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PKK second-in-command appears to distance movement from pro-US Rojava strategy

KURDISTAN Workers Party (PKK) second-in-command Cemil Bayik has appeared to distance the movement from the Rojava administration in northern Syria, insisting that the future for Kurds lay with Damascus.

In an interview with the al-Nahar newspaper today, he said that the PKK remained committed to Syrian unity, supporting an end to foreign occupation.

He cited the “close and warm” relations with former president Hafez al-Assad and his family, while welcoming plans for decentralisation announced in April which “opened the door to reconciliation.”

“We have always wanted the autonomous administration to solve its problems with Damascus,” the Kurdish leader said, adding that talks between the two are encouraged.

“The main power that does not want this solution is Turkey,” he said, as it would “weaken the genocidal regime” there.

But the Kurdish leader denied an organic link between the PKK and the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which dominates the autonomous region, also known as Rojava.

His statement seems to put the movement at odds with officials in Rojava, who have been criticised for seeking political recognition from the US and other imperialist powers.

Syrian Democratic Council co-chair Ilham Ahmed recently embarked on a tour of the US and France which saw the movement’s anti-imperialist credentials called into question.

She was photographed with a range of pro-Trump anti-abortion lobbyists including Joni Ernst, a Republican who has also endorsed politicians with alleged links to far-right white supremacist groups.

The Kurdish movement has also appeared to have developed links with pro-Washington think tanks and media organisations including Newlines, committed to US-led regime change across the world.

Damascus accuses the Kurdish forces of complicity with the US occupation of northern Syria and the plunder of the country’s natural resources.

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