Talks are still going on with Damascus. And the Russians are very heavily involved. There is still work to reach a political agreement but the military agreement is clear, once a deal is met. And that is the SDF joining the army. And conscription waved for past service.
The Russians are eager to ensure a political compromise is met, I’ve been told. We know from many public statements what the SDC, (the SDF’s political party) wants. And that is a nation-wide federalization. Also, many want a kind of autonomy for Kurds similar to Iraq.
Damascus obviously does not want to give up any control and wants to return to the pre-war political situation. This is as unacceptable to the SDC as autonomy is to Damascus.
I will not pretend to know what the end result may be, but I am absolutely expecting some of the political parties established in north eastern Syria to stick around for a long time. The end political situation might be like Dara’a. But hopefully not as violent afterwards..
I am hopeful that this phase of the war can reach an end, and in doing so, Syria might become more locally run and democratic. With people choosing who is in charge, at least locally. But with the reintroduction if Ba’athist control returns the mukhabarat. Which is scary.
Assad and his government have done horrible things. Many should be arrested and tried for war crimes. Many should be in jail. But it’s not going to happen and deals must be struck for survival, especially if it can’t be guaranteed without it. The alternative is conquest by Turks.
Again, I will not pretend like I know the inner workings of negotiations. This is all that can be learned from months of public statements. At the end of the day, likely everyone will have some disagreement with some part of the deal that’s made. That’s what makes a compromise.