Riad Darar, chair of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), the political wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), has revealed the contents of his discussions with French officials in Paris, regarding the American withdrawal from northeastern Syria.
In an interview with Basnews, Darar said that his visit to France was to discuss the recent situation following the American withdrawal decision, “In fact, this decision was a surprise to everyone, including us, despite the fact that we were ready for a moment like this, which we have been expecting would come.” He added, “However, this moment is coming with Turkish threats at the gates. The Turkish army is threatening to invade the region, and this is a difficult matter.”
Darar continued, “The French were also surprised (by the withdrawal decision), and they asked us if we knew anything about it before hand. We assured them it was a surprise to us, like them, and then there was a discussion about the consequences of the decision and how it might be possible to act.”
He added in his statements, published on the website on Sunday, that, “The French are like others—they can’t move without American cover, because America is the one who can make the decisions and make the moves.”
Darar pointed to the SDC’s request for the European Union and the International Coalition forces to take a position, and for the Coalition to continue its presence until the Islamic State is defeated, and then to continue to support the area, to defend it from external threats, and then for a decision by the Security Council, if possible, for air cover or to prevent threats.
He added, “We cannot make full, guaranteed promises because there are discusses and consultations, and therefore there were promises for us to meet another time to find out what happened after their consultations with the other parties.”
Opening to the Opposition
The head of the SDC continued, saying, “We are open to solutions, which could include agreements with the opposition, to make ourselves a united front in the Geneva negotiations, and us participating in the political process. This could be done after discussions and positive intervention from those who can communicate with all sides.”
He noted that, “The confirmation by the Turks that they have delayed their invasion is a positive step. This gives us a chance to open the door to find more than one way into a political solution with all parties.”
He closed, saying, “We have more than one scenario which could spare the region from threats that could come in time. We are not rushing, because we are also taking everyone’s pulse about how the coming process could work for a real Syrian-Syrian solution that preserves the country and from later consequences.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.