Syrian Kurdish leader says no 'political deals' signed between Rojava and US

There are no political or diplomatic agreements between the Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) and the US, a Kurdish leader said on Thursday.
author_image Sangar Ali

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – There are no political or diplomatic agreements between the Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) and the US, a Kurdish leader said on Thursday.

“To this date, we have no official agreement or alliance with the US. Our meetings with them are on an unofficial level,” Salih Muslim, a prominent former leader of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava), said in an interview with Kurdistan 24 in Brussels.

Muslim was the co-leader of the PYD from 2010 until 2017. Czech police on Feb. 25 detained him for three days in Prague before releasing him on bail. Since Sep. 2017, he has been working as the foreign relations representative for the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM) Coalition, which rules Rojava.

“The official agreements are only between the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Global Coalition [against the Islamic State (IS)], which are more military-related deals,” the former PYD leader added.

“We have good engagement with the US. We often meet their unofficial delegations, but so far, there are no political and diplomatic agreements with them. Should there be any, we will let our people know about that,” Muslim concluded.

The US-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which makes up the majority of the SDF, has been playing a critical role in defeating the Islamic State (IS) in northern Syria.

The Global Coalition against IS continues to provide military support to the SDF in the areas which have been liberated over the past few years. 

Ankara views the PYD, and its military wing, the YPG, and its Women's Protection Units (YPJ), as a ‘terrorist’ group and an extension of the outlawed PKK, a group fighting a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish government in Turkey.

Turkey has repeatedly criticized the US for arming the Syrian Kurdish forces, which has strained ties between Ankara – Washington.

Editing by Nadia Riva