Head of Syrian Democratic Council to Asharq Al-Awsat: US Forces Necessary East of Euphrates

Head of Syrian Democratic Council to Asharq Al-Awsat: US Forces Necessary East of Euphrates

Saturday, 8 December, 2018 - 09:45
Head of the Syrian Democratic Council, Riyad Dar.
Ain Issa (Raqqa countryside - Syria) – Kamal Sheikho
Head of the Syrian Democratic Council, Riyad Dar said that Iran had expanded its deployment in the region in order to confront US forces in the area.

He told Asharq Al-Awsat that Washington realized Tehran’s threat, “prompting it and its allies to remain in the region to protect it.”

He charged that Turkey, Russia and Iran had agreed during Astana Syria peace talks to stand against US forces deployed east of the Euphrates River.

The American troops and their allies will remain until peace and a comprehensive political settlement is reached, stressed Dar.

Moreover, he said that Russia and Iran claim that they intervened in the Syrian conflict at the request of the Damascus regime.

“We say, however, that the legitimacy of the regime was destroyed after the Syrian people’s revolt in spring 2011,” he continued.

Dar, 64, and Kurdish official, Umniya Omar, head the SDC that is the political wing of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The SDF controls a third of Syrian territory east of the Euphrates. It also controls Mabij city that lies west of the river.

Ankara has repeatedly threatened to wage a military campaign east of the Euphrates to contain the influence of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) that serve as the military backbone of the SDF. Turkey views the YPG as a terrorist group.

This prompted US forces to announce the establishment of five surveillance positions on the Syrian-Turkish border as part of their efforts to bolster their military and diplomatic power in northeastern Syria.

Dar revealed that the US completed the establishment of a surveillance position in the town of Tall Abyad in the northern Raqqa countryside. It plans to build four more.

He stressed that American troops and the US-led anti-ISIS coalition is necessary in this region, “because they could become part of an international protection force in the future.”

“Up until this day, the Americans have been honest with us because we have been victim of many threats. They have been quick to defend the region,” he stated.

Earlier this year, SDC representatives had met with regime security officials to discuss the administrative affairs in SDF-controlled areas.

Dar revealed that the talks focused on services, whereby the regime requested that it take control of border crossings.

The demand was refused.

It also requested that its troops be deployed in cities under SDF control, to which the forces said that it has already deployed local police there, continued Dar.

The return of state agencies can take place through a comprehensive political solution, he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Eventually, the SDC established an autonomous administration for northern and eastern Syria. It covers areas that had previously fallen under Kurdish autonomous rule, such as the cities of Hasakeh, Kobane, Tall Abyad and Tabaqa.

Dar explained: “The presence of an executive council that manages all of these regions is similar to temporary autonomous rule until a comprehensive agreement is reached throughout the country.”

“We are negotiating with the regime to make this situation permanent and for the future political system in Syria be based on decentralized democracy,” he revealed.

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