US-backed YPG hands over control of two dams to Assad regime

Published 18.07.2018 00:00

The PKK terrorist group's Syrian affiliate has reportedly agreed to hand over control of the Tishreen and Tabqa Dams on the Euphrates River in northern Syria to the Bashar Assad regime.

According to information obtained from local sources in Raqqa by Anadolu Agency (AA), the People's Protection Units (YPG) transferred operational rights of Tishreen and Tabqa Dams to the regime on Monday as a result of long-running negotiations.

While the Tishreen Dam is located about 20 kilometers southeast of Manbij, the Tabqa Dam is located nearly 40 kilometers southwest of Raqqa.

According to the agreement, regime soldiers will be deployed in facilities around the dams. In exchange for the takeover agreement, the Assad regime will provide electricity and water to YPG-held areas in Syria.

Pundits say that the deal over Manbij between Washington and Ankara has pushed the YPG to reconnect with the regime. Despite being a group that has been taking control of regime territory, there have not been any significant clashes between the YPG and the regime since the breakout of the Syrian war in 2011.

Ankara demands the eviction of the YPG from Manbij and the clearing of PKK-affiliated terrorists in the area up until the Euphrates River. For that purpose, the Manbij road map was announced following a meeting in Washington between Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in early June.

The first patrols by Turkish and U.S. troops in the region began on June 18. According to the road map, the YPG, will completely leave the region and retreat to the eastern part of the Euphrates.

The Turkish army and regime forces may be deployed very close to each other after the implementation of both the agreements.

Reports suggested that negotiations have been continuing on the takeover of oil fields near the Iraqi border as well, which are also already under control of the YPG.

Within this framework, a regime delegation that included Russian experts visited the country's biggest oil field, al-Omar.

A year ago, the Syrian regime and the YPG agreed to share revenue of oil extracted from the northeastern Hasakah province.

Currently, the YPG controls about 70 percent of all oil fields in Syria. The terrorist group, which has been supported by Washington, also controls nearly a quarter of all Syrian lands and three major dams on the Euphrates that provide a substantial part of the country's electricity and irrigation needs.

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