Press TV – An alliance of Kurdish and Arab militants in Syria says it has come to an agreement with the Syrian government to develop negotiations to end violence in Syria.
The announcement was made after the so-called Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), the political wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), sent a delegation to Damascus for talks with Syrian officials earlier this week. The SDF, itself, is a US-backed coalition of mainly Kurdish militants.
The SDC said in a statement Saturday that it had agreed with the government of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to form committees that would “chart a roadmap to a democratic, decentralized Syria.”
The SDC delegation visited Damascus for the first time after President Assad said that he was “opening doors” for negotiations with Syrian Kurds that he said had “apparently become wary” of their unpredictable ally – the United States.
The Kurds then expressed readiness to hand over control of the Eastern Euphrates to the government after Washington withheld its support for the Kurdish militants in the northern Syrian cities of Manbij and Afrin.
The SDC’s co-chair Riad Darar said on Friday the talks with Damascus were aimed at “working towards a settlement for northern Syria,” as it was time to “solve our problems ourselves.”
The group, which is being supported by Washington, has already managed to form an autonomous administration in northern Syria during the country’s seven-year conflict.
Washington’s conflicting plans in Syria, however, have now prompted the Kurdish militants to turn to the government in Damascus.
Their presence in the area near the Turkish border has been a source of tension between the US and Turkey.
Ankara, which considers the Syrian Kurdish militants as an extension of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists, has even threatened to “destroy all terror nests,” near the Syrian border.
It has vowed not to allow Kurdish groups to dominate Turkish border with Syria.
Refugees gather in Shebaa for return to Syria
On Saturday, hundreds of Syrian refugees residing in Hasbaya’s Shebaa and western Bekaa gathered in a schoolyard in Shebaa, waiting for buses departing to Syria, provided by the Syrian government.
The state-run National News Agency estimated that nearly 900 refugees assembled at Shebaa High School at 9 a.m., while General Security was present on site checking the names of the departees.
The buses are set to stop at the Masnaa border point before crossing into Syria. The group marks the fourth to depart from Lebanon.
Several groups had previously departed, particularly from the northeastern town of Arsal in initiatives organized by General Security.