Kurdish party in NE Syria ‘ready to talk to Damascus’ – official

The dominant US-backed Syrian Kurdish party that controls large swaths of oil-rich territory in northeastern Syria is prepared to hold talks with the government in Damascus over the future of the area, a senior Kurdish official said Wednesday. Aldar Khalil said his party is ready to send a delegation to “test the waters” to see whether President Bashar Assad’s government is ready to accept an autonomous Kurdish area in the northeast, AP reports. “The aim would… be to develop a Syrian-Syrian solution and close the door on conflicts and wars,” Aldar said in messages on a social media application. The proposition came a day after Turkey and the US agreed on a “roadmap” to resolve a dispute over the northern Syrian town of Manbij. It is controlled by the US-backed Kurdish fighters, Washington’s main ally in Syria. Ankara sees the Syrian Kurdish militia and its political body as an extension of its own Kurdish insurgents, whom it considers terrorists.