Syrian kurds: approaching russia

Syrian kurds: rapprochement with russia

USA-Russia: Who is faster in northeast Syria?? Screenshot of a confrontation between military vehicles. Source: Video RusVesna.Su/Twitter

The high-level meeting in Moscow annoys Turkey

The Kurds of the self-government in northeastern Syria have every reason to fear Turkey and the Islamist militias associated with them. According to the latest news, the kidnappings of Kurdish women in Afrin are piling up, as well as confirmations that the occupation of the Syrian territories seized by Turkey is reduced to a "Turkification" (see also here).

That the Islamist militias are brutal in the occupied areas is well known. According to observations of the US Africa Command, they confirm their evil reputation also in their operation in Libya. Interesting in this regard is an article that appeared a few days ago in a U.S. military publication, according to which the Turkish intelligence service used the CIA’s support program for Syrian opposition militias to recruit Islamists according to its own interests.

Roughly parts of the Islamist militia leaders and militias supported by the USA under Obama with plenty of money (in total more than one billion dollars) are supposed to find themselves now under the compounds of Turkey in the zones of northern Syria occupied by her.

It has also been reported here several times that Turkey controls a considerable part of the water supply of the Kurdish-administered areas in northeastern Syria and that there are always serious problems when the water fails to arrive.

This is the background to a relatively small but not insignificant news item. She reports on a rapprochement between Russia and the leadership of the SDC, the political arm of the SDF. The meeting took place in Moscow at the end of August and was also attended by Foreign Minister Lavrov. This put the meeting on a diplomatic level that got attention.

At about the same time, a Turkish delegation was also present, but they had to make do with lower-ranking Russian representatives. All the stronger was the puzzlement in Ankara. The Turkish government reacted to the reception of the Kurds in Moscow with criticism, as did the representation of the Syrian opposition in Istanbul, and the Moscow meeting will probably not have been received with undivided joy in the U.S. either.

Although there was no official comment from the U.S. government, U.S. policy in northeastern Syria was not interested in a Russian-Kurdish rapprochement, nor in a rapprochement between the representatives of the Kurdish self-government and the government in Damascus, as Amberin Zaman of al-Monitor commented.

Met in Moscow a Kurdish delegation led by the President of the SDC, Ilham Ahmed, and a Syrian delegation led by the politician Qadri Jamil, who belonged to the Syrian government from mid-2012 to autumn 2013, and in the leadership of the Syrian "Party of the will of the people" (Hizb Iradat Al-Sha’ab, engl. People’s Will Party) sits.

The party is part of the parliamentary opposition in Syria and is portrayed as Russia-friendly, probably because of its communist origins. Qadri Jamil speaks Russian fluently. The small party derives greater significance from its proximity to Russia and its function as a bridge, and the connection was probably decisive for the meeting, including a photo opportunity with Lavrov.

The next roadmap

A Memorandum of Understanding was agreed, with a few notable points. Thus, in connection with the unity of Syria, the withdrawal of all foreign troops not invited by the Syrian government is demanded. This is what the U.S. soldiers fell asleep to. Also, the demand that emphasizes decentralization and that the autonomous Kurdish administration should be necessarily included in a future political order of Syria is among the accents that the agreement sets.

That the SDF will later be integrated into the Syrian army has already surfaced in earlier "Roadmaps" . Now the efforts of the Russian mediation between the Kurds, who administer Rojava, and the government in Damascus have so far produced no real results. Bashar al-Assad, as far as can be seen, is sticking to the previous form of government with a strong central power, and he is not willing to make any concessions regarding the autonomy of the Kurds.

Thus, the news of the meeting has only signal character for the time being. The Kurds want to secure themselves against Turkey launching the next invasion into their territory with Russia’s consent, according to the explanation in the al-Monitor article. That is what this meeting and the Memorandum of Understanding not guaranteed, but the fact that Lavrov made a positive statement is already a diplomatic step.

In addition, the Kurds have a direct contact for the Geneva negotiations through their connection with the Syrian People’s Will Party and in the intervening committee, in both of which the opposition party sits at the negotiating table. Turkey had prevented the Kurds from being represented there.

The extent to which the meeting in Moscow will have a real political impact will be determined by whether the Russian government’s influence will succeed in solving the water problem. Among the wishes that the Kurdish delegation had addressed was the request that Russia ask Turkey to allow water to flow back to northeastern Syria

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