The unilateral establishment of a self-ruled or semi-autonomous region in Syria would not be recognized by Washington, a U.S. State Department official told Daily Sabah."Our position remains that we would not recognize any unilaterally declared self-rule or semi-autonomous zone and we have made that position known to all parties. As we have said, the future of Syria is to be decided by Syrians, consistent with the political transition and election process enshrined in UNSCR [U.N. Security Council Resolution] 2254," the official said.
The State Department's statement came in response to Daily Sabah's question regarding a news story on Asharq A-Aswat claiming that "Washington is expected to soon take concrete steps towards diplomatically recognizing the eastern Euphrates region" controlled by the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), "which amounts to an area of about 28,000 square kilometers, three times the size of Lebanon."
The official added that the United States supports the territorial integrity of Syria, and a unified and democratic Syria in which the rights of all groups are protected.
"The future of Syria is to be decided by Syrians, consistent with the political transition and election process enshrined in UNSCR 2254," it said.
An article in Saudi-owned Asharq Al-Awsat suggested on Saturday that the U.S. administration is in the process of adopting a new strategy for Syria and U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Washington would send diplomats to SDF-controlled areas to work alongside the military. The article added that the U.S. policy is leaning toward backing reconstruction initiatives, the strengthening of public services and infrastructure and training of government agencies, in addition to protecting SDF areas and the upkeep of military bases, later leading to diplomatic recognition.