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The time has come for the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Baghdad to start discussing an “amicable divorce,” according to a spokesperson for the Kurdish autonomous region.
“We should enter a serious dialogue with Baghdad to reach an amicable solution – an amicable solution for divorce,” KRG spokesperson Safeen Dizayee recently told daily Hürriyet.
“We can be two good neighbors. This is something we want as the only way,” he added.
“The principle of consensus was something all sides agreed on [in 2003], but now that principle is no longer there. It is a majority-minority vote. So even if Kurds have 65 seats in Baghdad, we will always be the minority,” he said.
The central administration has also been blocking the KRG’s share in the budget, Dizayee said.
“We are always at the mercy of Baghdad and this is why we are looking to find another formula. Our budget has been cut; there is no assistance for the military. These show that we cannot work together. There is an Iraq before Mosul and post-Mosul. This is why we have to seek a solution for stability. The only way forward is to go for an independent entity in Iraqi Kurdistan,” the spokesperson said.
According to Dizayee, the only way to achieve that target is through dialogue.
“We need to enter serious conversations first with Baghdad before anybody else,” he said.
“Then hopefully with our other neighbors so that they do not see this newborn entity as a threat to their security and stability. We are talking about the borders of Iraqi Kurdistan alone. We have no ambitions of a territory in Iran, Syria and Turkey,” he said.
Besides recapturing the dam, SDF said the U.S.-backed operation also aimed to block any advance by Syrian government forces from the west.
“I think the ... longer term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people,” said Tillerson at a joint conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevut Cavusoglu on Thursday, AFP reported.
Turkey 'ends' Euphrates Shield campaign in Syria
Turkey says it has "successfully" ended its seven-month Euphrates Shield military campaign in northern Syria. Turkey launched the offensive last August to push Islamic State militants away from its border and also to stop the advance of local Kurdish fighters. Mr Yildirim spoke as the US secretary of state arrived in Turkey. The government in Ankara has been angered by the willingness of the US to back Kurdish fighters in Syria. The Turkish operation was also aimed at preventing the Kurdish Popular Protection Units (YPG) from gaining more ground in northern Syria. The YPG is regarded by Turkey as a terrorist organization and an extension of the PKK. Ankara fears this would fuel an insurgency being waged by the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in south-eastern Turkey.
Turkish officials warned the offensive would push the Kurdish militia out of Manbij, before moving south to Raqqa. But neither of those has happened. It is possible Turkey has got cold feet after sustaining heavy losses in al-Bab. It may also be trying to please the US secretary of state, who was in Ankara on Thursday and was likely to reiterate that Washington would not drop its alliance with the Syrian Kurds.
[Syrian Defense Forces
The Syrian Democratic Forces (Arabic: قوات سوريا الديمقراطية, translit. Quwwāt Sūriyā al-Dīmuqrāṭīya, Kurdish: Hêzên Sûriya Demokratîk, Syriac: Ḥaylawotho d'Suriya Demoqraṭoyto), commonly abbreviated as SDF or QSD, are a multi-ethnic and multi-religious alliance of Kurdish, Arab, Assyrian, Armenian, Turkmen, Circassian and Chechen militias in the Syrian Civil War. According to a March 2017 statement of the Spokesman for the International Coalition forces, U.S. Colonel John Dorrian, 75 percent of the SDF forces fighting in Operation Wrath of Euphrates to isolate ISIL's de-facto capital of Raqqa were Syrian Arabs, a reflection of the demographic composition of that area. "The Syrian Democratic Forces are a multi-ethnic and multi-sectarian organization, and that is one of the reasons why we're working with them and they have continued to build the Arab element of their force."  Concerning the SDF in general, Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend in the same month said that "I’m seeing what is probably a pretty broad coalition of people and the Kurds may be providing the leadership, because they have a capable leader who’s stepped up to this challenge. And they are providing some of the organisational skill, but I see a large contingent about 23 to 25, 000 so far and growing, Arabs, who are marching to liberate their part of northern Syria. So, I don’t see a Kurdish state. I see a multi-cultural, multi-party, multi-ethnic, multi-sectarian Syrian region being liberated from ISIS. Over."
During the late summer 2016 Turkish military intervention in the Syrian Civil War in the Shahba region, U.S. Special Operations Forces embedded with SDF forces in order to successfully deter Turkey and Turkish-backed jihadi rebels from attacking SDF forces south of the Sajur river. Further, the United States Department of Defense confirmed that U.S. Special Operation Forces were flying U.S. flags in the town of Tell Abyad in Kobanî Canton to deter Turkish harassment shelling or attacks against SDF forces there.
During the SDF's late summer 2016 Western al-Bab offensive against ISIL, the U.S. Air Force provided close combat support for SDF forces.
From November, more than 300 U.S. Special Operations Forces were embedded to train and advise SDF fighters in the Raqqa offensive.
On 31 January 2017, the SDF received a number of armoured personnel carriers produced by ArmorGroup and supplied by the US.
In February 2017, Stephen Townsend visited Kobanî. On 25 February, the US Central Command stated that it would continue to train and equip forces of the Manbij Military Council.
During the East Aleppo offensive (February–March 2017), the US deployed troops and armored vehicles to villages near Manbij in an attempt to "deter" the skirmishes between the SDF and Turkey-backed forces west and north of Manbij.
Rojava (/ˌroʊʒəˈvɑː/ ROH-zhə-VAH; Kurdish: [roʒɑˈvɑ] "the West") is a de facto autonomous region originating in and consisting of three self-governing cantons in northern Syria, namely Afrin Canton, Jazira Canton and Kobanî Canton, as well as adjacent areas of northern Syria like Shahba region. The region gained its de facto autonomy as part of the ongoing Rojava conflict and the wider Syrian Civil War, establishing and gradually expanding a secular polity based on the Democratic Confederalism principles of democratic socialism, gender equality, and sustainability.
Also known as Western Kurdistan (Kurdish: Rojavayê Kurdistanê) or Syrian Kurdistan, Rojava is regarded by Kurdish nationalists as one of the four parts of Kurdistan. However, Rojava is polyethnic and home to sizable ethnic Kurdish, Arab, Assyrian and Turkmen populations, with smaller communities of ethnic Armenians, Circassians and Chechens. This diversity is mirrored in its constitution, society and politics.