US-Backed Kurds Agree To "Unconditional Talks" With Syrian Government After Pentagon-Turkey Deal

We've long predicted that the US-backed Syrian Kurdish forces currently holding a vast chunk of land in Syria's northeast with the help of American coalition air power will naturally drift toward striking a deal with Assad, as the two sides have throughout the war exercised some degree of quiet cooperation against ISIS, foreign jihadists, and Turkish expansionism. 

In a huge weekend development which has gone largely unnoticed by mainstream media, the political wing of the US-trained and supported Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced it is open to entering into unprecedented direct negotiations with the Assad government over the future of the country.

US officer with fighter from Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria in 2017. Image source: AFP via Middle East Eye

The Syrian Democratic Council, or SDC, is the political arm of the powerful alliance of mostly Kurdish and Arab fighters that make up the SDF, and on Sunday declared willingness to enter into "unconditional talks" with the Syrian government. 

The London based international Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reports the following

In a statement on Sunday, the SDC said it was committed to resolving Syria's deadly conflict through dialogue, and would not "hesitate to agree to unconditional talks".

"It is positive to see comments about a summit for Syrians, to pave the way to start a new page," it said.

Leading SDC member Hekmat Habib told AFP that both the council and the SDF "are serious about opening the door to dialogue" with the regime.

"With the SDF's control of 30 percent of Syria, and the regime's control of swathes of the country, these are the only two forces who can sit at the negotiating table and formulate a solution to the Syrian crisis," he said.

As Syria analyst Joshua Landis confirms, the surprise SDC announcement comes just days after a controversial deal reached between Turkey and the US for the withdrawal of Syrian Kurdish forces from Manbij. 

Syrian Kurdish leaders were enraged by the agreement, announced over the weekend, which allows for US and Turkish forces to patrol the northern Syrian city — though the Syrian Kurdish SDF wrested the city from ISIS in a major 2016 offensive. Turkey has consistently demanded Kurdish withdrawal from Manbij after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan invaded northern Syria in his non-ironically named 'Operation Olive Branch' early this year, aimed primarily at annexing Afrin canton. 

Increasingly, America's incoherent policy regarding the Kurds and Syria more broadly has put the more than 2000 US troops occupying northeast Kurdish heavy regions of the country in the middle of a Kurdish-Turkey-Damascus final showdown for the future of Syria. 

As we remarked after Mattis' weekend comments stating his desire to keep troops in Syria, Syria looks to be going the way of other major US wars: an open-ended situation short of success in which officials simultaneously are unable to come up with a plan to “win,” but will resist any pullout so they never completely lose.

Both the Syrian government and Syrian Kurdish forces understand this well, and know that Syrians alone are the lasting stakeholders in the country — something increasingly obvious as the US appears to be handing over sovereign Syrian territory over to expansionist NATO ally Turkey. 

A Syrian Kurdish SDC official further stated of weekend developments, "We are looking forward, in the next phase, to the departure of all military forces from Syria and the return to Syrian-Syrian dialogue" — in a reference to both Turkish and US occupying forces. 

We predicted this almost year a year ago in our analysis of Pentagon goals in northern Syria as it became clearer that Assad and Russia were emerging victorious in the 6-year proxy war:

Though the US endgame continues to be the ultimate million dollar question in all of this, it appears at least for now that this endgame has something to do with the Pentagon forcing itself into a place of affecting the Syrian war's outcome and final apportionment of power: the best case scenario for American power in the region being permanent US bases under a Syrian Kurdish federated zone with favored access to Syrian oil doled out by Kurdish partners, and we could now be witnessing the early phases of such negotiations. 

But if indeed the Kurds are cutting separate deals with Russia, a US exit from Syria could be forced sooner rather than later.

Notably, in a wide-ranging interview with RT News last month, President Assad issued an ultimatum to Syrian Kurdish militias backed by the US: "We're going to deal with it by two options: the first one we started now opening doors for negotiations, because the majority of them [SDF] are Syrians. Supposedly they like their country, they don't like to be puppets to any foreigners," Assad said. 

