Kurds should turn their back on US, deal with Damascus: Syrian Minister
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdish-led northeastern region of Syria will not be treated differently by Damascus and will be dealt with in the same manner as other provinces, a government minister said on Tuesday.
“We cannot give any Syrian province something which differentiates it from other provinces or ethnicities, or (allow) any situation which strikes at the idea that Syria is one country and one society,” Syria’s Reconciliation Minister, Ali Haidar, said during an interview with Russia’s Sputnik news agency.
The Kurdish-led administration in the northeast of Syria controls more territory than any other groups in the country, apart from the Syrian government.
Over the past few years, they have liberated large swaths of territory from the Islamic State (IS) and continue to hold most of the areas. Over the seven-year-old civil war, Kurds have mostly avoided direct conflict with government forces while demanding autonomy and promoting the idea of a decentralized system in the country.
The Syrian government has recaptured most of the territories previously-held by rebel groups who were opposing President Bashar al-Assad’s rule.
The Kurds in Syria, so far, are one of the few who have made gains in the seven-year war, expanding their autonomy over a vast stretch of land in the north currently under the control of the Kurdish-led and US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
In the past few months, the Kurdish self-administration has tried to establish ties with Damascus to protect their gains, wary they cannot indefinitely rely on the protection of their US ally.
The Syrian government has also been working to combat the US’ presence in the country, positioning themselves as the only guarantor of the reconciliation process.
“The solution to the problem now is for the Kurdish groups dealing with America to turn their backs on this and turn to the Syrian state,” Haidar asserted.
Editing by Nadia Riva