Syrian Kurdish official invited to Washington

The Kurdish co-head of the Arab-Kurdish joint council in Syria has arrived in Washington on Wednesday at an official invitation of the US Department of State.

QAMISHLO, Syrian Kurdistan (Kurdistan24) - The Kurdish female co-head of the Arab-Kurdish joint council in Syria arrived in Washington on Wednesday at an official invitation of the US Department of State, an administrator in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) said on Wednesday.

Ilham Ahmad, the co-head of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) along with the Syrian opposition figure, Haytham Manna, were invited by the US Department of State.

Speaking to Kurdistan24, Sihanouk Dibo, the presidential advisor to the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), said on Wednesday that there are many important matters Ahmad will discuss with Washington.

“The visit aims at holding meetings and discussing the role of SDC and its military wing, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in fighting the Islamic State (IS),” said Dibo.

He added that Ilham Ahmad will speak with the US administrations about involving Rojava’s PYD-led ruling council in the next round of the Syrian peace talks to be held in Geneva.

“Mrs. Ahmad’s talks in Washington will focus on Syria’s conflict and the role of Rojava's experience in finding a viable solution for the Syrian dilemma,” he said.

Dibo added that Ahmad’s traveling time is not specified so far because there are many undisclosed topics on the list to be discussed.

In December 2015, the SDC, which groups Kurds, Arabs and others, was formed at a conference in northeastern Syria with the stated aim of promoting a secular, democratic vision for the country.

The SDC has a military force called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who are fighting the Islamic State (IS) north of Syria. The SDF includes Arab, Turkmen and Armenian militias, as well as Free Syrian Army (FSA) units.

Although media presents the SDF as an inclusive force, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) is the main element of the coalition and outnumbers all other groups.

PYD and other Syrian Kurdish parties form a political coalition called the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM) which is operating a system of three "autonomous administrations" of Jazira, Kobani and Afrin in Syria's north, with independent police forces and schools.

The federal system, declared by TEV-DEM on March 17, would unite these cantons under a single administrative unit.


Reporting by Hisham Arafat

Editing by Ava Homa