Russian Deputy FM Bogdanov meets PYD chairman Muslim

Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov meets with PYD chairman Salih Muslim to discuss conflict in Syria

Photo by: AA archive photo
Photo by: AA archive photo

PYD Chairman Salih Muslim

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday said Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov met with the Syria’s Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) chairman Salih Muslim to discuss the conflicts in the country, as Russia continued its air strikes in Syria.

The PYD has control over a region in northern Syria along the Turkish border starting from Afrin in the west and extending to the northeastern most point of Syria, only interrupted by a region controlled mainly by ISIS between Jarablus and Marea.

The ministry statement on the meeting read, "The central topic of the talks was the development of the situation in Syria and around it with a focus on the task of consolidating the efforts to counter the threat posed by the Islamic State [ISIS] and other terrorist organizations and promote a political settlement of the Syrian crisis."

Russia started conducting air strikes in Syria immediately after authorisation was granted by the Russian parliament on Sept. 30, initially claiming to be targeting ISIS militants.

In early October, Muslim signaled that they welcome Russian intervention saying ''we will fight alongside whoever fights Daesh [ISIS]," despite the conflicting agendas of Russia and US,  which has been the main ally of the PYD in Syria so far.

The PYD has been supported by the US-led coalition which has bombarded ISIS tothe  help PYD secure and expand the areas it controls in Syria.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier said, "the goal [of the Russian operation] is to help the Syrian armed forces in their weak spots in the fight against ISIS and other terrorist and extremist groups."

However, reports from Syrian activists and opposition members suggest that most of the areas hit by Russian air strikes are controlled by opposition groups fighting against Syrian regime forces.

ISIS noticeably advanced towards the northern province of Aleppo in Syria early on Friday, seizing several villages, and taking advantage of Russian air strikes in the region that dispersed the Syrian opposition forces there.

Russia has been backing the Syrian regime since the beginning of the four-year war which claimed more than 250,000 Syrians whilst, half of the country’s population are displaced internally or in the neighbouring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and in Europe.

TRTWorld and agencies