High-ranking U.S. State Department delegation visits North and East Syria

NORTH AND EAST SYRIA — On Monday, the U.S. State Department announced that Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Joey Hood traveled to North and East Syria on 16 May.

According to a press statement, Hood was accompanied by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Levant Affairs and Acting Special Representative for Syria Engagement Aimee Cutrona, Deputy Special Envoy for Syria David Brownstein, and White House National Security Council Director for Iraq and Syria Zehra Bell.

The aim of the visit was meeting with senior officials of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), ranking council members, tribal leaders from Raqqa, International Coalition military counterparts, and humanitarian actors.

Hood emphasized the U.S. commitment to cooperation and coordination with the members of the U.S.-led International Coalition to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS), continued stability in North and East Syria, and the delivery of stabilization assistance to liberated areas to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS.

He also affirmed the U.S.’s commitment to support all efforts toward a political solution to the Syrian conflict and responding to Syrian humanitarian needs, noting that they are working with like-minded countries to ensure reauthorization of cross-border assistance into Syria.

SDC representative in Washington, D.C. and head of the Syriac National Council of Syria Bassam Ishak stated via Facebook that he hoped that the State Department visit would translate into action on the ground as soon as possible.