An alliance of Kurdish and Arab militants in Syria has sent a delegation to the Syrian capital for talks with Syrian government officials.
The so-called Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), which is linked to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) — a US-backed coalition of mainly Kurdish militants holding a grip on northeastern Syria — sent the delegation to Damascus on Wednesday, according to SDC co-chair Riad Darar.
The delegation, led by executive head of SDC Ilham Ahmed, was expected to discuss matters of service provision in the areas controlled by the Kurdish group, but “the talks might widen to political and security matters,” Darar told Reuters on Friday.
“This is certainly the first visit that happened,” he added.
The militants are allied with the United States and French troops deployed to Syria under the pretext of fighting Daesh.
Chief among their demands is having an autonomous region within the Syrian borders. Darar, however, said that the outcome of the meetings is not yet clear, and that he did not know which Syrian officials will be meeting with the Kurdish delegation.
He also did not clarify how long the delegation will stay in Damascus.
Their Kurdish militant group, once called by President Bashar al-Assad as “traitors” to the nation, announced last month that it was ready for “unconditional” peace talks with the government amid the Syrian army’s major gains against the foreign-backed terrorist groups.
Assad said back in May that he was “opening doors” for negotiations with the SDF, who have apparently become wary of their unpredictable “ally”, the United States.
In an interview with Russia’s RT television network, Assad said, “we started now opening doors for negotiations, because the majority of them are Syrians, supposedly they like their country, they don’t like to be puppets to any foreigners. If not, we’re going to resort… to liberating those areas by force.”
According to Syrian media, the Kurds had expressed readiness to hand over control of the Eastern Euphrates to the government after Washington withheld its support for the Kurdish militants in the northern Syrian cities of Manbij and Afrin.
The presence of the Kurdish militants in the area have been a source of tension between the US and Turkey. Last month, the two sides reached a deal about the withdrawal of the Kurds from Manbij.
The Kurds have stressed that that they do not seek independence, but say they want a political deal to safeguard an autonomous administration which is now under their control in the north.