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Kurdish Administration Slams Damascus ‘Threats’

Kurdish Administration Slams Damascus ‘Threats’

Wednesday, 20 March, 2019 - 08:30
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters seen in Deir Ezzor, Syria May 1, 2018. REUTERS/Rodi Said
Beirut - London - Asharq Al-Awsat
Syria’s Kurds slammed Tuesday the “threatening language” of Defense Minister Gen. Ali Abdullah Ayoub who has said his government would recapture all areas held by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) through a “reconciliation agreement” or “by force.”

"The use of threatening language against the SDF who have liberated and protected the north and east of Syria from terrorists only serves those forces working to divide Syria," the semi-autonomous administration of northern and northeastern Syria said in a statement.

“The Syrian defense minister’s statement regarding the SDF reflects the continuation of the racist and sterile policy that has led Syria to this disastrous situation,” it said, adding that "the autonomous administration stands by its position for the necessity of a solution and dialogue … for all pending issues."

“While choosing the political solution, we will spare no effort in the legitimate defense of our rights if necessary,” it stressed.

Negotiations between Kurds and Damascus have reached a dead end. Kurdish officials have accused the Syrian regime of seeking to reimpose the pre-war status quo in their regions, a move unacceptable by Kurds.

Kurds make up around 15 percent of Syria’s population, and the SDF is the second force after the Syrian army, seizing around 30 percent of the country’s territories.

The SDF is spearheading battles against ISIS in Syria, backed by the US-led international coalition. 

After years of marginalization, Kurds rose to prominence with the gradual withdrawal of regime forces from their regions starting 2012.

In 2013, they declared a semi-autonomous administration.

The Syrian war, which erupted in 2011, has left more than 370,000 people dead, has caused massive destruction in infrastructure and displaced more than half of the country's population.

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