Ilham Ahmad uncovers SDC policy in Washington Institute

WASHINGTON, US (North Press) – On Monday, the president of the Executive Committee of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), Ilham Ahmed, uncovered several political titles that the SDC will follow for the next stage, most notably the openness to dialogue and the holding of general elections in the areas of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES).

Ahmad’s speech came at a conference hosted by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in Washington D.C, where an SDC delegation is visiting it.  

An SDC delegation had held meetings in Washington with members of the Republicans and Democrats in the US Congress and officials in the US administration.

Dialogue with Turkey and the “Syrian regime”  

Ahmad expressed the Syrian Democratic Forces’ readiness to dialogue with Turkey and to resolve all disputes with it through peaceful means and dialogue.

She added that this is in exchange for ensuring the handling of issues related to the Kurdish people and the occupied Syrian territories by Turkey, such as Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain), Tel Abyad and Afrin.  

The SDC official urged the international community to ensure an open and inclusive dialogue between the Kurds in Turkey and the Turkish government, pointing to the ability of such an understanding to establish a long-term stability and security in the region.

Answering a question by North Press about the US administration’s vision of the relationship with the Syrian government, Ahmad said that the Autonomous Administration officials reiterate that they do not oppose any dialogues in the interest of the political solution in Syria.    

She pointed out that they share the US administration’s fears of “the strict positions of the Syrian regime and its adherence to the centralization of Syria.”

She considered it necessary for the US and Russia to cooperate in the matter of dialogue with the “regime” and to push it to accept the involvement of other political parties.

American presence  

Ahmad stated that she had high-level meetings with officials of the US administration who confirmed that the US will remain in northeast Syria, contrary to what was rumored in Washington after the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“We heard pledges from the administration officials regarding the continuation of the US presence in north and east Syria, and providing economic support to the region.”

She noted to the symbolism of the US presence in Syria, which “establishes a kind of positive balance in the Syrian issue” and its difference from the war in Afghanistan.  

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)

Responding to a question by David Pollock, the symposium organizer, about the SDF’s relationship with the PKK, Ilham Ahmad said that it is important to remember that the PKK was originally established to defend the rights of the persecuted Kurds in Turkey. “Its goal was also to establish a kind of democracy in Turkey so that the Kurds and other communities, that suffer from oppression, enjoy it.”

“The PKK confronted terrorism and extremism in several areas where the Kurds are present, sacrificing everything including the death of its fighters,” Ahmad added.

She believed that this puts them in front of a “moral attitude towards the party.”

“We, as peoples of northeast Syria, are Syrians of different backgrounds and orientations. We rule part of the territory of Syria, and we have no enmity towards Turkey,” she noted.

Electoral process

The SDC official indicated that they intend to hold an upcoming electoral process that “will be open to all communities of the region to participate in.”

She confirmed that the Autonomous Administration welcomes an “neutral international monitoring to ensure the democracy and transparency of the elections.”

Regarding the intra-Kurdish dialogue, she said that its suspension will not push the Autonomous Administration to stop or postpone the elections.

She explained that it is not fair to make the communities of the region, such as the Arabs, who constitute a large part of the region’s population, waiting for elections and their democratic representation until the Kurdish parties come to an understanding.

Ilham Ahmad stressed that “we decided to hold the elections and make it open to every party that wants to participate.”

Reporting by Hadeel Oueiss