Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim stated Saturday his nation is prepared to simply accept a task for Syrian President Bashar Assad throughout a transitional interval however insisted he has no place in Syria’s future.
The feedback got here after Assad’s forces started attacking Kurdish positions this week, main some Kurdish officers to take a position that a Syrian-Turkish rapprochement was underway on the expense of Kurdish autonomy in northern Syria.
“There might be concessions on the Kurdish query,” stated Nasser Haj Mansour, an adviser to the predominantly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces, which expelled the Islamic State group from their northern Syrian stronghold of Manbij this month. “I have no idea the place this can lead.”
Turkey is among the primary supporters of rebels preventing to overthrow Assad, and hosts greater than 2.7 million Syrian refugees. However Istanbul is worried concerning the rising energy of U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces throughout the border and opposes any strikes towards Kurdish autonomy or independence. The Syrian authorities, too, has grown uneasy with the Kurdish forces within the north, who take pleasure in shut relations with the U.S. authorities, an open antagonist of Syria’s Assad.
Damascus has largely kept away from attacking its homegrown Kurdish forces, which have efficiently defeated the Islamic State group in a number of battles whereas increasing their very own autonomous footprint.
Nevertheless on Friday, the Syrian army’s Basic Command launched a press release referring to the Kurdish Asayesh inner police pressure because the “army wing of the Kurdistan Staff Social gathering (PKK).”
The army’s assertion seemed to be a concession to the Turkish authorities, which is battling its personal Kurdish insurgency within the southeast and has lengthy pressed the Syrian authorities to label the Syrian Kurdish political motion as an extension of Turkey’s outlawed PKK.
Chatting with overseas media representatives in Istanbul, Yildirim stated Turkey would purpose to grow to be extra of a regional participant with regard to Syria within the subsequent six months.
“Might Syria carry Assad within the lengthy-time period? Definitely not,” Yildirim stated. “America is aware of and Russia is aware of that Assad doesn’t look like somebody who can convey (the individuals) collectively.”
“There could also be talks (with Assad) for the transition. A transition could also be facilitated. However we consider that there ought to be no (Kurdish rebels), Daesh or Assad in Syria’s future,” he stated, utilizing an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.
“Within the six months forward of us, we will be enjoying a extra lively position,” Yildirim stated. “It means not permitting Syria to be divided alongside ethnic strains … making certain that its authorities is just not based mostly on ethnic (divisions).”
Preventing erupted between the Kurdish Asayesh forces and the Syrian army this week over management of the northern metropolis of Hasakeh, with Syrian warplanes raiding Kurdish positions inside the town, a primary for the 5-yr-lengthy Syrian warfare.
The escalation prompted the U.S. to scramble jets to guard Worldwide Coalition forces embedded with the Kurds. The U.S. has 300 particular working troops embedded with the Kurds, in accordance with the U.S. authorities.
U.S. Navy Captain Jeff Davis stated Friday the U.S. would do what was wanted to guard coalition forces.
“The Syrian regime can be nicely suggested to not do issues that might place them in danger,” he stated.
Mansour stated Syria’s Kurdish forces haven’t acquired any official safety ensures from the U.S. authorities. Nevertheless, the U.S. is understood to make use of three air strips within the predominantly Kurdish northern Syrian territory, whereas a prime U.S. common, Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command, visited Kurdish forces there in Might.
Preventing continued in Hasakeh Saturday with Kurdish forces trying to push the Syrian authorities’s Nationwide Protection Forces militia out of the town’s middle. The Britain-based mostly Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group reported 26 individuals had been killed within the preventing, amongst them 10 youngsters and 4 ladies.
Related Press writers Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria, and Philip Issa in Beirut contributed to this report.
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