The Syrian Democratic Council

Riad Dirar explains important issues while hosted by the Middle East Institute.

◄ The meetings with the US State Department delegation were positive, and there was a talk about the political openness and economic support.
◄ “SDC” is not going to participate in the planned presidential elections and is not going to accept to hold them in the region.
◄ The problem of Al-Hol camp is not specific to the regions of north and east Syria. Rather, its solving requires an international support from specialized countries and institutions to eliminate the ISIS ideology.
◄ The Kurdish-Kurdish dialogue represents our desire, and we have constantly proposed it to establish a stability in the region.
◄ The success of the Kurdish understandings will be an important factor to unify the vision of the Syrian opposition according to the upcoming entitlements.
◄ The dialogue with Turkey is possible if there are forces and guarantor states for the success of this dialogue.
◄ The Arab component is involved in all departments of the administration and its leadership.
◄ We work intensively on the unity of democratic forces in Syria.

The Middle East Policy Institute hosted the co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council, Riad Dirar, in a dialogue session within the round table program organized by the Middle East Institute, a leading American organization focusing on Middle East issues, in coordination with the Syrian Democratic Council’s representatives in Washington and in the presence of many political observers and journalists, including Syrians, Americans and Europeans and others.
During the session, the director of the program of Syria and Combating Terrorism and Extremism at the Middle East Institute, Charles Lister, raised a series of questions and issues related to the vision of SDC and its understanding of the Syrian reality and its changes after ten years from the start of the Syrian conflict.
The co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council, Riad Dirar, said at the outset of his speech and during his response to the fate of the Syrian conflict, that “the revolution was established for the sake of freedom and dignity, and it was peaceful seeking a reform and was diverted from its course by a counter-revolution.”
He continued, that the first cause was the Syrian regime that pushed it to militarism through its violent responses, while the second counterpart was the revolutionary ignorance that pushed it to Islamism and then the dependence on forces controlling from abroad and that forces were against the revolutionary will, so the reason was the absence of the founding vision for a change.
Regarding the diagnosis of the problems of the “revolution” and the failure to achieve its goals so far, Dirar considered the absence of the “concept of citizenship” as a major reason for the failure, as expressions and slogans remained the same as all previous slogans of the Ba’ath regime, so the opposition was similar to the Syrian regime in the awareness of the national issue, and this made the groups of the people do not feel optimistic with the results, including the Kurds and other minorities. “
On the situations of northern and eastern Syria, Darar said, “In the Syrian Al-Jazeera, there was an experience that began in a Kurdish context, which was its task to defend the region against the attacks of ISIS and other forces that attacked areas in Serekaniye , Ras Al-Ain, and others.”
The co-chair added, “This experience allied with forces and parties, but those forces invested the alliance at the expense of the Kurdish participants, aware of the issue and the trends of the Syrian event that led to a future vision for Syria and it established an entity represented by political forces that are “SDC “and military forces represented by” SDF “and carried out the governmental work.
Dirar concluded his answer on this question that the experience in Al-Jazeera and later the northern and eastern regions of Syria succeeded and it was worked for the Syrian solution to be at the forefront of a change, and this is confirmed by the events.
The experience was participant in the coalition against terrorism and ISIS, and through its system of governance that was established on secular, democratic foundations, women proved their leadership role in which all components participate in the experience as a sacrifice to restore Syrian regions and it also continued to participate in the political solution and with the negotiation body and the constitutional committee without interest. Therefore, it has established contacts searching for a solution and recognition with all the forces and parties, and achieved and defined its goals and proved its presence that could not be ignored in any Syrian solution.
And because the dialogue session coincided with the visit of a US State Department delegation to the Autonomous Administration regions, the facilitator of the session asked about the course of the visit and its agenda.
The co-chair of “SDC” considered that the meetings with the US State Department delegation were positive, in which the American side promised to continue military support to confront the remnants of terrorism and sleeper cells and protect the region, and at the same time there was a talk about the political openness and economic support, and that matter can be developed through the desire to continue the success of the relationship between the two sides.
The discussion also was about the upcoming presidential elections, as Dirar emphasized that “SDC” is not going to participate in the elections and is not going to accept to hold them in the region, saying “because these elections do not adopt international decisions, especially Resolution 2254, and therefore we are not concerned with these elections or their results”.
Some of the participants in the session presented the file of Al-Hol camp and allowing for some families to leave, as he presented a comprehensive briefing on Al-Hol camp and said that there was a suffering in the camp from the effects of ISIS infiltrators who were silent during the last period, including women and men who entered on the grounds that they were sick or infirm, but they prepared sleeper cells in the camp raised some problems that were dealt with in the recent period in which they did the actions of murder and terrorism.
The co-chair added that the problem of Al-Hol camp is not specific to the regions of north and east Syria. Rather, solving it requires an international support by specialized countries and institutions to eliminate the ISIS ideology.
On the Kurdish-Kurdish dialogue and its effects, Dirar stressed that this dialogue represents their desire, and that they have constantly proposed it to establish a stability in the region, stressing that the success of Kurdish understandings will be an important factor to unify the opposition because ” the Kurdish National Council is in the coalition, and this can present the dialogue to the point of unifying the vision of the Syrian opposition according to the upcoming entitlements.” adding that the American role was important because it was a sponsor of dialogue and he expressed his hope that the dialogue would return again and achieve positive results.
About Turkey and its role, he stressed that they are careful of a good neighborliness with Turkey and the dialogue with it is possible if there are forces and guarantor countries for the success of the dialogue, and even if this makes the Turkish side to encourage the opposition to establish relations at the level of the Syrian north to unify this north, even if it is under eastern and western administration, it can establish a decentralized system that can face the future of construction in Syria.
About the position of SDC, if there is a withdrawal of the American forces, and what are the preparations for this matter?
The co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council, Riad Dirar, said that “We confirmed that we will remain in the region defending it and our rights. There has been more than one experience about leaving us in the field alone. That happened in Afrin when the Russian forces withdrew and they were present through understandings, and it happened again through the withdrawal of American forces and the result was the occupation of Ras Al-Ain and Tal Abyad areas.”
He continued saying “In all cases, we were managing the issue according to the needs of the phase. Now, we hope that the American forces will remain because of the importance of their presence firstly in the Syrian solution and in the success of this solution. Therefore, their presence contributes to a stability and making the Syrian solution to be near to its end, instead of returning to endless forms of conflict again in which countries will participate in it at the expense of other major countries. “
About the economic situation and the decisions made to address this situation, Dirar stressed that this year’s harvest was bad and we will need more support and more assistance. We need to make a decision to open the crossings so that it is a means of preventing the siege and the ability to coexist with the surroundings, this matter is very important and necessary to cope with all emergency events.
About the role of SDC in the next phase and the participation of “Arabs” in the administration, Dirar emphasized that all the representatives of the local councils in the Arab regions are Arabs and people from the region, and in the Syrian Democratic Forces, more than half of them are Arabs in which they participate in defense and protection, just like the rest, and in the Autonomous Administration, Arab representation and also from all components are widely present and leaders in all positions and institutions, and ” for example is the leadership of the Syrian Democratic Council, in which there are Arabs from all Syrian regions. Therefore, the project is a Syrian project and the Syrians participate in it, in addition to that we are working on the unity of democratic forces by calling for a conference for which a preparatory committee is formed and continues to work so far.”

 

Prepared by The Media Office of the Syrian Democratic Council