After ISIS, Ilham Ahmad speaks at National Press Club

American Rojava Center for Democracy  is hosting Ilham Ahmad, co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council, at the National Press Club on February 4. Ahmad has been holding important meetings in Washington over the last week. She spoke at the MEI and has meet officials and politicians.

This is part of the SDF’s attempt to convince the US to slow its withdrawal. The US is hosting the Coalition on February 6, so this is important.

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The February 4 event is describe as looking at Syria at a crossroads. ”

The territorial defeat of the Islamic State in Syria by the global coalition led by the United States and the Syrian Democratic Forces heralds a new era in American and Syrian relations. What are the implications of a drawdown of U.S. forces in the region? How will an insurgency by ISIS be thwarted? Without security, how can refugees and internally displaced people return? If there is to be safe zone in northern Syria, how will it be configured? How will reconstruction of Syria proceed? How will the ongoing threats towards the communities of the Syrian Democratic Council be addressed? The YPG/YPJ won the ground war against ISIS, but can the Syrian Democratic Council win the peace?

The question is whether Ahmed will have been successful by that time at convincing influential Americans to sort things out in northern Syria. Although Pompeo and Bolton want to stand by the SDF partners, it is not clear if Turkey’s weight and influence will convince Trump otherwise. The Syrian regime, Russia, Iran, Turkey and western countries all have interests in what happens as well.

US Senator Kennedy has sought to support the Kurds in a recent speech.

She also spoke to The National. She said “For the regime to protect the border, it would have to follow a political process where it would accept a decentralised administration – then we can talk about joint protection for the border.”

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