The United States is likely to maintain its military presence in Syria long enough to allow the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) to negotiate an acceptable deal with the Syrian government, member of the Syrian Negotiations Commission Bassma Kodmani told Sputnik.
“The United States will withdraw its military forces but they will be also maintaining the presence to protect the Kurds of PYD. Strategically, I think, they know that this military and political force would have to initially negotiate the end of its control over the area but on condition slightly better than simply surrendering and dissolving its own forces. They want to maintain a certain level of military capacity in Syria to allow them to prevent Turkish military offensive and to seek a better agreement with the Syrian regime”, Kodmani said.
According to Kodmani, Washington feels moral responsibility for the Kurds, who have been instrumental in fighting Daesh* in Syria.
“Besides, they feel that if they will let them down not only they will be letting down their allies but sending a wrong message to any allies anywhere,” she noted.
Kodmani also underlined that the US military establishment might fear that Iran could step into a vacuum that the United States would leave in Syria after troops’ pullout.
“This vacuum can be filled not by the [Syrian] regime forces but Iran-led militia. It would increase the Iranian control over Syria and this is something that the United States doesn’t want and the Syrians definitely resent and fear,” she concluded.
Earlier this week, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said Damascus had intensified negotiations with the Kurds in Syria’s northeast in light of Turkey’s pledges to launch an operation against the US-backed Kurdish militias. Mekdad said he was optimistic about dialogue with the Kurdish groups.
However, Turkey decided to postpone its planned military operation shortly after the United States announced its plans to withdraw troops from Syria.Washington said that it would not disclose a timeline for withdrawing its troops, and pledged that the US-led international coalition’s fight against terrorism would continue.
*Daesh [ISIL, IS, Islamic State] — a terrorist organisation banned in Russia