The U.S.-backed PKK Syrian affiliate held a second round of talks over autonomy with Syria's Bashar Assad, a group representative told Reuters yesterday.
The Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), which is the political wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group dominated by the PKK's Syrian affiliate, the People's Protection Units (YPG), held new talks on decentralization and the Constitution, SDC Co-chair Riad Darar was quoted as saying yesterday.
A delegation including members of the U.S.-backed SDF, which controls roughly a quarter of Syria, held talks with Damascus this month in their first declared visit to the capital.
The second round of talks with the Assad regime was held last week, the report added.
The YPG has organic organizational and operational links with the PKK, a group considered a terrorist organization by the U.S., the EU and Turkey. Despite the links, Washington has picked the YPG as its partner in its fight against Daesh in Syria, supplying the group with truckloads of weapons and other military equipment. The YPG reportedly hopes to reach a deal with the Assad regime for guaranteed autonomy in Syria. Negotiations could also raise new questions for U.S. policy in Syria, where the U.S. military deployed into SDF territory during its battle against Daesh.
While the YPG is supported by the U.S., Assad has received support from Russia and Iran. Despite being a U.S. proxy in Syria, there have not been any significant confrontations between Assad and the YPG. Reports have suggested previously that the YPG has made deals with Assad over territorial control.
The "long dialogue" included a proposal from Damascus for the de facto autonomous region to take part in the state's local elections next month, Darar also told Reuters. The SDC insists on preserving its structure of governance and self-rule in any future elections, he said and added, "The delegation from Qamishli decided it would return for more discussions." Though the regime is negotiating with the YPG, it describes the group's backers as the occupiers.
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