By Mohamad Misto and Levent Tok
A new political party named "Syria's Future" has been launched as part of a U.S. initiative in parts of northern Syria occupied by the YPG/PKK terrorist group.
According to sources in Syria's northeastern Al-Hasakah province, U.S. officials helped establish the so-called "Syria's Future" at a Tuesday congress held in Al-Hasakah.
U.S. officials discussed the new party’s launch during recent meetings with YPG/PKK members, the sources said.
At Tuesday’s congress, Ibrahim al-Qaftan was made chairman of the new party. Al-Qaftan had been a member of Syria’s Ba’ath Party in Manbij before the Syria conflict erupted in 2011.
Al-Qaftan assumed the presidency of Manbij’s local council after the district was occupied by the YPG/PKK terrorist group.
Hefrin Halaf, who joined the YPG/PKK in 2016, was elected secretary-general of the new party.
Answering questions about the new party, U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on Tuesday said: “We would welcome any party that’s committed to UN Security Council Resolution 2254.”
The new party, Nauert added, “is multi-ethnic and… representative of the people living in that area”.
The so-called party’s 81 executive board members include representatives from Raqqah, Tal Abyad, Ayn al-Arab (Kobane), Deir ez-Zor, Manbij, Afrin, Idlib and Aleppo.
Unlike other organizations launched by the YPG/PKK, "Syria's Future" does not have a co-president.
Members of the party’s executive board appear to have been drawn from the ranks of the YPG and the PKK terrorist groups.
The YPG/PKK’s administrative structure in Syria consists of three “regions” and six “cantons”.
The group gives special importance to Raqqah, which remains under its control, and refers to the line linking Tal Rifaat to Manbij as the “Shahba Canton”.