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Russia Supports ‘Federal Syria,’ National Dialogue | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Children hold pigeons at the Atme refugee camp that emerged due to the Syrian conflict along the Turkish border in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib. AFP PHOTO

London- The head of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units Siban Hamo visited Moscow last week and met with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and General Valery Gerasimov, chief of the general staff of Russia’s armed forces, who both affirmed that they see a “federal” future for Syria, similar to the Russian Federation, Western diplomatic sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

According to the sources, a Russian helicopter landed at the Russian base near the town of Arima, between al-Bab and Manbij early last week and took Hamo to the Hmeimim air base, then to Moscow.

The sources said that Hamo discussed three files in Moscow. The first dealt with the fate of Deir Ezzor city where the Syrian Democratic Forces supported by the US-led coalition would control the eastern strip of the Euphrates River, while the Syrian regime would control the area located on the western bank.

Hamo also discussed the fate of Afreen city in the countryside of Aleppo. According to the sources, he warned that Ankara wants to besiege the city economically and to incite problems.

The Russian side affirmed that the entry of the Turkish army to Idlib came as part of the de-escalation agreement reached in Astana and that such development is not linked to Afreen.

The third topic of discussion with the Russians was Syria’s political future.

“The Russian side clearly stated that it sees a federal system in Syria similar to the one established in the Russian Federation and that it wants to use the strength of the Kurdish Units on the ground to force Damascus into accepting talks on a federal solution in Syria,” the sources said.

They added that Russia has already decided to hold a Syrian Summit at the Hmeimim air base on Oct. 29, in the presence of representatives from the sponsors of Syria’s reconciliation, from the de-escalation zones, in addition to figures representing the Syrian regime and the opposition.