Hassan Nasrallah, head of the Lebanese Hezbollah, broadcasts a speech on the group's Al-Manar channel, August 26, 2018. Photo: Al-Manar / Rudaw video
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Hassan Nasrallah, head of the Lebanese Hezbollah, has warned the Kurdish authorities of northern Syria that America will “sell you out” and that their best hope of survival is to continue negotiations with the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
“You do not know when and to whom the US is going to sell you out,” Nasrallah said on Sunday in a video statement broadcast on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar channel.
America will eventually abandon the Kurds to Turkey or Russia, he warned.
Washington has repeatedly criticized Tehran and its Lebanese Hezbollah ally for their role in the Syrian conflict in support of Damascus.
Nasrallah’s warning comes just a day after US Ambassador William Roebuck insisted US forces in northern Syria are not planning to withdraw any time soon, despite US President Donald Trump’s earlier claims.
“We are prepared to stay here, as the president has made clear, to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS,” Roebuck said on Saturday during a visit to Kurdish-held territory, AFP reports.
Nasrallah hit back at the Roebuck’s comment. “The US ambassador to Syria said the same thing a few years ago in Damascus – that relations between Kurds and America are symbolic,” he said.
Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, Kurdish areas have created a self-governing region with its own government and security forces.
Kurdish leaders have recently engaged in talks with the Syrian government over a possible agreement on the future of Syria.
Leaders of the Northern Syrian Federation hope to keep their autonomy and draft a decentralized constitution for the country.
“The Eastern Euphrates areas are under the control of Kurds. Kurds and Kurdish parties have chosen the right path to negotiate with the state of Syria,” Nasrallah said.
“There should be no withdrawal from this choice.”
Support from Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah has allowed President Assad’s government to regain much of the territory lost to rebels and jihadists in the early years of the country’s seven-year war.
Assad’s government now controls nearly two-thirds of Syria and is determined to reassert its authority over Kurdish-held territory.
But Kurdish leaders and their supporters are desperate to salvage what they can of their painstakingly built institutions.