The Bashar Assad regime in Syria and the PKK-affiliated People’s Protection Units (YPG) launched negotiations to discuss the autonomous rule of the latter in regions run by the terror group.
Following the preliminary talks between the two parties, official talks by representative delegations started in Qamishli last week. In the meeting, the issues, including the draft for autonomous rule and local administration law, were discussed.
The proposal submitted by the Damascus delegation suggests a local administration model loyal to Damascus. The Syrian regime wants YPG terrorists to join the regime army and in exchange, the terrorist group demands an autonomous state and a special unit for its own armed forces. A proposal regarding the participation of YPG forces in the Assad regime was discussed before, however, a common ground could not be reached.
The meetings in Qamishli were confirmed by the Assad regime’s media sources. Nevaf Mulhim, a member of the Syrian Public Council, said the YPG did not reject the proposal but did not approve it either. Saying that they continue to discuss mutual offers, Mulhim added a proposal reached by a consensus at the end of the meetings will be submitted to the regime for approval.
In addition to ongoing talks between Damascus and the YPG, Russia has maintained talks with Kurdish parties opposing the YPG in northern Syria. Mikhail Bogdanov, Russia's deputy foreign minister, has maintained a dialogue with the Syria Kurdish National Council (ENKS) about the situation in Syria and the implementation of the Turkey-Russia deal.
On Oct. 9, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate the presence of PKK terrorists and the YPG from northern Syria east of the Euphrates to secure Turkey's borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria's territorial integrity.
Ankara wants YPG terrorists to withdraw from the region so a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the return of some 2 million refugees.
On Oct. 22, Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which YPG terrorists would pull back 30 kilometers south of Turkey's border with Syria, and security forces from Turkey and Russia would mount joint patrols there.