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Kurdish Spokesman Considers a Deal with Assad Is Inevitable

Jan. 7, 2019 (EIRNS)—Evidence continues to surface that indicates that the leadership of the Kurdish PYD and its armed wing, the YPG, are seeking to make a deal with the Syrian government of Bashar al Assad, though there’s no agreement between them yet.

The London-based Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported on Jan. 5 that, days after Trump’s Dec. 19 announcement, a top YPG military commander, Sipan Hemo, traveled to the Russian air base in Latakia for a secret meeting with Syrian intelligence chief Ali Mamlouk and Defense Minister Gen. Ali Abdullah Ayoub. A Russian military delegation was also present. According to the report, Hemo expressed a willingness to hand over the border area east of the Euphrates River to government forces and allow the Syrian state sovereignty there.

Then, yesterday, AFP cited Redur Khalil, a spokesman for the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, which is dominated by the YPG, saying that a deal with Damascus is inevitable. “Reaching a solution between the autonomous administration and the Syrian government is inevitable, because our areas are part of Syria,” said Khalil. “Negotiations are ongoing with the government to reach a final formulation for administering the city of Manbij,” Khalil told AFP, and that talks had shown “positive signs.” If that leads to a solution that “protects the rights” of Manbij residents, a similar arrangement could be applied to SDF-controlled areas of Deir Ezzor province, east of the Euphrates River, he said. “We still have some differences with the central government, which need negotiations with international support,” Khalil said, and went on that Russia could act as a guarantor state. Issues include the future of the YPG and other armed formations within the SDF. “The tasks of these forces could change, but we will not withdraw from our territory,” Khalil said, stated that Kurdish fighters could be integrated into the Syrian army.

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