Washington’s envoy suggested that the YPG, the Syrian wing of the PKK, should be included in the UN-led Geneva peace talks indicating that the US aims to create an autonomous region in northern Syria.
James Jeffrey, the US special envoy for Syria, has recently made concerning statements regarding the participation of the YPG, the Syrian branch of the PKK, in Geneva talks, which aim to address the brutal civil war.
In the last 36 years, the PKK, designated as a terrorist organisation by the US, Turkey and NATO, has launched a terror campaign against the Turkish and neighbouring states, leading to the deaths of tens of thousands.
Rather than focusing on the PKK destruction or the grievances of the Syrian people, Jeffrey, the former US ambassador to Turkey, appears to be concentrating on bringing Washington’s problematic partnership with the terror group to a new level.
In recent weeks, ahead of the latest Geneva meeting, which was originally scheduled for August 24, Jeffrey publically signalled that Washington wants the YPG to be at the table in Geneva.
While the meeting was meant to begin this week, some members of the talks tested positive for Covid-19 and the event has been put “on hold” according to media reports. It’s not entirely clear whether there was any YPG member or any participant, representing the YPG’s political interests confirmed for the meeting.
But before the delayed meeting, during a teleconference with journalists, Jeffrey indicated that “Syrian opposition and government representatives were discussing” the possibility of YPG participation in the talks.
Turkey’s political establishment has long drawn attention to resemblances between the US designs in northern Syria and its Kurdish policy in northern Iraq, where a Kurdish-led autonomous region has been created with the help of Washington following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Over the past few years the YPG-run militias have either destroyed or cleansed dozens of Arab neighbourhoods in northern Syria, fomenting a demographic shift in the region.
Since September 2014, Washington and its 74 partners have reportedly funded and armed the YPG-run Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The militant alliance controls almost one fourth of Syrian territory and most of the country’s energy resources, which are located in northern Syria.
On top of all of this, earlier this month, the US showed that it could sacrifice all of its good relations with its NATO ally, Turkey, if it comes to who will take the lion’s share of Syria’s native energy resources.
Delta Crescent Energy, a US firm, has taken an unprecedented step in signing an agreement with the YPG-led SDF over extracting oil in northern Syria, despite protests from Ankara and Damascus.
Under the protection of the YPG-US partnership, the deal targets to increase daily oil production in northern Syria to 60,000 barrels until February 2021 and to 380 thousand barrels until October 2022.
On August 3, Turkey strongly condemned the illicit deal.
"By this step, the PKK/YPG terrorist organisation has clearly demonstrated its ambition to advance its separatist agenda by seizing the natural resources of the Syrian people. The natural resources of Syria belong to the Syrian people," said a Turkish foreign ministry statement.
“We deeply regret the US support to this step, disregarding international law, violating territorial integrity, unity and sovereignty of Syria, as well as being considered within the scope of financing terrorism. This act, which cannot be justified by any legitimate motive, is utterly unacceptable,” the statement protested.
Some experts have also seen a clear political agenda in the revelation of the deal before the Geneva meeting on August 24.
"Via this agreement, YPG will be enabled to hold a place on the table as a legal representative in the 3rd round of the Syrian constitutional committee, which is planned to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, at the end of August," said Mesut Hakki Casin, a professor of law at Istanbul's Yeditepe University.