The autonomous administration, the Syrian regime negotiate
By AFP – Jan 05,2019 – JORDAN TIMES
Redur Khalil, a spokesperson and senior official in the Syrian Democratic Forces speaks during an interview in the northeastern Syrian town of Amuda on Friday (AFP photo)
AMUDA, Syria — A deal between Damascus and Syria’s Kurds over their autonomous region in the country’s north is ‘‘inevitable’’, a senior Kurdish military official said on Saturday, insisting that Kurdish forces should remain in the area.
Marginalised for decades, Syria’s minority Kurds carved out a de facto autonomous region across some 30 per cent of the nation’s territory after the devastating war broke out in 2011.
Kurdish forces, backed by a US-led coalition, spearheaded the fight in Syria against the Daesh group after terrorists seized large parts of the country and neighbouring Iraq in 2014.
But Washington’s shock December announcement that it would withdraw its troops from Syria pushed the Kurds to seek a new alliance with President Bashar Assad’s regime, amid fears of a long-expected Turkish assault against Kurdish forces.
Redur Khalil, a commander in the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces(SDF) alliance, told AFP that Kurdish authorities and Damascus were bound to reach a deal.
‘‘Reaching a solution between the autonomous administration and the Syrian government is inevitable because our areas are part of Syria,’’ said Khalil.
Syrian government forces deployed late last month around the key city of Manbij in Aleppo province, after Kurdish forces called for them to arrive.
‘‘Negotiations are ongoing with the government to reach a final formulation for administering the city of Manbij,’’ Khalil told AFP, adding that talks had shown ‘‘positive signs’’.
If that leads to a solution that ‘‘protects the rights’’ of Manbij residents, a similar arrangement could be applied to SDF-controlled areas of Deir Ezzor province, east of the Euphrates River, he said.