The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) announced that it has agreed with the Syrian regime to form joint committees and negotiate “ending the war and creating a road map leading to a democratic, decentralized Syria.”
This announcement comes on the heel of a visit by the SDC to the Syrian capital Damascus to seek a deal with President Bashar al-Assad to preserve their autonomy..
Salih Muslim a leading official in the US-backed SDC forces considered the visit of the council to Damascus as a test of the Syrian regime's intentions.
Muslim warned that any agreement reached should have international guarantees, as the Syrian regime wants to manipulate and impose a surrender similar to what happened in Syria’s Daraa and other regions, he said.
He stressed that what happened in Daraa "will never happen with the Kurds as they are tough and rely on a huge experience".
Meanwhile the SDC's co-chair Riad Darar said in an interview with Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that the delegation is in Damascus to discuss the provision of services, like water and electricity, then will move on to other important issues.
The next phase of negotiations is expected to deal with the future of Syria and the political system and the abandonment of centralism in favor of certain parties, to a federalist model in accordance with the vision of the SDC.
The meeting was at the invitation of the Syrian government, the SDC's statement said. Assad, who - backed by Russia and Iran - has recently taken back most rebel-held areas after seven years of conflict, has sworn to regain “every inch” of Syria. He has also described the Kurdish administration in the northeast as “temporary structures.”
However, negotiations with Damascus raise new questions for US policy in Syria, where the US military has deployed into SDF-held territory during the campaign against ISIS.
The Syrian Kurds have grown wary of the United States, put on guard by conflicting statements over US plans in Syria.
- With Reuters