"If not, we're going to resort ... to liberating those areas by force. It's our land, it's our right, and it's our duty to liberate it, and the Americans should leave. Somehow they're going to leave," Assad added while speaking to RT

While it appears the Pentagon is now (predictably) selling out the Kurds to Turkey, Assad has consistently taken a pragmatic approach in dealing with the US-backed SDF, reminding them that no foreign supporters could possibly have Syrian best interests in mind: "either you have a country or you don’t have a country" he said in the RT interview of the foreign invasion of Syrian soil over the past years of war. 

Should SDC-SDF and Syrian government negotiations come to full fruition, this could mark lasting peace and the final exit of foreign forces, American troops foremost among them. 

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Comments

giovanni_f Adolfsteinbergovitch Tue, 06/12/2018 - 01:41 Permalink

"the kurds" might have just realized that the US is not a benevolent protector but a mobster who asks for absolute submission.

but then there is the question what kurd exactly means in which context. Is it an Israeli funded dominant clan? Is it the Soros-media-propaganda-construct of a grassroots-like "Northern Syria equal-rights democratic Utopia under kurdish leadership"?

Is it all the native kurds in Syria? Is it the turkish kurds who came as refugees to Syria (returning the favor by supporting the Yanks?). Is it all kurds across all countries?

fact is: the kurds never had a state and won't get one, ever. Besides, they are not a unified block (just talk to anyone of them). There is a significant block of kurds affiliated with ISIS to make matters even more easy.

It is a sad reality for "the kurds" but there is no way Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Syria would ever surrender land for a kurdish state.

In reply to by Adolfsteinbergovitch

Manthong wadalt Tue, 06/12/2018 - 01:56 Permalink

Wet Dream…

Trump, Putin and Assad summit in Damascus...

All of the DC greater metro would be knee-deep in cranial matter from all of the exploding heads.

Trump and Putin could do a great job with security in Syria.

The whole Mediterranean would be deluged with all of the fecal matter flowing in from the North and Southeast.

:-D

In reply to by wadalt

ravolla helltothenah Tue, 06/12/2018 - 09:46 Permalink

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In reply to by helltothenah

Ajas Tue, 06/12/2018 - 01:04 Permalink

Kurds realize Turkey is the real existential threat to them.  By allying with Assad, they represent a unified Syrian force vs the occupying Turks.  Lesser of 2 evils no doubt

Badsamm Ajas Tue, 06/12/2018 - 01:10 Permalink

How on earth do the Kurds continually fall for this shit? I have always thought they deserved their own country but they just might not be smart enough. 

 

You never make a deal with an American that is already breaking laws just being there. Who doesn’t know that by now  

Fucking duh

In reply to by Ajas

SoDamnMad Badsamm Tue, 06/12/2018 - 01:46 Permalink

When the hell did the Constitution change to give the Pentagon power to make foreign policy. I guess that was right after the State Department bought weapons to give away to foreign countries when they waged their wars.  It would be a shame if the State Department and the Pentagon got on opposite sides overseas and then brought that conflict back to sttes. Can you imagine Abrams firing live rounds into State Department buildings or the Marines shooting up the Ambassador in some Embassy.

In reply to by Badsamm

gdpetti hxc Tue, 06/12/2018 - 12:24 Permalink

Antarctica is SG territory, remember when Admiral Byrd got his ass kicked down there? Op Highjump? et al?... there's a reason that continent is ringed by bases... they aren't allowed 'in'.

That said, the Kurds take what they can get, but playing stupid never works well, as Erdo the Idiot has found out in his land... how does he enjoy our financial regime change ops? since our CIA didn't do a very good job with more direct use of our GLadio operators there. That agency is so full of pathological types these days, it's another sign of our times... ponerological cycle completing it's endgame routine.... like any parasite in a host... slow suicide.. same thing the Kurds are facing unless they learn how things operate here in purgatory.... same problem the native 'americans' had... 'white man speaks with forked tongue'.... no not all white people... just our leadership.... the dumb ones end up in body bags... or having 'accidents' or suddenly decide to kill themselves with that masonic waistbelt on their robe... funny that, no?

