Ilhem EhmedSyrian Democratic Council (MSD) Co-chair İlham Ehmed recently visited the US on an invitation. Ehmed spoke to ANF on the visit, and stated that they held meetings with a wide array of people, from members of congress to commissions.

“We held meetings with a wide base including members of congress, some commissions and commission members in the Congress, the State Department, some of Obama’s former advisors, research institutions and Trump’s advisor during the campaign period.”


Ehmed stated that there is a difference between the Obama-period policies and the policies the new administration is hinted to implement. Saying that the Obama administration was criticized for their Syria policies, MSD Co-chair said the following:

“We had some observations on the policies and strategy during the Obama administration and the current policy and strategy. Some were already voicing these before. There was this understanding that the US couldn’t have the influence they desired in Syria in this period. They couldn’t achieve the desired success. That was creating some discomfort. In the war against terror, if a right and apt approach and plan emerges in politics, I am under the impression that the new administration will lay weight on it.

Ehmed said the groups they met with considered the deal with Russia for the solution to the Syrian problem and them getting closer with Russia to be positive. “Also, the reflection was that there is a conviction to strengthen SDF forces who have fought ISIS most effectively and to continue to increase support for them,” said Ehmed and continued: “On the other hand, fighting radical Islam ideologically is on the agenda for the new administration. It was apparent that they would consider them if a project and a plan were drafted and presented.”

MSD Co-chair continued:

“It has been decided to form a buffer zone and secure zones in Syria. But the plan for which areas would be these buffer and secure zones was not made yet. Duties have been appointed to plan this in related institutions, they will draft a project for the areas to be included in the buffer and secure zones and submit it for Trump’s approval. But in the meetings and discussions we held, we have been told that the areas under SDF and YPG control are seen as the safest areas. The US officials also know this now. There were even ideas that these areas could be where to settle Syrian migrants in to ensure their safety, to protect them. Some US officials held the view that these migrants can stay in these areas until the war is over and the rebuilding process is complete.”

Ehmed said the Democratic Syrian Council’s project was also voiced in the meetings and continued:

“They didn’t have extensive knowledge on our project. But when we informed them on the system developed in Northern Syria, they got the idea that a solution project has emerged in Syria. They manifested the tendency to develop the solution in this framework. They did see a hope in this project as well. They didn’t have any strict objections to the federation system, to our project and our system. They weren’t refusing. If there is a solution to be developed in Syria, it can be with this method too, was their approach. The important point here is this: This is a system. It has been built here and now it’s in motion. The most apt solution method is the one that has been actualized in the field. And everybody has taken this under observation and they are watching.”


Ehmed said: “There are always surprises in politics. But when you look at things strategically, we have the impression that the US will continue their support for the SDF forces and their projects for a solution.”

Ehmed also spoke on the Geneva 4 meetings planned to be held in the coming days and said they have not received an invitation yet. Ehmed said if this continues, the 4th Geneva conference won’t be any different from the previous ones, and added: “If the peoples of Northern Syria aren’t invited, that means there is a decision made for the Syrian crisis to continue. Those who want the war to go on won’t want the Northern Syrian peoples to be represented by their own representatives. This is how we read this situation. Because the outcome of the previous talks is known by all.”


Ehmed said that after the groups retreated from Aleppo and the city was handed over to the regime, the view that “There is no opposition left in Syria” has emerged very clearly in the US and added that they spoke of this situation in the meetings. Ehmed said the US officials even used words like, “it is unclear who some of the groups and the opposition that our government supports are” and added: “That is why right after Trump was elected, aid to these groups were cut. This actually showed that the project they implemented with supposed moderates was not a success. They worked on these groups but they weren’t successful. So their views on those groups and that it won’t work with them was apparent.”


MSD Co-chair İlham Ehmed spoke on the AKP and Erdoğan wishing to revive the Train-Equip Project and said: “The US doesn’t have any inclination like that. In the US, they want Bashar Asad to stay. They don’t want the state to fall apart. So the project Turkey wants to revive has almost zero chance. Because they see it as a once failed project.”


Source: Firat News Agency