Russia wants to hand over Afrin to Assad, Syrian Kurdish officials say

Officials from Syrian Kurdish administration said Russia offered Kurds protection if they hand over Afrin region to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.

Nobahar Mustafa and Sinam Mohammad, the representatives of Syrian Kurds in Washington D.C., were quoted by Turkish independent outlet Diken as saying that Turkey and Russia made a deal before the Afrin operation, allowing Turkish airstrikes.

Kurds rejected the offer, officials said, but the withdrawal of Russian forces right before the operation indicates a deal, they said.

Syrian Kurds want to build peace with Turkey, yet their efforts were repeatedly rejected, Mustafa and Muhammad said.

Only Islamic State, Iran and the Assad regime benefits from Turkey’s military operation on Afrin, Kurdish officials said, adding that they expect U.S. and Russia to negotiate a solution to the current crisis, Diken wrote.