Syrian Kurds and government discuss post-U.S. withdrawal
In this March 28, 2018 file photo, women walk in front of clothes shops, on a commercial street, in Manbij, north Syria. On Friday, Dec. 28, 2018, Syria's military announced it has taken control the flash-point Kurdish-held town of Manbij, where Turkey has threatened an offensive. The announcement Friday came shortly after the main Syrian Kurdish militia invited the government to seize control of Manbij to prevent an attack (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)
The Associated Press
Published Saturday, January 5, 2019 11:40AM EST
BEIRUT - A Syrian Kurdish official says negotiations are ongoing between the government in Damascus and Kurdish officials on how to fill the gap following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country.
The official, who spoke Saturday on condition of anonymity because of the talks' secrecy, said Syrian Kurdish officials have visited Russia which is sponsoring the talks between the government and the Kurd-led militia that control nearly a third of the country.
The official said negotiations are ongoing and "the atmosphere is positive."
President Donald Trump announced in mid-December that the U.S. will withdraw all of its 2,000 forces in Syria.
The main U.S.-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces has expressed concerns over the planned withdrawal as Turkey has threatened to launch a military operation against Kurdish fighters in Syria.