Russia ready to mediate between Kurds, Damascus: Sergey Lavrov
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Russia is ready to mediate between the Syrian government and the Kurds, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.
During a press conference in Moscow, Lavrov said Russia had taken an “appropriate position” under the current regional developments amid Turkey’s military incursion in northern Syria.
“The goal is to create a situation where all Kurdish organizations in Syria are woven into the country’s legal framework and constitution,” he stated.
“There is a need for dialogue between the Kurds and Damascus, and we are ready to facilitate such a dialogue in every possible way,” Lavrov added. “Both parties have expressed interest in securing Russia’s assistance in the matter.”
Turkey’s operation in northern Syria against Syrian Kurdish forces began on Oct. 9. The offensive has left at least 235 people dead and displaced over 300,000 others, according to Syrian Kurdish officials.
A controversial US-brokered ceasefire has temporarily paused heavy clashes.
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Ankara wants the Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the People’s Protection Units (YPG), to withdraw from the Turkish border up to about 32 kilometers southward.
As per the purported ceasefire, the YPG, whom Turkey considers an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and, therefore, a terrorist organization, has 120 hours to make its withdrawal, which started on Friday.
Meanwhile, as the US withdraws from Syria, Russia is stepping into the vacuum, politically, as well as militarily.
On the ground in Syria, both regime forces and their Russian supporters have moved into areas that American troops have evacuated.
In a deal Moscow brokered, the SDF invited Syrian forces into the strategically located city of Manbij to protect it against a Turkish assault.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi on Tuesday, the day the US-brokered ceasefire is set to expire.