One point to remember is that the Kurds aren't a majority in most of northern Syria, except the far NE.. near Iran and Turkey, they are mixed in with various groups throughout the rest... so controlling it would mean by force....

In reply to by hxc

BarkingCat Lost in translation Tue, 06/12/2018 - 08:56 Permalink

What is this always shit?

They made an alliance with France and Britain after WW1 but delt with Soviet Russia by themselves in the 1920s.

You sound like you have never heard of defense treaties.  How do you think WW1 started. It was a case of defense treaties between all the European nations that dragged everyone into that war.

The current day situation is very likely a case of politicians being bribed. 

In reply to by Lost in translation

gdpetti BarkingCat Tue, 06/12/2018 - 12:28 Permalink

Poland's problem is similar to most countries... bad leadership... they don't learn to play the game well... and suffer the consequences after... or rather the people do... same here, no? How many in the establishment, public or 'deep' have paid any price for all the crap going on? none?... sure, there are always a couple standouts pointing out the obvious.... same on this site everyday as the regular contributors point out the obvious patterns in the data... we all know it's a question of 'if' not 'when'... same for Poland... same as it was for the USSR... and Germany... both subject to the same 'puppet masters' pulling their strings.. same as it was/is for Britain and the USA.... 'PURGATORY' is the name of the 'school' we attend.... school doesn't let out for a few more years.... 'dark star' approaching.... lots of EM changes... but the real game changer is what comes after... the old 'gods' return...pomp and circumstance.. 'graduation' etc.

In reply to by BarkingCat

Brazen Heist II Badsamm Tue, 06/12/2018 - 06:38 Permalink

That's right. Is it any wonder why the Kurds and Pollacks are dumb as each other? And is it any coincidence that Uncle Scam takes advantage of them both? I think not. America is a predator that preys on the weak and vulnerable.

I've always said the Kurds best interest is to work with the Syrian government and its allies, not the illegal occupiers, resource predators and terrorist supporters that are the West and its pack of browbeaten goons.

In reply to by Badsamm

Jack Oliver HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 07:46 Permalink

Turkey could pull out of NATO and end all this in an instant ! 

It has forever been the Turkish MO to play both sides !! 

Its not indecisiveness- it’s just their FUCKING genetic mentality !! 

Russia and the SAA have wasted between 60 and 100 thousand ISUS ‘proxies’ ! 

This should surely give Turkey something to think about - but they are too genetically stupid to comprehend the enormity of it !! 

 

In reply to by HRH of Aquitaine 2.0

OverTheHedge Jack Oliver Tue, 06/12/2018 - 10:21 Permalink

Turkey and the Kurds is an internal issue; more important to me is whether Erdogan needs a foreign adventure to keep his political base happy. If he can't go east, his options are north, or west, and north is Russia! I am expecting the war of words with Greece to heat up, as and when the road to Damascus gets too tricky.

Assuming Erdogan takes an island or two (probably half-a-dozen uninhabited rocks, but he might get silly and snaffle some inhabited islands as well), the Greeks will fight back immediately, despite the size differential. I would assume the EU would prevaricate but do nothing, and NATO has already exposed itself to being incompetent and split, so I am not sure what would happen next. It would probably come down to whether the Turkish conscripts have more or less enthusiasm for dying on a rock than their Greek counterparts.

The other option would be an Ardens style tank-battle into Thrace, and would be quite exciting for everyone. There are loads of tanks on both sides (mostly all made by Germany), and Greece has a permanent presence of 30-60,0000 soldiers, with turkey having another 80,000 facing them. 

Fun fact I just discovered - in 2010-2012, 15% of total German arms exports went to Greece. 10% of total French arms exports. Can't think why Greece is a failed state, can you? Of course, if Turkey does invade, then it was OMP well spent.

