Alwaght- In addition to ending seven years of tensions, the Iranian-Saudi détente agreement brought about positive regional effects, with its obvious signs observable on the Syrian ground. After Arab countries and Turkey reached out to Damascus for rapprochement after 12 years of tensions, these days there are developments in the making within the Syrian borders that can contribute to putting an end to the crisis. The Syrian Kurds that have been clinging to the treacherous US and distanced from the central government since the beginning of the crisis these days are leaning to Damascus for a settlement of the differences.
According to reports, the autonomous administration of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has put forward a practical initiative in recent days to reach a political solution. Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed newspaper wrote on Sunday about the details of this initiative, saying that the initiative, which was announced by the autonomous administration of northern Syria on April 18 during a press conference in Raqqa, consists of nine points, including the recognition of Syria’s territorial integrity, recognition of the legitimate rights of the components of its society, the adoption of federal system throughout the country and the equitable resource distribution among all regions of the country.
According to reports, the points of emphasis in this imitative include the government readiness to accept the refugees and immigrants in areas under its control, fighting terrorism, and also Turkish withdrawal from Syria. The Syrian Kurds have also asked the Arab countries, the UN, and all forces active in Syria to play a positive and effective role to ensure an agreed-upon solution between them and central government, as well as the opposition. An American official said that Washington has no objection to the Syrian Kurds announcing readiness to negotiate with Damascus.
In the past months, Kurdish groups had held meetings with Damascus officials, and the results were reported positive. Although the Kurds had previously opposed Russian proposals for integration with the central government, they have now reconsidered their policies.
Kurdish goals behind rapprochement to Damascus
The Kurds’ shift to the central government in recent months is driven by a change in the approach of the Arab countries and Turkey to the Syrian crisis. The Kurds are afraid that by opening of Damascus gates to the Arab countries and Ankara, they will be marginalized and lose the power to influence Syrian developments. That is why they try to move closer to the central government to pose as a reliable party in settlement of the crisis.
Since Turkey is the archenemy of the Syrian Kurdish groups, with the resumption of Ankara-Damascus relations, things will be difficult for them, and therefore they are trying to gain the favor of the Damascus leaders and steer clear of becoming a scapegoat in Damascus-Ankara détente, as the Turkish side has asked Syria to eliminate the security concerns of Ankara posed the Kurds.
The Syrian Kurds, distanced from the regional summits in Syria because of the Turkish opposition and only relying on the US for support, are now trying not to fall behind from the political solutions and secure a seat in the future negotiations. Their leaders try to pose as a pragmatic force contributing to stability, contrary to terrorist groups.
The Kurds want to preserve some of their military, social and administrative structures in case of an agreement with Damascus, but the Syrian government has not made any concessions to them so far. With backing from the US, they have sought autonomy in the Kurdish-majority regions in the past years, and according to their initiative, they push for a federal system for future Syrian political structure. They are testing their chance to secure such a privilege by pushing to cozy up to Damascus.
The Kurds dream of an autonomous administration in the north like in Iraq, a demand running counter to the policy of protecting the territorial integrity and unity of Syria and with which Syrian officials are highly unlikely to agree. Actually, the Syrian Kurds are now not in a position to set conditions to the government that meets their full interests. On the other side, altering the governance and territorial structures is a time-taking process and needs infrastructures to be laid first. According to experts, the SDF are worried Russia, Iran, and Syria will unite their positions against them. They believe that Turkey’s concessions are aimed at achieving a goal and it is to thwart the Kurdish plan for autonomy. In addition, the Kurds’ insistence on the autonomy from the central government is a scheme designed by the US for Syria, and Damascus’s agreement with this plan means accepting the continued presence of the Americans and plundering of this country’s oil resources, which is in conflict with its policies.
From another perspective, the Kurdish-majority regions are now in improper conditions in terms of security, economy, and public services, and this is causing a legitimacy crisis to the ruling Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing the SDF. Therefore, the Kurds are seeking to beat these challenges, and since they know that economic progress awaits Syria in the future, they want a share to patch things up.
An important point that influenced the Kurdish leaders’ shift to Damascus is the US weakness in the region. In the past few years, Washington has been the biggest supporter of the Kurds and tried to strengthen them against the central government with weaponry aids, but after the political advances in the relations of the countries of the region with Syria, the Americans are likely to leave Syria scandalously as they did in Afghanistan. So, the Kurds struggle to coalesce with the winning side before it is too late.
The fact that such initiatives for settling differences with the central government are presented with the US green light indicates that Washington has figured out the reality on the Syrian ground and knows that it no longer can keep the Kurds optimistic about support with empty promises.
In the present conditions, everything is working in the hands of the Syrian government, and with return of the Arab countries, Turkey, and the Kurds to Syria, the American project for partition of the country and impairment of Syria’s key backer the Axis of Resistance will meet its failure, and the latter’s forces will press ahead with fighting against terrorism and expelling the Americans with more self-confidence.