US-backed YPG in talks with Assad regime against Turkey

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 27.07.2018 20:01

Representatives of PKK-affiliated groups and the Bashar Assad regime met in Damascus on Friday to discuss possible cooperation against Turkey in northern Syria, several news agencies reported.

Local sources told Anadolu Agency (AA) that military cooperation against Ankara and economic autonomy and integration of areas occupied by the People's Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian wing of the PKK terrorist organization, in eastern Syria into the remaining part of the country were among the topics during the meeting.

The YPG has been negotiating with the Assad regime to handover Manbij rather than leaving it to Turkish military forces. Following the consensus agreement by Turkey and the U.S. on the YPG's withdrawal from Manbij, dialogue between the Assad regime and the YPG has intensified in recent weeks.

Sources added that the constitutional draft that was presented to interested parties in Astana and Geneva was also discussed in the meeting, resulting in the regime and the YPG agreeing to mutually work on it.

The delegation from the U.S.-backed forces was headed by Elham Ahmed, the head of the executive committee in the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who was also accompanied by the head of the Future Syria Party (FSP), Ibrahim al-Qaftan.

In a televised speech broadcast on Russia Today (RT) yesterday Ahmed said that issues related to the military and policy will be handled in the meeting.

In a news article published July 16, AA reported that the regime and the terrorist organization got closer and they agreed that the regime would be responsible for operating the dams and other energy sources under the organization's occupation.

Previously, the so-called military council announced on its Twitter account that they will not give control of Manbij to Turkey but rather to the Syrian regime. A road map for Manbij 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 June 18. According to the road map, the YPG would entirely leave the region. However, the YPG is reportedly still in town.

Cooperation between the YPG/PKK and the Assad regime is not new. During Turkey's Operation Olive Branch against the YPG in Afrin earlier this year, it received help from the regime. "The Syrian regime helps the Kurds with humanitarian support and some logistics, like turning a blind eye and allowing Kurdish support to reach some fronts," said a militant of the YPG-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

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