Syrian Kurdish leader says deal reached with Damascus and Moscow
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) - Kobani Military Council leader Ismat Sheikh Hassan on Sunday evening told Kurdistan 24 that his group had reached an agreement with the Russian and Syrian governments after being convinced that Syria's Kurds had been abandoned by US President Donald Trump.
“Before everything, it seems this is the fate of the Kurdish people [to be abandoned]. We did anything that we could, we called upon the international community, including the Arab League as you saw on the media. Yet, the meetings with the U.N. Security Council and the Arab League did not result in a solution,” he said.
“We ourselves should heal our pain,” Hassan continued. “When we urged that all Kurdish [circles] should rely on our unity, no one listened. Now, we have reached an agreement with the Syrian government and the Russians. They are supposed to enter the area this evening.”
The Kurdish leader concluded with a call to arms, urging, “We should rely on ourselves. The youth must take up arms; do not leave yourself to the thugs.”
A local source told Kurdistan 24 that the deal will be restricted to areas near the border, but not for the other territory further south.
So far, there have been no official statements from Russian authorities, but Syrian state media, the Syrian Arabic News Agency (SANA), wrote in a breaking news bulletin, “Syrian Arab Army units move north to confront Turkish aggression on Syrian territory.”
Shortly after the Kobani Military Council statement, pro-Syrian government Al Mayadeen outlet and UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) both reported that the Syrian army would enter Manbij and Kobani within the next 48 hours. also reported the same story.
Pro-state Syrian television station Alikhbariya also confirmed the Syrian army had started moving northward towards areas east of the Euphrates, announcing, “The Syrian Arab Army started a movement towards the north of Syria to face the Turkish aggression.”
Kurdish officials in the past have stated that if they were forced to choose between cooperating with either the Syrian government or Turkey, they would rather deal with Damascus to prevent Kurdish populations from being persecuted and displaced, as happened when Turkey occupied the city of Afrin in March 2018.
Read More: UN: Turkish-backed forces continue to commit war crimes in Afrin
It is not yet clear if there will be similar deals for other areas along the sprawling border with Turkey in Hasakah province or in Arab-majority cities like Manbij, Raqqa, and the countryside of Deir al-Zor.
Analyst Ranj Alaaldin, a fellow at the Brookings Doha Center, tweeted that, according to reports, the Syrian regime troops were already moving north to Kobani.
“In 2016, Assad vowed to retake every inch of Syria from his foes. The US isn’t withdrawing. It is surrendering to the regime and its backers, Russia and Iran.”
Editing by John J. Catherine