The Kurdish-dominated political forces in the north of Syria are establishing diplomatic links with the central government authorities in order to negotiate the future make-up of the country.
Throughout the political and military conflict in Syria over the past seven years, the Kurdish-dominated political actors in the north of the country have been able to secure a substantial degree of political autonomy. The main political actor in those regions, commonly known as Rojava in the Kurdish language, is the Syrian Democratic Council, which has established military and administrative councils to govern the region. It is made up of several political parties, the most prominent of which is the Democratic Union Party (PYD).
The Syrian regime has recently managed to consolidate its rule over formerly rebel-held territories in the north, south and east of Syria. Although there are pockets of rebel-held areas in the country, especially in the north-eastern regions, the Assad regime and the Syrian Democratic Council are the two main political actors remaining and both are vying for political legitimacy.
The Syrian Democratic Council has stated that it does not seek secession from Syria and is willing to work with the government based in Damascus. It recently announced plans to open a number of branches across Syria – in the provinces of Homs, Hama, Lattakia, and in the capital Damascus.
The political forces of Rojava have taken the initiative and have expressed their willingness to negotiate a power-sharing agreement with the government in Damascus. Spokesman for the Centre for Diplomatic Relations of the Movement for a Democratic Society TEV-DEM, Kamal Akef, said that the Kurdish political parties have sent letters to more than 15 international and Arab parties to confirm their readiness to negotiate on a solution in Syria.
These developments took place after a visit made by the commander of the US Special Forces in Syria and Iraq, Jimmy Gerrard. The US Special Forces have been involved in supporting the military wing of the Syrian Democratic Council, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in the fight against ISIS.
In any case, before a full agreement on the nature of sovereignty in Syria is reached between the Damascus-based government and the Syrian Democratic Council, there are still pockets of ISIS units remaining in the east of the country, and the rebel-held areas in north-eastern Syria must also be taken into consideration.