Syrian Kurds appeal to Damascus for dialogue
Northern Syria’s Kurdish administration has urged Damascus to open a dialogue to avoid further conflict after the government warned the semiautonomous region to sever relations with US occupying forces.

Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) co-chairman Riyad Derar called for a return to the path of political settlement, saying that international forces in the country are “operating in their own interests.”

He claimed: “The US is present in the region to combat ISIS. It will leave Syria when its mandate ends.

 “This is something we guarantee. Damascus government representatives should work with the people to get the invaders out of Syria.”

The statement, made at the weekend, appears to contradict other Kurdish leaders, who have welcomed a permanent US presence in the region.

It comes amid a major PR campaign demanding official recognition of the Autonomous Administration of North East Syria.

Syrian Democratic Council co-president Ilham Ahmed has been courting US officials. Last week, she visited the White House and State Department and met Pentagon representatives during a US tour.

She said that Washington had promised to “work to build infrastructure in north-eastern Syria” and would not withdraw troops, despite being asked to leave by the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Ms Ahmed voiced hope that the US would “play a more active role for a Syrian political settlement,” after Kurdish officials said that attempts to negotiate with Damascus have proved unsuccessful.

The new strategy appears to indicate a shift from what was a short-term tactical military alliance to defeat Isis to a longer-term political relationship with Washington.

Ms Ahmed made a secretive visit to Britain en route to France last week, although she avoided the press and is not believed to have met high-ranking politicians.

Last month, she surprised supporters when she suggested that a widely criticized oil deal with US Republican-owned Delta Crescent Energy could be back on.

The agreement was scrapped in May after President Joe Biden refused to renew a waiver of sanctions imposed under the Caesar Act, which precludes trade with Syria.

Last week, Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad threatened actions against Kurdish forces, whom he accused of working as US agents, and demanded that the US end its illegal occupation.

He warned that Syrian troops would expel the occupiers if they failed to leave of their own accord, telling the Kurdish administration that its forces “should stop working for foreign powers against their own country.”

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