Interview – After Islamic State defeat – Syrian Kurds are preparing for a political battle

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UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Syrian Kurdish authorities, who have led the fight against the Islamic state’s organization, are preparing for their next battle: a political struggle to gain international recognition for their autonomous region and help recover from the war.

The defeat of the Islamic state in Syria is a defining moment for the Kurdish forces that have partnered with Washington to fight militants. The Kurdish authorities now hope that the military alliance with Washington will give them political support.

“The victory over the Islamic state in Baguoz, an area on the border with Iraq, will mark a new phase,” said Badran Gia Kurd, a Kurdish-led administration adviser who runs northern and eastern Syria.

“There will be efforts and struggle to gain political legitimacy for this administration and to reach a peaceful political solution” to the Syrian conflict, he said in an interview with Reuters in al-Qamishli.

The main Kurdish parties and their allies control almost a quarter of the country, the largest bloc outside the control of President Bashar al-Assad’s government. They are heavily armed by the Syrian Democratic Forces, led by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units.

Syria’s democratic forces have established close ties with the United States, but Washington has been reluctant to provide political recognition to self-rule authorities. The West is wary of Turkey’s fears that the people’s protection units are part of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged a rebellion on Turkish soil for decades.

Only three months ago, Kurdish authorities entered a crisis when President Donald Trump abruptly announced his decision to withdraw US troops from Syria. But Washington has partially backed that decision and plans to keep 200 troops in northern Syria and 800 to 1,500 troops from European allies.

Trump’s decision prompted the Kurdish-led administration to seek new talks with Assad through Russia, his main ally. The Kurds hope to reach a political agreement that guarantees their autonomy and protects their region from any Turkish attack.

– Exclude –

Millions of Kurds live in areas that include parts of Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria. In Iraq, they rule an autonomous region.

Kurdish leaders have consistently been excluded from UN efforts to end the eight-year-old Syrian war. Kurdish leaders insist that their goal is self-rule within Syria that the federal system depends on governance rather than independence. The reluctance of the West to deal with them politically is a source of frustration.

“So far, a very clear position has not crystallized … even from the actual partners who fought side by side against the preacher,” said Jia Kord.

He added that the diplomatic efforts will focus on strengthening relations with European allies, the United States and other countries in the coalition that is fighting the Islamic state organization.

He added that foreign countries should help rebuild infrastructure and revive the economy to prevent the Islamic state from emerging again or any invasion of hostile forces in a clear reference to Turkey.

The recent contacts with Damascus have stalled and accused the Syrian government of refusing to negotiate.

In a speech last month, Assad warned Kurdish militants against relying on Washington and said only the state could protect them.

The pro-Assad forces now control most of the country with support from Russia and Iran and vowed to restore every inch of Syrian territory.

These statements have ended hopes for dialogue and could lead to a “dangerous and catastrophic trend” towards a conflict that the administration does not want in the north, said Jir Kurd.

This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.

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