US-Backed Syrian Kurdish Forces Prepping Team for Talks with Damascus – Reports

The Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) plans for talks with the government come on the heels of the Helsinki summit meeting between Presidents Putin and Trump, where the two men focused extensively on the Syrian conflict and ways to resolve the country’s ongoing humanitarian crisis.

The political arm of the majority Kurdish SDF militia group which controls much of northern and eastern Syria is working to create a negotiating team for possible talks with the Syrian government, Syrian Democratic Council key figure Hekmat Habib has told AFP.

“One of the meeting’s aims is to create a platform to negotiate with the Syrian government, “Habib said. “This platform will represent all areas in the autonomous administration and all areas held by the SDF,” he added, without providing more details.

Members of the Syrian Democratic Council, the SDF’s political arm, met in the northern Syrian town of Tabqa on Monday for discussions on a number of issues, including the possibility of negotiations with Damascus.

Formed in 2015 as a loose alliance against Daesh
. (ISIS), the SDF has received substantial assistance from the United States, France, and other Western powers in its fight against the terrorists in eastern Syria, and now controls substantial areas of the country’s territory, mostly east of the Euphrates River, including strategically and economically vital areas. Washington’s support for the SDF has led to frictions with its NATO ally Turkey, which considers the SDF’s YPG (People’s Protection Units) militias terrorists and has led a military operation against them in northwest Syria since early 2018.