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As Assad Gains Ground, New Syria Peace Talks in Geneva Offer Little Hope for a Political Solution
Instead of direct negotiations, the U.S. State Department pushed the Kurds to pressure Assad by partnering with the Turkish-backed opposition (TSO)—the very same groups that attacked the northwestern city of Afrin in 2018 and have terrorized the population of northeastern Syria in recent weeks. Despite the atrocities committed in Afrin, Ahmed agreed to meet with the TSO just weeks before the Oct. 6 phone call between Trump and Erdogan. But the TSO rejected the offer and later supported Erdogan’s invasion.

The senior government official said the State Department “neither discouraged nor encouraged” contact between the SDC and the regime, but “what we consistently did—and had [the right] under U.S. law to do—was to note that the regime was both an international pariah and target of many international and U.S. sanctions.” Therefore, the United States could not work with the Kurds in “any area where they were paired with the regime.”

If the SDC were to “throw their weight into the Assad camp, for example by joining the regime list in the Constitutional Committee, then we’d have to severely limit relations with SDC just like we do other regime backers.”
Mar15  SDF  PYD  constitution  diplomacy  unnamed_official  TrumpAdministration  TFSA 
november 2019 by elizrael
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