The Vice-Presidency of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria Badran Çia Kurd, during his participation in the program (With Decision Makers) presented on Rojava TV, put forward a set of proposals about their vision to solve the Syrian crisis, after all the Geneva and Astana meetings and the Constitution Drafting Committee failed to provide solutions.
Astana meetings opened the way to occupation, displacement and demographic change
Badran Çia Kurd began his speech by commenting on the outcomes of the Astana series of meetings, and said: “The last meeting of Astana came after the Geneva talks on the constitution reached a dead end, and after many, especially the UN envoy, Geir Pederson, were disappointed with their results, in an attempt to give the impression that there are still talks ongoing to find ways to solve the Syrian crisis.”
But the truth is not so. If we want to evaluate the previous and finally Astana meetings, we will notice that they always focus on sharing influence and interests in Syria between the three countries sponsoring the meeting, so it can be said that holding Astana meetings is only to share influence.
What can be seen is that the Astana Mechanism, since 2017, began to focus on restricting armed groups to specific areas and expanding the areas of influence of the Syrian regime at the expense of groups that call themselves the opposition.
It was also the Astana meetings that paved the way for the occupation of Afrin, the displacement of thousands of its people, in addition to the demographic change, crimes and violations committed in the occupied areas. The same thing happened in the regions of Daraa, Homs, Ghouta, and other areas from which Turkish-backed factions left. These areas are suffering from serious security problems, and many citizens have been displaced from them.
Therefore, it can be said that the results of these meetings were negative and did not bring any positive results for Syria and its people, but rather created fundamental problems among the components of the Syrian people.
Astana output contradictions between written articles and reality
As for the outcomes of the last Astana meeting, it is noted that its written provisions and what is being applied on the ground are in complete contradiction with each other, on the one hand they say that they have agreed to respect the sovereignty of Syria and preserve the territorial integrity of Syria, but we do not see this on the ground, as Turkey and its mercenaries violate the Syrian sovereignty, and Turkey occupies large parts of the Syrian territory.
On the other hand, they accuse the Autonomous Administration of being a “separatist project.” This is completely contradictory, as everyone is now aware of what is happening in the areas occupied by Turkey and its mercenary groups in terms of settlement, displacement operations and the application of an administrative, educational and financial system directly linked to the Turkish state. All this are done in order to cut off parts of the Syrian lands and annex them to Turkey, as these areas are now administered directly by the Turkish provinces.
They also claim that they have agreed to fight terrorism, and will work together until the complete elimination of terrorist groups in Idlib, such as Hayet Tahrir al-Sham, Jabhet al-Nusra, and groups associated with it. Certainly, what we see is contrary to what they claim, and on the contrary, we notice that Jabhet al-Nusra is the one that rules more than 80% of Idlib. Although these groups are internationally classified on the list of terrorism, Turkey is working to support and direct them according to its interests in the Syrian file.
At the same time, they say in another clause that they abide by the ceasefire in the de-escalation areas, but in fact the firing has not stopped since the first day of the agreement until today.
All these contradictions indicate that there is no seriousness on the part of these parties in the search for solutions to the Syrian crisis; rather, it can be said that the Astana meetings deepened the differences and revived the terrorist and mercenary groups in Syria. It displaced Syrians and changed the demographics of many areas.
The Turkish and Iranian stance is clear towards the Autonomous Administration, which is “seeking to destroy it”
Çia Kurd emphasized that the position of Turkey and Iran is clear regarding the Autonomous Administration, which is hostility to this developed political project in north and east Syria. Their plan is to torpedo this project, work in partnership with their allies and throw them into battles against the Autonomous Administration, so we notice that most of the items in the outcomes of their meetings show hostility to the Autonomous Administration.
To achieve this goal, they make a lot of accusations against this administration. On the one hand, they describe it as separatist, and sometimes they say it is linked to agendas hostile to them, and they, of course, mean the international coalition. Everyone knows that the relationship of the international coalition with this project is through the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and in the context of its fight against terrorism only.
Of course, these accusations have long-term goals and objectives. First, the attempt to eliminate and liquidate this political democratic project that embraces all components and depends on the principle of joint cooperation among all peoples, second, to raise the chauvinist political segments against this administration, in addition to stirring up sectarian and ethnic strife between the Kurdish and Arab components in the first place.
What Turkey is doing today; pushing those Syrian mercenary groups into battles against the Autonomous Administration comes under this framework.
