They said the political wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias, also had advanced plans to install a civilian council in the city once it falls. It would consist mainly of Arabs, in line with Raqqa's demography, but also include Kurds and other ethnic groups.
Turkey's pro-Kurdish political party has announced the release from prison of one of their lawmakers pending a trial on terror charges. Ayhan Bilgen, a former spokesman for the People's Democratic Party, or HDP, was released Friday, according to the party's current spokesman, Osman Baydemir. State-run Anadolu news agency said that Bilgen is facing up to 23 years in prison for three separate crimes after being detained in January for alleged membership of a terror organization. The Turkish government accuses the party of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. The HDP denies the accusation.
Iran and Turkey may seem like unlikely partners following events of the past few years, especially in Syria. But they are saying the same thing about the recent "Yes" vote in the Kurdish referendum, as neither want Kurdish people living in northern Iraq to secede. Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani welcomed him to discuss curbs on the Kurds' dream of their own homeland. Turkey is threatening to stop buying oil from the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq, while Iran has mobilised troops on its border with the region. What more can de done, beyond an economic embargo?
"Establish three largely autonomous regions with a viable central government in Baghdad. The Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite regions would each be responsible for their own domestic laws, administration and internal security," Joe Biden, then a leading Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and foreign policy analyst Leslie Gelb wrote in the New York Times in 2006.