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Senior US delegation meets with Kurdish officials in NE Syria

  2021-05-17  | 
 Zhyan News Network
A US military vehicle near an oil field in Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province on July 1, 2020. (Reuters)
 Zhyan News Network


SULAIMANI – A high-level US delegation traveled to northeast Syria and met with the senior Kurdish officials for talks about the fight against Islamic State (ISIS) and a political solution to the Syrian civil war, the US Department of State said on Monday (May 17). 

On Sunday, the delegation with senior officials of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), ranking council members, tribal leaders from Raqqa, US-led Coalition military counterparts, and humanitarian actors, the State Department said. 

The delegation headed by Acting Assistant Secretary Joey Hood, attended by Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Special Representative for Syria Aimee Cutrona, Deputy Envoy for Syria David Brownstein, and White House National Security Council Director for Iraq and Syria Zehra Bell.

Hood “underscored the US commitment to cooperation and coordination in the Coalition to Defeat ISIS, continued stability in northeast Syria, and the delivery of stabilization assistance to liberated areas to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS.”

“United States will continue to be a leader in the Syrian humanitarian response while working with like-minded countries to ensure the reauthorization of cross-border assistance into Syria” Hood said according to the State Department.

The US senior official also underlined his country’s “commitment to support all efforts toward a political resolution of the Syrian conflict.” 

Founded in October 2015, the SDF is a Kurdish-led multi-ethnic alliance in north and east Syria, which was the only Coalition-backed effective ground force that helped defeating ISIS territorially in Syria March 2019 with the US-led Coalition backing. 

ISIS militants still pose a threat to stability and security of the retaken areas, especially through smuggling weapons and fighters on the Iraq-Syrian borderlands and in the disputed areas claimed by Erbil and Baghdad in Iraq.

SDF and other Kurdish-led security forces carry out intermittent anti-ISIS operations in Deir Ezzor, Hasakah and other areas under its jurisdiction.

The US delegation also meet with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister and Kurdistan President Nechirvan Barzani and discussed the fight against ISIS. 

Also on Monday, the US designated three individuals and an entity that helped the militant group financially.  

“The United States and other members of the Counter ISIS Finance Group remain committed to denying ISIS the revenue it needs to carry out its terrorist and criminal activities, as well as preventing the resurgence of the group,” the State Department said. 

(Zhyan English)