SDF Officials Met With Assad in Damascus

The possibility of SDF forces merging with regime forces was discussed at the second round of talks in Damascus writes Zaman Al Wasl

The Executive Head of Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) said that the Kurdish-led forces might merge with regime forces after she revealed her meeting with Bashar al-Assad that took place in Damascus two weeks ago.

On Saturday, Ilham Ahmed told BBC Arabic that the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) would join the Syrian regime forces in the future.

The statement followed the first declared visit to the capital by members of the SDF, which controls roughly a quarter of Syria.

The political wing of the SDF went to Damascus two weeks ago for a second round of talks with the regime, Reuters reported.

The visits highlight efforts by the Kurdish-led authorities to open new channels to Bashar al-Assad’s regime, as they seek to negotiate a political deal that keeps their autonomy within Syria.

Negotiations could also raise new questions for US policy in Syria, where the US military has been deployed in SDF territory during the battle against Islamic State.

The SDF is spearheaded by the Kurdish YPG militia, which has mostly avoided conflict with Assad and has said it aimed to secure Kurdish rights rather than topple the regime.

The “long dialogue” included a proposal from the Assad regime for the de facto autonomous region to take part in the state’s local elections next month, according to Reuters.

The SDC insists on preserving its structure of governance and self-rule in any future elections, he said.

With US help, the SDF seized swathes of land, but Washington opposes their ambitions of autonomy. The region they control spreads across much of northern and eastern Syria, rich in farmland, oil, and water.

The Assad regime says that the US are an occupying force. In May, Assad said for the first time that he was “opening doors” for talks with the SDF, but also threatened force and said the Americans would leave one way or another.

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.


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