Gen. Ali Mamlouk head of Syria’s National Security Bureau had paid a rare visit to the country’s northeastern region, where he met with dozens of local tribal leaders.
According to the Hawar News Agency (ANHA), the senior official arrived in the Qamishli airport at 10:00 am on December 5 and left five hours later.
During his visit, Gen. Mamlouk held several meetings with local officials and more than 20 tribal leaders, representing the biggest Arab tribes in the northeastern region.
Sources with knowledge of the matter told the ANHA that Gen. Mamlouk asked the tribal leaders to pull their tribesmen from the ranks of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which controls the region with support from the U.S.
“Mamlouk invited the heads and dignitaries of several tribes in the Jazira region [northeast Syria] to a meeting in order to ask them to withdraw their children from the SDF,” one of the sources said.
Some sources claimed that Gen. Mamlouk also met with officials of the SDF’s political wing. However, these claims were denied by the Kurdish group.
Last October, the Ministry of Defense of Syria called on SDF fighters and commanders to defect and join the ranks of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), offering them an amnesty.
The Kurdish-led group announced its readiness to join the SAA. However, it declared that it wants to maintain its own independent command and control. This term was apparently rejected by Damascus.