Syrian Kurdish YPG leader Sipan Hemo offered last month to hand over control of Kurdish-held lands to the Syrian government in return for Kurdish autonomy, media said Saturday. The Kurdish militia commander came to Russia’s Hmeimim base in western Syria days after the US president announced troop withdrawal from the country, Asharq al-Awsat reported. Hemo then traveled to Damascus to tell Syrian authorities that YPG was ready to give up control of the Syrian-Turkish border, before going to Moscow on December 29. In Russia, the Kurdish leader asked for assurances and suggested that Moscow bring out of mothballs a draft constitution it had proposed for Syria, which guaranteed the Kurdish right for self-determination. The publication linked this trip to the surprise handover of the flashpoint Manbij city to the Syrian army on December 28, which was confirmed nearly simultaneously by the Syrian government and Kurdish forces.

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