When ISIS was selling oil to Turkey, they remained silent, and when we began to remove its imports on the local community, they described it as looting
Commenting on one of Astana's articles, which called for preventing the Autonomous Administration and SDF to use oil well imports, describing it as “theft of oil,” Çia Kurd said, “Turkey has had close ties and still has close relations with ISIS on all levels, economically, politically, ideologically and intellectually. ISIS used to send oil to Turkey, so why then did not Iran, Russia and the Syrian regime talk about the theft of Syrian oil by ISIS and smuggling it to Turkey?”
He added, “But when SDF liberated the oil wells from the hands of ISIS, the Autonomous Administration began to consume these resources and spend them on the local community, preserving the stability of the region and providing services to the region. This process is called “plundering wealth.”
Russia is trying to expand and besiege the presence of the international coalition
Regarding Russia's recent moves in the Autonomous Administration regions and their objectives thereof, Çia Kurd stressed that Russia is trying to expand further in the region and besiege the presence of the international coalition in it, and wants to move more widely towards the Iraqi borders and the crossings, that there is no obstacle in front of it and that it moves even without coordination with SDF, and he said: “This in itself constitutes a kind of tension, so we look forward to these forces moving according to the mechanisms and items agreed upon between them and the Syrian Democratic Forces, and this is very important and necessary in order not to collide.”
What is happening in Ain Issa suggests consensus and harmony in the positions between Russia and Turkey
Çia Kurd noted that what is happening in Ain Issa recently of the increase in attacks and Russia’s claim that it is withdrawing from the town comes within the framework of the Turkish and Russian parties’ agreement to pressure SDF to accept their demands, and said: “Although Turkey and its factions have never committed themselves to the ceasefire agreement, it accuses SDF of attacking the Turkish forces and groups associated with them, and uses this pretext to ask Russia to increase the pressure on SDF. Russia is also trying to create some kind of pressure on SDF to force it to accept its proposals and demands in the region.”
Çia Kurd added, "Therefore, we hope that the Russian side will play its real role in putting pressure on the Turkish side and obliging it to the ceasefire decision, and that the continued silence regarding these attacks suggests that there is a consensus and harmony in positions.”
Russia is pursuing a policy of double-standard, and we call on it to play the role of guarantor between us and the Damascus government
Regarding Russia's policies towards dialogue between the Autonomous Administration and the Damascus government, Badran Çia Kurd said, “Russia is trying to have an influential role in the Autonomous Administration areas, especially in the oil areas, and for this purpose it sometimes tries to develop dialogue between the Autonomous Administration and the Syrian regime. Of course, we have been and continue to assure them of our support for the Syrian-Syrian dialogue, and we see that it is the main means for a sound and real solution to the Syrian crisis, but Russia is pursuing a policy of double standards in this file instead of playing the guarantor role.”
Çia Kurd noted that Russia issues statements saying that it supports dialogue between the Autonomous Administration and the Damascus government on the one hand, and on the other hand, it signs with the Turkish and Iranian parties the Astana outputs, in which it describes the Autonomous Administration as a separatist project!”
Çia Kurd said, “We call on Russia again to be one of the main supporters of the dialogue, and not support the Turkish plans towards the region, and that its positions should not be based on satisfying Turkey or Iran.”
New Turkish attack will not be in anyone's interest, and the American position is still shrouded in ambiguity
In response to a question about the possibility of Turkey launching new attacks on the Autonomous Administration areas at this stage, Çia Kurd replied, “There are secret talks between Russia and Turkey. There may be attempts to pressure the Autonomous Administration and SDF, but we affirm that any Turkish expansion attempt or a new occupation of the region will not be in the interest of Russia, the Syrian regime, or the US.
He noted that the position of the new US administration is still shrouded in ambiguity towards Turkey, in particular, and said, “We do not know how America will act with Turkey if the latter launches another attack on the Autonomous Administration areas, so this question has not received any clear answer so far by America.”
There are American messages to both Turkey and Russia that they will stay here and fill Trump's policy loopholes
Çia Kurd added, “But what can be understood from the American side through its statements and actions is that it explicitly states that they will stay in the region to fight terrorism, and it seems that this plan will be long-term, as fighting terrorism is a strategic issue for it in the region.
Çia Kurd indicated that America's recent moves in the border areas, especially Derik give messages to Russia and Turkey that they will stay, they will try to fill the loopholes left by the Trump administration's previous policies in the region, and that they will return to the region in a stronger form and will not accept interventions that lead to instability, nor interventions that may lead to weakening the American role and its influence in the region.
