Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces continuing talks in Damascus – co-chair

The political wing of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) went to Damascus last week for a second round of talks with the government, its co-chair said on Tuesday. A delegation including members of the US-backed SDF, which controls roughly a quarter of Syria, held talks with Damascus this month in their first declared visit to the capital, Reuters reported. The Kurdish-led authorities seem to be willing to open new channels to President Bashar Assad’s government, as they seek to negotiate a political deal that keeps their autonomy within Syria. Negotiations could also raise new questions for Washington’s policy in Syria, where the US military has deployed into SDF territory during the battle against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). The SDF is spearheaded by the Kurdish YPG militia, which has mostly avoided conflict with Assad and has said it aimed to secure Kurdish rights rather than topple the government.