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Kurds Reveal Meetings with Syrian Govt to Protect Border against Turkey

Kurds Reveal Meetings with Syrian Govt to Protect Border against Turkey

Saturday, 2 July, 2022 - 05:45
Turkish-backed Syrian opposition fighters walk at a position along the battle frontlines with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the countryside of Syria's northern city of Manbij, on June 8, 2022. (AFP)

A prominent Kurdish official revealed that meetings have been held between the autonomous Kurdish authority in the region east of the Euphrates River and representatives of the Syrian government to reach understandings on “protecting” the Syrian-Turkish border.

The talks, which were sponsored by Russia, are the first amid a rise in Turkey's threats that it will carry out a new incursion into Kurdish-held regions in northern Syria.

Forces loyal to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad are deployed in limited numbers along the lines that separate the regions held by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and pro-Turkey opposition Syrian factions, mainly in the al-Hasakeh, al-Raqqa and Aleppo provinces.

Amid the Turkish threats, Damascus has reinforced its positions in the northern Raqqa and eastern Aleppo countrysides.

Badran Jia Kurd, a vice president of the autonomous authority that runs the regions held by the SDF, confirmed the discussions that were held between the Kurds and the regime.

He told a press conference that an understanding between the two sides over protecting the border has been in place since 2019.

The latest talks have focused on expanding the understanding for the sake of the stability of the region, he added.

Damascus must have a clear stance on the Turkish threat and it must confront any Turkish incursion because it targets the whole of Syria and jeopardizes its unity, stability and future, he declared.

Jia Kurd warned that any Turkish attack will be met with “strong resistance.”

“Our people will not allow an attack against their gains and regions,” he vowed, stressing the need to also protect the gains claimed in defeating the ISIS terrorist group.

Turkey views the SDF, whose military backbone is formed of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), as a terrorist group. The US, however, sees the Kurdish forces as trusted allies in its war against ISIS in Syria.

Through its meetings with the regime, the SDF is hoping to transfer protection of the border to Damascus to avoid the latest Turkish offensive.

Damascus has its own interests and is seeking to reclaim the oil-rich regions that are held by the Kurdish forces. These regions are also Syria’s breadbasket, producing the bulk of its wheat and barley.

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