23/09/2020

Syrian Democratic Forces General Commander Mazloum Abdi intends to invite other parties to Kurdish–Kurdish dialogue

NORTH AND EAST SYRIA — Informed sources indicated that General Commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Mazloum Abdi intends in the next few days to invite both the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party (KDPP) in Syria and the Yekiti Kurdistan Party – Syria (PYKS) to join the ongoing Kurdish–Kurdish dialogue currently taking place in North and East Syria

In the first phase of the Kurdish–Kurdish dialogue, participation was only limited to both the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Kurdish National Council (ENKS).

Syriac political parties, including ones affiliated with the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) have voiced support for the Kurdish–Kurdish, arguing that such talks can be beneficial for peace and stability in the region.

The Kurdish–Kurdish talks are intra-Kurdish talks between the many Kurdish political parties in North and East Syria and do not involve non-Kurdish parties.

While the talks are sometimes portrayed in media as if they are directly linked to the DAA, they are merely between Kurdish political parties. The DAA is a multi-ethnic governing body, not a Kurdish government, and cannot be divided solely between Kurdish parties.

The news of progression of rapprochement between the many Kurdish political parties in Syria, which began early this year, comes on the tail of an unannounced visit to the region by U.S. Special Envoy for Syria James Jeffery.

According to a press release by the U.S. Department of State, Jeffrey had, “separate meetings with senior officials of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the negotiating delegations of the ongoing Intra-Kurdish dialogue, and with ranking council members and tribal leaders from the Dayr al-Zawr region.”

From North and East Syria, Jeffrey travelled to Erbil in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) where he met with the President of the KRI, Necirvan Barzani, to discuss the latest developments in the fight against the Islamic State and the Kurdish–Kurdish dialogue.

According to the statement, Jeffrey expressed U.S. support for resolving differences between the Kurdish parties in Syria.

“During the meeting, Jeffrey stressed that America and the International Coalition will continue to support their partners in confronting terrorism and the final elimination of ISIS in Syria and the Kurdistan Region and Iraq,” read a statement released by the Office of the Presidency of the KRI.

The initiative for the Kurdish-Kurdish talks was taken by the U.S. and France to bring the PYD and the KRI Kurds, led by the KDP of the Barzani family, around the table for rapprochement talks after an absence of several years of the KDP from northeastern Syria.

After Turkey and allied militant groups invaded and occupied the Democratic Autonomous Administration, some analyst belief the talks and involvement of Barzani’s KDP are intended to make the political party PYD and its armed forces YPG, part of the SDF, more acceptable to Turkey. Turkey is a long-time backer and partner of the KDP and the ruling Barzani family. Turkey in this way is better able to influence events at its Iraqi border and control and suppress threatening intra-Kurdish affairs. The PYD has to cope with many national and foreign powers after President Trump ordered a withdrawal of US troops and Turkey invaded and occupied northeastern Syria in October 2019.