On July 26, Aldar Khalil, co-president of the executive body of the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM), told the Kurdish Rudaw TV that Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria are ready to participate in any military operation of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the northern governorate of Idlib if this brings them closer to retaking the Kurdish area of Afrin.
“One of the steps towards liberating Afrin is that we must put pressure on Turkey and ask them to withdraw from the soil of Syria completely – and our enclaves in particular … To evict them, we must try whatever means necessary, be they diplomatic efforts, military means, or through the media,” Rudaw quoted Khalil as saying.
TEV-DEM is a coalition of several Kurdish parties in northeastern Syria, including the well-known Democratic Union Party (PYD). Together these parties lead the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), which is the political wing of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Hours later, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad told Russian journalists that the next target of the SAA will be the radical groups in Idlib. Few months ago, the Syrian president called for a dialogue with the SDF to reach a political solution for the situation in northeastern Syria.
“Now our goal is Idlib, but not Idlib alone, and there are of course areas in eastern Syria controlled by several groups,” al-Assad said, according to the Russian RT TV.
While the Damascus government appears to be interested in launching a military operation in Idlib, it is not clear if it will consider allowing Kurdish forces to participate in any such sensitive development.