In reply to by Jack Oliver

Joe A Tue, 06/12/2018 - 01:34 Permalink

The Kurds, stabbed in the back once again. They never seem to learn.

Funny thing. The US and Turkey reach a deal about a third party that was not included in the talks (and would have refused to participate anyway) about them moving away from the area.

Europe take note.

DaiRR Tue, 06/12/2018 - 02:32 Permalink

Assad the pragmatist will work a peace with the YPG, and the Turks will continue to bomb the YPG in N. Syria.  I hate Erdogan every bit as much as the YPG does.

LoveTruth Tue, 06/12/2018 - 02:34 Permalink

US is in Syria for Israel. And the Kurds are played for the benefit of Israel too. The Kurds are just too dumb to figure this out. Kurds won't have a country. Only Israel wants them to have a country so they can use them against anybody in that part of the world.

Ghost who Walks Tue, 06/12/2018 - 02:51 Permalink

It all seems so complex.

Who to believe and what to believe?

"As Syria analyst Joshua Landis confirms, the surprise SDC announcement comes just days after a controversial deal reached between Turkey and the US for the withdrawal of Syrian Kurdish forces from Manbij." 

While this might suit both Turkey and the US, it lacks any legal standing with regards to the Syrian Arab Army as Manbij is in Syria.

Syria currently has a legally constituted and recognised Government, that has nominal legal control over Manbij. The phrases "de facto" and "de jure" come into play, but long-term Manbij is in Syria and the Syrians will decide who rules them and what laws will apply to this area.

Ace006 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 03:10 Permalink

The US and the Eurotrash never cease to piss and moan about the Russian "invasion" or "annexation" of Crimea. (Crimea would be part of Ukraine today at this very hour but for Nuland's scheming to overthrow the elected government of Ukraine.) Russian expansionism!!!!! Eeeek oh eeeek, everyone!!

So now we have the US conspiring with the Turks -- who HAVE invaded sovereign Syria in a naked land grab if the words "naked" and "grab" still have any meaning -- but that's just peachy with US political scum.

Those shameless bastards will, however, not miss a beat in the future to demonize Putin over and over and over for his perfidy over Crimea. Just watch.

Tyler's characterization of US policy in Syria as incoherent is right on the money.  Hypocritical works even better.

gwar5 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 03:26 Permalink

This could be good.

Kurds have been victims and good actors. Assad got bad rap, the 'rebels' against him were ISIS.

The Turks are just fucking demented genocidal freaks under Erdogan and need to be reigned in during said talks.

Kurds + US + Assad >> Turks

haruspicio Tue, 06/12/2018 - 03:34 Permalink

Kurds are thick. They back the wrong horse and always get let down. They trusted America and America, as it always does, reneged when the going gets tough. 

Kopfs Tue, 06/12/2018 - 05:05 Permalink

About time the Kurds started thinking about themselves. If they wait, the Turks will have them disarmed and under tanks, and they'll find themselves magically no longer US-backed as the Kurds in Iraq did when push came to shove.

45North1 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 06:20 Permalink

The Kurds were pretty much fucked over in Iraq when they sided with the US against Saddam in hopes of having some northern territory becoming theirs.  Too bad that territory had oil.  They got nothing.

Maybe this time will be different.

 

DavidFL Tue, 06/12/2018 - 07:39 Permalink

Ok - so Assad keeps Syria, and Sadr gets Iraq. Well done Pentagon, CIA, and all the boys. A fine use of $3 or 4 trillion!

So, lets forget about those two insignificant f.uck-ups, and get started on Iran! See how that one plays out.Hopefully we get some new thinking - hmmmm, probably not, let me think, oh yea, Bolton is in the room!

Money_for_Nothing Tue, 06/12/2018 - 09:54 Permalink

Define "emerging victorious".
My definition is the Kurds pay taxes and the Turks are out of Syria.
Right now Russia and US (except Senator McCain) want to cut costs.
Turkey wants to cause trouble.