Syrian Kurdish opposition party holds meeting with top US State Department envoy

The northern Syrian city of Qamishlo (Qamishli). (Photo: Kurdistan 24)
The northern Syrian city of Qamishlo (Qamishli). (Photo: Kurdistan 24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) - The Kurdish National Council in Syria (KNC) said on Wednesday that it had an online meeting the previous day with Joey Hood, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs on Wednesday to discuss recent “violations” against the KNC.

In two incidents on August 24 and September 5, unidentified groups attacked offices belonging to the KNC-linked Kurdistan Democratic Party-Syria (PDK-S) in Amude and Derbisiya.

At least four members of the PDK-S were arrested by local security forces in July. One of them was released last month.

Last year unknown groups also attacked KNC offices. Officials of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD)-linked Autonomous Administration of North and East of Syria (AANES) said at the time they would investigate the incident.

During the meeting, Hood underlined that the US is looking for a solution for the Syria crisis under UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2254, which calls for a ceasefire and a political settlement in Syria.

On August 29, the US Embassy in Syria also said that Acting Assistant Secretary Hood spoke (online) with SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) “partners yesterday to reiterate the U.S. commitment to the campaign against ISIS and stability in the region, and to discuss concerns over escalation of military activity in northern Syria.”

The call came amidst increasing Turkish drone strikes targeting SDF commanders and local worries over the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. This although the US-led Coalition says it is committed to staying in both Syria and Iraq.

The US Embassy in Syria on Sept. 1 said that the US is “deeply concerned with the intensification in airstrikes and shelling in northern Syria.”

“The president has been absolutely crystal clear from the beginning of his administration that we are going to remain engaged in a multifaceted way with every part of Iraq, including the Kurdistan Region,” Acting Assistant Secretary Hood earlier this week told Kurdistan 24 in an exclusive interview.

More: Joey Hood: ‘Future is bright’ for US-Kurdish relations

The SDF and the US official also discussed the intra-Kurdish dialogue that has been suspended for several months between the Syrian Kurdish parties.

Also in May, Acting Assistant Secretary Hood led a delegation to meet with local officials in northeast Syria.

Read More: Top US State Department envoys visit northeast Syria

The PYD and the Kurdish National Council (KNC) – which the PDK-S falls under – the two major factions among the Syrian Kurdish parties, renewed negotiations in November 2019 with the support of the United States and the Kurdistan Regional Government.

The Syrian Democratic Forces, the political wing of which the PYD leads, also supports the talks.

The dialogue broke down in October 2020 and was supposed to resume in February with US support. However, the talks so far remain suspended amidst increasing tensions between Kurdish parties in both Syria and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.