The Syrian government and the Kurds have begun preliminary reconciliation talks. During a debriefing on the talks in Damascus, Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) members agreed to continue a “political process” and to address technical issues to build confidence.
The Syrian government presented a list of 12 terms. Reportedly they included a proposal for a limited federation or an autonomous administration in northern Syria. In the meeting, the YPG and Syrian government representatives agreed that it is not possible to carry on with the current administrative system of the country and that a decentralized state structure is a necessity.
Another term called for the transfer of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor to the Syrian government. This term also stipulated that the Syrian government would control underground resources (they want the oil and water).
Both sides agreed that the fight against Daesh/ISIS (the Islamic State) will continue in full solidarity.
The Damascus government demanded that in state institutions and borders, there will not be any symbols other than the Syrian flag and the People’s Protection/Defense Units (YPG) will gradually end its foreign connections because the Syrian government will become its source of supply.
|The green dots are key towns held by the SDF and the YPG. The red dots are areas where ISIS/Daesh is still present in small numbers.
The government agreed that none of the YPG terrorists will be arrested due to accusations made during the civil war. Those who are wanted for ordinary crimes, on the other hand, will be handed to Kurdish security forces.
The next step is for the SDC to examine the government’s list of terms and bring their own demands to the next meeting. After discussing the demands of both sides, official negotiations will begin.
You’ll notice on the map (right) that the Turks are expanding their territorial gains in Syria and have expressed an interest in keeping what they killed for. Turkey wants to make their captured turf part of the “new Turkish empire”. Syria doesn’t see it that way and neither do the Kurds.
Syrian Kurds are the first group to begin preliminary reconciliation talks. Most of what they require appears attainable.The Syrian government might be on the path to acquiring a powerful ally in the struggle to drive the Turks out of Syria, as well as to consolidate the defeat of the Islamist terrorists.
The US is behind the scenes in these negotiations as are the Russians. Both the US and Russia want rapprochement between the Kurds and Syria as a hedge against an overly ambitious and imperialistic Turkey. The Turks would like to conquer what the Ottomans once had. The people they’d like to rule feel differently about it.