ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A source from the US-armed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) on Sunday said they had begun negotiations with the Syrian government to allow its troops to enter Afrin and defend against a Turkish offensive.
A YPG source, who spoke to Kurdistan 24 on condition of anonymity, revealed that negotiations with the Syrian government had started several days ago.
The source added that the ongoing discussions involve allowing government forces to enter and protect the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava).
Meanwhile, Badran Jia Kurd, an advisor to the Kurdish-led administration in northern Syria, told Reuters that army troops would be deployed “along some border positions and could enter the Afrin region within the next two days.”
Jia Kurd noted that the agreement between the YPG and the Syrian government was “purely military” and does not include any political or administrative arrangements yet.
“When it comes to the political and administrative matters in [Afrin], it will be agreed upon with Damascus in the later stages through direct negotiations and discussions,” he told Reuters.
The Syrian government’s relationship with the Kurds in Rojava is complicated and has been tense over the past years with President Bashar al-Assad repeatedly expressing his opposition to any form of Kurdish autonomy in the country’s north.
However, Syria has previously threatened to respond to Turkey’s aggression against the Kurds as Ankara’s military incursion, dubbed “Operation Olive Branch,” in the Kurdish-held Afrin region has been going on for a month.
Turkey has also threatened to push toward the Syrian town of Manbij—under the control of the Kurdish-led forces—and warned US troops stationed there not to get in the way.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany