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Kurdish Leader in Syria Says Trump Okay with SDF-Regime Hookup

Mazloum Kobani, commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, says US President Donald Trump does not oppose SDF efforts to align with troops loyal to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad to face the Turkish incursion into Syria. He told Kurdish-language television that he had spoken with the president by phone. At the same time, he denied reports that the SDF was ceding control of border areas to Syrian troops, saying these forces were instead merely taking up positions with Russian backing. He also reiterated the new SDF policy on ISIS, especially prisoners who had been captured earlier in the year in a drive backed by Washington. “The war against Islamic State, as we have said previously, will not be a priority for us,” he said during the broadcast. “Our main goal now is the protection of our people and our areas.” The Turkish incursion into northeastern Syria is currently in its ninth day.