Syrian Foreign Ministry officials indicated that they intend to fight against “invading foreign forces,” in the context of Turkish ground troops crossing the border into NE Syria on Wednesday, but that they don’t intend to negotiate with the Kurdish YPG in the process.
Deputy FM Faisal Maqdad suggested the forces had betrayed Syria with their separatist agenda, and added that Syria wouldn’t provide any foothold for “agents of Washington on Syrian territory.”
Earlier in the war, the Kurdish forces had made inroads in establishing ties with the Assad government. The US, however, vehemently opposed this, and convinced the Kurds to back off. Now, it seems, that door is closed.
Indeed, Maqdad suggested the government blames the Kurdish forces for Turkey’s invasion, saying that the Kurdish forces refused to hand over defense of previous areas threatened by Turkey to the Syrian Army, and are doing it again in the northeast.
The YPG was not openly secessionist in nature, and had previously suggested the goal was some autonomy in a federalized Syria. The US opposed this, however, and discouraged the Kurds from making any of the ties to clarify this matter.
Some reports suggested the YPG was faced with either seeking Assad’s backing, or looking to concede quickly to Turkey. So far, neither appears to be happening, and the Kurds are still talking “all out war” against Turkey.
Though Kurdish politicians suggested earlier this week they might seek ties with Russia, this was likely for the benefit of US officials still arguing for American involvement. If Syria indeed doesn’t intend to engage with them, it’s virtually unthinkable Russia would go behind their back and do so.