Top Syrian Regime Security Delegation Visits Turkey to Discuss Northern Syria

07/02/2019 - 14:05 Published in Reports

ERBIL — Despite Ankara’s stance in opposing the Syrian regime through supporting some opposition groups, security sources have confirmed that the Turkish government is in communication with Damascus over a possible agreement concerning the Kurdish territories in northern Syria.

A source familiar with the developments in the region told BasNews that a Syrian regime delegation, led by Ali Mamlouk, special security adviser to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, visited Antalya in Turkey last December to hold significant discussions with the Turkish authorities.

“Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk made a secret visit to Antalya, Turkey. He held negotiations with senior Turkish security officials to discuss the removal of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) from the Syrian-Turkish border based on a mutual understanding,” the source claimed.

Damascus and Ankara have agreed to push the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey views as affiliates of the PKK, back from the Turkish border in return for Ankara’s consent to Bashar al-Assad’s presidency and its retreat from a previous position that the Syrian regime should be replaced, according to the source.

Turkey has vowed to conduct another military operation to remove the YPG fighters from the Kurdish territories in northern Syria, arguing that they are allied with the PKK and pose a threat to Turkey’s national security. However, under the pressure of the US, the operation was so far delayed.

The source also told BasNews that the Syrian regime delegation agreed to allow the Turkish military posts in northern Syrian areas while there should be Syrian flags raised. He also claimed that, based on the alleged agreement, the Syrian Kurdish fighters will be pushed back towards the south and eastern Syria, bordering Iraq, almost 60 kilometers far from the Syria-Turkey border strip.

The Kurdish fighters, as the source claimed, however, learned about the agreement and devised their own defensive plan.

“They dug massive trenches around some cities, including Hassakah, and filled them with explosives, so to prevent the Turkish and Syrian regime forces from penetrating their areas.”

The source also added that other meetings between the Turkish and Syrian Regime officials were held recently in Damascus under the supervision of Russia. He noted that another round of talks between Turkish, Iranian and Russian leaders are set for 14th February that will probably discuss the issue in more depth.

Iran will work to persuade Moscow and Ankara to maintain the Astana agreement or the Adana treaty instead of a safe zone in northern Syria.