The Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) stated that they were prepared to engage in peace talks between themselves and the Syrian regime. The SDC is a political branch of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that is composed of Kurds and Arabs. The SDF and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime have been clashing in the southern reaches of Rojava, an autonomous Kurdish controlled north eastern portion of Syria. The SDC released a statement about their pursuit of resolving the conflict occurring in Syria between the two factions.

The SDC expressed that they wished to achieve this through democratic means and wouldn’t “hesitate to agree to unconditional talks.” Head of the SDC, Hekmat Habib claimed that they “are serious about opening a door to dialogue” and that, “With the SDF’s control of 30 percent of Syria, and the regime’s control of swathes of the country, these are the only two forces who can sit at the negotiating table and formulate a solution to the Syrian crisis.”

The primary concern of SDC authorities is the prevention of a military confrontation based situation and instead finding a better method of conflict resolution. Last month, President Bashar al-Assad told reporters in Russia that “the only problem left in Syria” is the SDF and made his intent to use force should talks fail, known. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem confirmed that the Assad regime was presently engaging the Kurds informally through talks. Neither side has elaborated on the situation though.

The head of the SDC, Hekmat Habib, informed press that any non-Syrian military combatants should withdraw from the Syrian region; this would include the near 2,000 United States soldiers deployed to the region as well. Habib stated that, “We are looking forward, in the next phase, to the departure of all military forces from Syria and the return to Syrian-Syrian dialogue.” According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, around 500,000 people have been killed over the course of the conflict in Syria and nearly half of the country’s population have become displaced making it the worst refugees situations since the second World War.