GOZARTO: US State Department delegation visits Democratic Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria

HASAKAH / GOZARTO (Jazira) Region, Syria – A delegation from the US State Department visited northeast Syria on Saturday. The US delegation held two separate meetings at the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) headquarters, one with the military command of the SDF and one with top officials of the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) of North and East Syria.

The State Department delegation was headed by Ethan Goldrich, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs with responsibility for the Levant (Syria, Jordan, Lebanon), and included American diplomats and military attachés. According to North Press Agency, the delegation first met with SDF Commander-in-Chief Mazloum Abdi, Syrian Democratic Council Executive Committee Chair Ilham Ahmed, and DAA Executive Council co-chairs Berivan Khaled and Abd Hamed al-Mehbash. In addition to respecting de-escalation agreements and the existing ceasefire, the two sides discussed several dossiers related to joint action to combat terror organization Islamic State, the stability in the autonomous areas, human rights violations, and the repatriation of detained (foreign) Islamic State members and their families.

In a second meeting, Goldrich and his delegation met with the two co-chairs of the DAA Executive Council and several (deputy) co-chairs. Co-Chair of the Executive Council of the Gozarto (Jazira) Region Nazira Goreya (Syriac Union Party) was also present at the latter meeting. They discussed the escalating threats and tensions with Turkey to the autonomous region which negatively impact the fight against Islamic State, the policies and tools needed to continue counter-terrorism operations in North and East Syria, and how to ensure an adequate level of self-sufficiency in essential basic resources to ensure the security of the region and its people.