Ilham Ahmed, co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council. File photo: Hussein Malla / AP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), the political branch of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), convened with parties under its umbrella on Monday to call on all democratic parties in Syria to join in its dialogue with the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
The meeting took place in the city of Derbasiya at the headquarters of the SDC “to discuss all related aspects of the visit between the Syrian Democratic Council and Damascus”, according to a readout from the SDC on Monday.
SDC co-chair Ilham Ahmed shared the content of the meeting with the parties present.
“The political forces and parties in the Syrian Democratic Council in the meeting, on their side, reiterated the importance of this meeting as an initiative for political resolution and the necessity for its continuity on solid and robust principles,” the statement said.
The parties hope cooperation between the SDC and Damascus in the provision of services, particularly electricity, could build confidence between the two sides “that could open the horizons towards a holistic political resolution for all of Syria”.
The SDC called on all “Democratic Syrian Political Parties” to join its efforts “so that it is more effective and influential in putting an end to violence and war”.
On Friday, the SDC met with a regime delegation in the Syrian capital Damascus and agreed on a roadmap for negotiations that would see regime cooperation in the provision of utilities and services.
Saleh Moslem, foreign relations chief for TEV-DEM, Rojava’s ruling administration, said the meeting was only testing the waters with the regime and nothing concrete had been agreed.
The SDC and the ruling Kurdish authorities of Rojava, or Northern Syrian Federation, resorted to negotiations with the regime after US President Donald Trump said earlier this year American forces will withdraw from Syria once ISIS is defeated.
The SDF and SDC, dependent on US protection from Turkish and Syrian government attack, have limited options. Assad has threatened to take back areas under SDF control by force, while Ankara has regularly said it intends to remove the SDF from its border.
Syrian Kurds are hopeful that more cooperation with the Assad regime can undermine the presence of Turkish forces.
Since Turkey was given the green light by Russia to launch its Afrin operation, Turkey could be booted out of the Kurdish enclave if the relationship between Moscow and Ankara can be altered over Idlib where Turkey and Russia are backing opposing sides.
Rojava forces could therefore agree to assist Assad in his operations against the opposition in Idlib.