In a new development, Ilham Ehmed the Co-chair of Syrian Democratic Council, the political wing of the Kurdish-led forces backed by the US in Raqqa, confessed finally that negotiations are underway between the Syrian regime and a local council of the town of Tabqa west of Raqqa, which works under the SYC.
In a recent media statement Ehmed said that “Talks are taking place at the local level, between service provider officials in the regime and officials from the local council in the town of Tabqa and its services institutions.”
She pointed out that an “understanding is on the making to bring back staff and experts from the Euphrates Dam to work with the Department of the dam of the civil administration of the town, and to rehabilitate the dam and repair the damages.”
The Euphrates Dam is about 50 km away from Raqqa which is a former stronghold of ISISI and is located on the Euphrates River. It is 4.5 km long and is more than 60 meters high.
Syrian newspaper al-Watan reported that several meetings between delegations from the Syrian Democratic Council run by Kurdish forces and the Syrian government through intermediaries, took place in Damascus and al-Qamishli. The newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying that there were expectations that Kurdish forces would hand over the city of Raqqa to the government.
According to al-Watan the most important conditions agreed upon between the two parties are “the removal of images of Kurdish militias and their symbols and flags in their areas of control, the joining of Kurdish militia militants into the ranks of the regime’s army, the handing over of the Yaraibiya and Simeleka rivers with northern Iraq, In addition to the delivery of oil and gas fields to the Syrian Ministry of Oil and the General Administration of Rumailan and al-Gibsa.”
In exchange, the Kurdish delegation called for “making the Kurdish language a basic language in the government curriculum, granting the seat of the Syrian Ministry of Oil to a Kurdish figure permanently, and calculating the length of service of their youths among the Kurdish militias from the obligatory military service in the Syrian army.”
Meanwhile, the Syrian government rely heavily on the outcomes of the recent summit between the US and Russian presidents in Helsinki, in order to find an understanding that allows them to return to the areas of East Euphrates, rich in oil and water resources.