led militia that control nearly a third of the country.
Trump announced in mid-December that the U.S. will withdraw its 2,000