Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Syria

Kurdish Group Ready to Back Main Syria Opposition in Return for Rights Recognition

By Armando Cordoba 11/7/2013
A member of the Kurdish People's Defense Units (YPG) displays a flower on his AK-47 rifle as he holds a position in the city of Aleppo. Photo: AFP
A member of the Kurdish People's Defense Units (YPG) displays a flower on his AK-47 rifle as he holds a position in the city of Aleppo. Photo: AFP

By Armando Cordoba

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - The Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria (KDPS) claims it will back the Free Syrian Army, the main fighting force in the Syrian uprising, on condition that the FSA recognizes Kurdish rights in the northeastern part of the country.

“If they acknowledge our rights we will support everything,” said KDPS member Mohammad Salih Khalil.

He added that some parties within the Kurdistan National Council (KNC), an umbrella group of more than a dozen Kurdish parties, have suggested that the KDPS join the main Western-backed Syrian opposition, the Syrian National Council (SNC).

The KNC was formed in October 2011 in Erbil and is striving for the constitutional recognition of Kurdish rights in a new democratic Syria.

Khalil’s statement comes at a time when the KDPS has openly expressed its desire to see Syrian President Bashar al-Assad removed from power; it also fears the influence of Islamist forces fighting in the conflict.

“Syrian-Kurds are a part of this revolution and we want Assad to leave, but we also don’t want the influences of Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda to leak into the Kurdish area,” Khalil explained.

Kurdish groups have so far largely stayed out of the fighting between rebel forces and Assad’s regime, insisting they will not join the armed opposition unless Kurds are given guarantees over their territories in a post-Assad Syria.

The Kurds also have expressed fears over the rise of Islamic militancy in the main Syrian Arab opposition.

Last year the Sunni extremist group Jabhat al-Nusra, which has links to FSA, admitted having ties to Al-Qaeda. It was subsequently listed as a terrorist organization by the United States.

The Kurds and their struggle in the Syrian conflict, which is now in its third year and has claimed an estimated 100,000 lives, have gone relatively under the radar.

Kurds make up about 10 percent of the Syrian population. Though their towns have largely escaped the bloodshed, they suffer from lack of food and drinking water.

Syria’s vast Kurdish regions have fallen largely under the sway of the powerful Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is affiliated with the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and has been accused of secret ties to Assad’s regime and mistreatment of Kurdish war refugees.

Increasing tension in the area has been spurned by internal clashes between PYD’s armed militia and local Kurds, as well as against pro-FSA forces in the northern areas of the country.

In a recent interview with Rudaw, PYD leader Salih Muslim blamed clashes in the Syrian Kurdish areas on Jabhat al-Nusra, claiming the radical Islamic group is trying to gain control of all Kurdish towns and cities.

But Khalil complained that local Kurdish groups, such as his, were caught between the PYD, the Islamist groups and government forces.

“Assad’s army dominates all our towns and cities, and the PYD acts like it is his army,” Khalil said. He also claimed he had documents showing that several of Assad’s Baath party members had joined the PYD.

 

Comments

 
Data pager
Previous
Page size:
PageSizeComboBox
select
Baran | 11/7/2013
Kurds can work with everybody together as long as they recognize our right for self-determination.
serhat | 12/7/2013
Mr khalil lies simply about Pyd and does propaganda against Kurdish benefits as our enemies wish acts as a traitor. We call "xêrnexaz" to people like them. They always exist in our history such as idiot to serve our enemies. YPG does good job and acts wisely to keep way from this brutal savage war and try protects kurdish people and others who reside in kurdistan. Thanks a million Pyd.
Heval | 12/7/2013
The KDPS is hilarious!! I could not stop laughing when I read this article. They and their 10 members can support the Al-Nusra opposittion. Seriously these people must be kidding themselves if they believe the Kurdish people will follow these useless fools. Without recognition of autonomy for Western Kurdistan no Kurdish party should even consider changing our neutral stance!
Karda | 12/7/2013
About time Kurds acted by and for themselves and stoped listening to Assad and PYD propaganda about "Arab animosity". Only imported terrorists would object to recognizing Kurds' national rights and liberties. Kurds should put pressure on PYD to stop being a puppet of Assad and Iran.
Qamisli | 12/7/2013
@Heval, dont lie, the KDPS said oppenly that they are concerned about the rising influence from radical Islamist groups, they even say it in this article. And the KDPS just will work with others who support Kurdish autonomy, like in south Kurdistan.
Tags :
8101 Views

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

Hussain | 5/23/2017 4:10:21 AM
Sir We rather use, Somaliland re-claimed back their own original independent from Great Britain. Back in 26.June 1960. Instead broke-away
Why Somaliland split from Somalia, state-building and struggle for recognition
| yesterday at 09:31 | (1)
Muraz Adzhoev | 5/22/2017 10:41:33 PM
"Not immediately" does not mean in "long term". Independence of Southern Kurdistan from Iraq will be declared in short term after the referendum. It...
PublishMeFam | 5/22/2017 11:51:42 PM
Funny thing is , there were so many referendums and nothing came out of them. With such divided political system, ferociously rivaled parties, how...
UN: Kurdistan does not immediately declare independence after referendum
| yesterday at 12:01 | (3)
pre-Boomer Marine brat | 5/21/2017 5:14:21 PM
Saudi Arabia has been run by the Wahhabis more-or-less ever since ibn Saud allowed them to destroy the ancient graveyards of Mecca and Medina. For...
Greg Leichty | 5/22/2017 11:24:39 PM
Trump will soon lack power, if he does not resign, or if he is not impeached, he will be relegated to a toothless pariah roaring helplessly at the...
Trump to Muslims on first foreign trip: Drive out terrorists
| 20/5/2017 | (6)
kick | 5/22/2017 10:33:09 PM
We lost the only genuine leader of our time, he truley was something rare in these parts, he left a simple house behind, that was his entire fortune....
Future of Gorran party after death of leader
| yesterday at 10:57 | (1)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

Kurdistan holds first mountaineering competition 2 hours ago |

Kurdistan holds first mountaineering competition

It involved a 4 km run, a climb reaching the top more
Iraqi president calling Yezidis ‘remnants of Zoroastrianism’ sparks anger 6 hours ago |

Iraqi president calling Yezidis ‘remnants of Zoroastrianism’ sparks anger

“They are the remnants of Zoroastrianism and more
UN: Kurdistan does not immediately declare independence after referendum yesterday at 12:01 | (3)

UN: Kurdistan does not immediately declare independence after referendum

UN says Kurdistan to hold referendum in 2017 more
0.203 seconds