US Moves Closer to Diplomatic Recognition of SDF Areas in Syria

Syria Democratic Forces fighters carry their weapons in a village on the outskirts of al-Shadadi town, Hasaka countryside, Syria in February, 2016. (Reuters)
Syria Democratic Forces fighters carry their weapons in a village on the outskirts of al-Shadadi town, Hasaka countryside, Syria in February, 2016. (Reuters)
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US Moves Closer to Diplomatic Recognition of SDF Areas in Syria

Syria Democratic Forces fighters carry their weapons in a village on the outskirts of al-Shadadi town, Hasaka countryside, Syria in February, 2016. (Reuters)
Syria Democratic Forces fighters carry their weapons in a village on the outskirts of al-Shadadi town, Hasaka countryside, Syria in February, 2016. (Reuters)

Washington is expected to soon take concrete steps towards diplomatically recognizing the eastern Euphrates region controlled by the Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces, which amounts to an area of about 28,000 square kilometers, three times the size of Lebanon.

According to a senior Western official, the US administration is in the process of adopting a new strategy for Syria.

The first "concrete sign" of a change in American position in Syria, was given by US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis when he said Washington would send "diplomats" to SDF-controlled areas to work alongside the military, the official told Asharq Al-Awsat on Saturday.

Washington is also pushing for the empowerment of local councils in the post-ISIS era.

US policy is leaning towards backing reconstruction initiatives, the strengthening of public services and infrastructure, training of government agencies, in addition to protecting SDF areas and the upkeep of military bases, later leading to diplomatic recognition.

Meanwhile, the Russian-run Hmeimim airbase reported on Saturday evening that it was attacked by a "foreign body", while rebel sources indicated that drones were used to bomb the base.

It is the second time al-Qaeda has targeted the base after previous reports said that seven planes were destroyed and a number of soldiers killed on a December 31 attack, a claim which Moscow denied.

Hmeimim is a Syrian airbase currently operated by Russia, located south-east of the city of Latakia in Hmeimim, Latakia governorate.



UN Palestinian Agency Seeks Pushback against Israel's Effort to Disband it 

A Palestinian child navigates through heavy damage to a UNRWA school sheltering displaced persons the day after a nearby house was targeted by Israeli bombardment in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP)
A Palestinian child navigates through heavy damage to a UNRWA school sheltering displaced persons the day after a nearby house was targeted by Israeli bombardment in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP)
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UN Palestinian Agency Seeks Pushback against Israel's Effort to Disband it 

A Palestinian child navigates through heavy damage to a UNRWA school sheltering displaced persons the day after a nearby house was targeted by Israeli bombardment in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP)
A Palestinian child navigates through heavy damage to a UNRWA school sheltering displaced persons the day after a nearby house was targeted by Israeli bombardment in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP)

The head of the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) on Monday called to push back against efforts by Israel to have the organization disbanded.

"Israel has long been critical of the agency's mandate. But it now seeks to end UNRWA's operations, dismissing the agency's status as a United Nations entity supported by an overwhelming majority of Member States," UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini said at a meeting of the agency's advisory commission.

"If we do not push back, other UN entities and international organizations will be next, further undermining our multilateral system."