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HTS and SDF Dialogue: Towards a Joint Civil Administration?

HTS proposed actively participating in the SDF's counter-terrorism efforts, according to Syria TV.
HTS and SDF Dialogue: Towards a Joint Civil Administration?

Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) has shown a tendency to establish communication channels with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who currently hold control over northeastern Syria. This communication primarily aims at securing economic interests, but it appears that these contacts have also assumed a political dimension. This is particularly evident due to the dissatisfaction felt by both parties towards the increasing pressure imposed by Turkey.

For a considerable period, HTS has been actively seeking to expand its operational scope in response to mounting Turkish pressure in northern Aleppo. Turkey’s efforts to completely oust HTS from the region have prompted HTS to take proactive measures.

Economic Agreements 

According to confidential sources revealed by Syria TV, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) has reportedly hosted several delegations from Hassakeh in recent months. These delegations comprised security leaders from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as well as merchants engaged in cooperative endeavors with HTS.

During these meetings, the two parties finalized an agreement regarding the supply of fuel. As per the terms of the agreement, the North Company, overseen by Malik al-Abd who is loyal to HTS, will determine the refineries from which SDF-affiliated traders will deliver fuel. The North Company will ensure that these refinery owners fulfill their commitment to supply the fuel to the company upon receipt of payment. In case of non-compliance, the North Company will engage with the SDF to halt the fuel supply to the non-compliant refinery.

Furthermore, HTS has been actively seeking to persuade the SDF to allocate the output of certain oil wells to Tahrir al-Sham at predetermined prices. However, discussions between the two sides have yet to yield a consensus.

Political Talks 

According to information obtained by Syria TV, discussions between HTS and the SDF have expanded to encompass political matters. Recently, a delegation from HTS’s public relations department visited areas controlled by the SDF. The primary objective of this visit was for HTS to improve its relationship with the SDF in order to persuade its international supporters to remove HTS from terrorist lists.

During the discussions, HTS proposed actively participating in the SDF’s counter-terrorism efforts, which receive support from the international coalition. Additionally, HTS suggested the complete dissolution of other active factions in the Idleb governorate.

In what appears to be a gesture aimed at fostering trust, HTS released a previously detained security cell comprising two men and a woman who were working for the SDF.

The talks also explored the possibility of establishing a joint civilian administration between HTS and the SDF. This would be contingent on HTS gaining control over areas currently held by the Syrian National Army. The SDF indicated that the United States is supportive of the unification of the northeastern and northwestern regions of Syria.

 

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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