Kurdish roadmap to Damascus calls for SDF as border guards, continued autonomy

A ten-point roadmap by the Kurdish-backed Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) for Damascus will propose for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to protect the country’s border and the DAA to remain autonomous, Kurdistan 24 news site reported.

The points of the roadmap, to be proposed by the administrative body controlled by the Kurdish militias, are focused on the unity of Syrian land, the creation of a democratic republic – with the DAA being part of this system – having DAA representatives in the Syrian Parliament, a special flag for the DAA, and the SDF becoming a part of the Syrian army to protect the Syrian border, Kurdistan 24 said, quoting the Kurdish Hawar News Agency (ANHA).

The DAA’s roadmap arrives following an announcement on Tuesday by Ankara to an agreement with Washington to set up a security zone along the country’s Syrian border, following heightened tensions between the NATO allies over Ankara’s announcement of a military operation targeting the U.S.-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Turkey sees the YPG, which forms the bulk of the SDF, as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and has been preparing for a large-scale offensive in northeastern Syria. Turkey-backed rebels are currently waiting  along the Syrian border, ready to launch an attack on Manbij.

“In Autonomous Administration areas, education in local languages is taught in faculties of history, culture, languages, literature and the like,” the roadmap states, adding that Syrian wealth should be distributed “to the Syrian regions in a fair manner.”

Syrian Kurds began to talk to Moscow and Damascus to prevent a military operation by Turkey following U.S. President Donald Trump’s surprise announcement on December 19 that he would withdraw American troops from Syria.

“We have presented a roadmap to the Russians, saying what our goals and principles are, and how the North and East Syrian administration could participate in the constitution,” Kurdistan 24 quoted Abdulkarim Omar, co-chair of the Foreign Relations Commission of the DAA as saying.

Ankara has said it would set up a security zone some 32 kilometers (20 miles) deep into northeastern Syria in coordination with Washington; however, Syrian Kurds have urged no involvement from Turkey in the suggested buffer zone.

Russia has also rejected such Turkish plans, T24 said, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday saying Russian President Vladimir Putin would tell Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is expected to visit Moscow soon, that all of Syria should be under the control of Damascus.