Al Monitor: The SDF is looking for mediation with the Syrian government through the UAE


Al Monitor website, who is specialized in Middle Eastern affairs, said that the US-backed Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) recently resorted to the UAE to seek mediation that might ease tensions with the Syrian leadership.

According to a report published by the website on Wednesday evening, May 3, the leader of the SDF, Mazloum Abdi, visited the UAE recently, quoting four sources he described as well informed, whose names kept confidential.

He added, quoting two officials in the region, that Abdi met with Emirati officials, looking for Abu Dhabi’s help to pressure the issue of the Syrian Kurds with the Syrian authorities, and among the officials with whom the leader of the SDF met was the Emirati National Security Adviser, Tahnoun bin Zayed al Nahyan.

The UAE denied the visit, according to an answer Al Monitor received from an unnamed Emirati official, in response to inquiries on the same issue.

On the other hand, officials insisted, according to the site, that Abdi did indeed go to the UAE between late March and early April.

Two officials told Al Monitor that the leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Pavel Talabani, the second largest party in Iraqi Kurdistan, traveled with Abdi to the UAE.

As the first official response from the SDF about this visit, the same website quoted Badran Siya Kurd, the foreign minister of the Autonomous Administration, the political umbrella of the SDF, as saying that the UAE expressed its interest in helping the Syrian Kurds conclude an agreement with Damascus.

He added, “They said they are ready to help, but so far we do not have a program (road map) for this… We want them to play a role in the talks with Damascus,” refusing to confirm or deny Abdi’s recent trip to the UAE.

On June 5, 2022, the commander of the SDF, Mazloum Abdi, announced the openness of his forces to coordination with the Syrian army, calling for the use of Syrian Air defense systems against Turkish aircraft, in order to confront Ankara’s threats to launch a military operation in northern Syria at the time.

At the time, Abdi told Reuters, “SDF will coordinate with the Syrian government forces to repel any Turkish invasion of northern Syria,” indicating that his forces are open to working with the Syrian army forces to fight against Türkiye.

In December 2022, the head of the National Union, Bafel Jalal Talabani, met with the leader of the SDF, Mazloum Abdi, in the city of al Hasakah, northeastern Syria, to talk about the relations between the two sides, which was the first meeting of its kind.

Talabani, who is described as a deal maker, posted on his Facebook page at the time that the two sides discussed “the political situation in Rojava and the Kurdistan region, and political developments related to the Kurdish issue,” and emphasized “solving problems peacefully”.

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