The Constitution Drafting Committee needs to be comprehensively reviewed
On the rounds of the Syrian Constitution Drafting Committee, Badran Çia Kurd confirmed that they had confirmed from the beginning their rejection of this formation in this way. He said, “We expressed our lack of commitment to any outputs coming out of this committee because this committee does not represent the components and segments of the Syrian society, and it came as a result of consensus between the political parties that sponsor it.”
Badran Çia Kurd stressed that this committee requests a complete and comprehensive review of its formation, in addition to ensuring the participation of representatives of all components in it.
The Syrian regime is still betting on the departure of the coalition and playing on the tribes' chord to get back the region before 2011
Badran Çia Kurd confirmed that the Syrian regime is still betting on two basic issues to get back the situation in north and east Syria to before 2011, the first is the exit of the US and the international coalition from the region, and the second is the bet on the Arab tribes in the region and their incitement against SDF and the Autonomous Administration.
Çia Kurd said, “We say to the regime, frankly and clearly, if the betting for a political solution is on the American presence and its exit, then the matter will not produce any results; rather, we must rely on the topic of political dialogue without betting on force, but the main force must be the Syrian societal strength with all its categories and components.”
He added, “As for the issue of moving the Arab tribes in order to strike and destroy the Autonomous Administration, this matter will not be of benefit to the regime because the Arab component in the administration areas in Deir Ezzor, Raqqa, Hasakah and other areas have all suffered from the injustice of the Baathist regime historically. Today, these Arab tribes are searching for rights, freedom and will, and cannot return themselves to the restrictions of the Baathist regime.”
We support the Kurdish dialogue because it is an important part of the Syrian-Syrian dialogue
Regarding the Kurdish dialogue and its importance for the Autonomous Administration, Badran Çia Kurd said, “Not only the Kurdish dialogue, but we support all dialogues aimed at consolidating and developing the Autonomous Administration and expanding political empowerment in the Autonomous Administration, and on this basis we consider that the Kurdish-Kurdish dialogue is an important part of the Syrian-Syrian dialogue that could open the way to a wider participation of the Kurds, Arabs and other components in the Autonomous Administration. We need to develop such processes at all levels and what we are doing now in this direction is to make supportive efforts to communicate with segments, components and clans of the region in order to strengthen the social relationship and ties.”
Solving the Syrian crisis requires an international and regional consensus on the form of the solution, and the implementation of the following proposals:
On their vision of ways to solve the Syrian crisis, Badran Çia Kurd said that all the Astana and Geneva meetings, even the Constitution Committee and the Negotiating Commission have become useless, and there are internal and external reasons that must be evaluated well to reach a conclusion.
Çia Kurd made several proposals to move towards resolving the crisis, including:
First: Any Syrian-Syrian talks or dialogue must have full consensus and full accession by all Syrians.
Second: There must be an international and regional consensus on what plans are being followed in order to solve the Syrian crisis. The current international and regional visions are completely different. Turkey thinks in one way, America in another, and Iran in another way. All these differences in visions affect the political process.
Third: Ending the Turkish and Iranian plans because the Turkish and Iranian intervention has brought Syria nothing but more destruction and deepening the crisis. Therefore, this crisis cannot be solved with the mentality that the two countries follow.
Fourth: All theses, projects and component visions must be taken seriously, in addition to reconsidering their inclusion in the political process.
Fifth: The United States and European countries must be more effective in the political process, and work to revitalize the small group that was concerned with supporting the Syrian-Syrian dialogue, as we saw that this group has become marginalized and has no influence in the political process.
Sixth: International efforts must be intensified to combat terrorism and ISIS cells operating in the region and remove the sources of their support and direction. We affirm that the Turkish occupation and groups present in the occupied areas are in direct contact with ISIS cells in the liberated areas, and this has led to the organization of ISIS cells in a larger camp “Al-Hol.” We have information that many leaders and princes of ISIS are present in the areas occupied by Turkey, and the cells are directed from there, and this matter is very dangerous and must be remedied because it leads to raising the level of terrorism again in the region and threatens everyone's interests, and this is a danger that must be attacked before it increases further.
Seventh: Counter-terrorism operations must be developed not only at the military level, rather, the region needs to support efforts to stabilize politically, economically and humanely, and all of these issues must have a place within the plans of the international coalition to confront ISIS and terrorism.