The head of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) believes talks with the government over the future of the northeast region will begin in days after a “positive” reaction from the government, according to a report by Reuters.
“There are attempts to carry out negotiations … the Syrian government stance was positive,” the YPG commander Sipan Hemo told Reuters. “We believe they will start in the coming days.”
Commenting on the expected withdrawal of US troops, Hemo said that the decision to withdraw “practically is not possible in the near term”.
It’s interesting to note how Reuters represents this situation:
“In a voice recording sent from his representatives late on Wednesday, Hemo said U.S. moves to withdraw were over-hasty and could not happen while the battle against Islamic State militants still rages.
Syrian Kurdish leaders have sought Russian mediation for talks with Assad’s state, hoping to safeguard their autonomous region when U.S. troops currently backing them pull out.
They fear an attack by neighboring Turkey, which has threatened to crush the YPG.
On a recent visit, U.S. envoy James Jeffrey talked to him and other officials about both satisfying Turkey and protecting northern Syria, Hemo said.
The Kurdish-led authority that runs much of north and east Syria presented a road map for an agreement with Assad in recent meetings with his key ally Russia.
Hemo said there had been no direct talks with the state since, but Damascus had received the proposal, which focused on preserving Kurdish and minority rights, including education, as well as self-rule.
Kurdish forces and Damascus have mostly avoided combat during the war. Assad, who has vowed to recover the entire country, has long opposed Kurdish ambitions for a federal Syria.
Short-lived talks between the two sides last summer went nowhere.”