Syrian Democratic Council Co-Chair Ilham Ahmed: US presence in North and East Syria important to reach political solution in Syria

NORTH AND EAST SYRIA — Co-Chair of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) Ilham Ahmed recently told media outlet The Middle East that, “The U.S. has told us that the political solution in Syria has not yet come and the continued existence of the SDC is hope for a political understanding in the country.”

“However,” said Ahmed, “the absence of the U.S. as a guarantor will risk the future of the region.”

Ahmed revealed that they told U.S. Department of State Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Joey Hood that if America decides to withdraw, it must be within an acceptable timeframe according to a well-thought-out plan following lasting political solutions and understandings about the fate of the region.

Ahmed noted that they continue to develop relations with the Russian Foreign Ministry and the leadership of Russian forces. The SDC dialogues with Moscow have not been interrupted and local coordination is continuing, she said, explaining that they asked for mediation with the Assad regime but the latter has not engaged in talks in good faith.

Ahmed said that the SDC supports Syrian–Syrian dialogue between the opposition components to reach a common consensus to pressure the regime into a real political process.

“We want to reach out to the people of Idlib, Damascus, Homs, Hama, and Quneitra to unify our calls for peace and a political solution,” Ahmed said, calling on the Syrian opposition coalition and the Syrian negotiating body to engage in efforts to unite the political opposition.