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Will the Kurds trigger the partition of Syria?

August 16, 2013

A new element has intervened in the unfolding of the crisis in Syria, it is the effort of the Kurds to declare their temporary autonomy and manage their regions on the political, economic and social levels while waiting for a final solution to what is happening in Syria today.

It seems that the Syrian regime has informed the Kurdish authorities concerned of its suitability to the autonomy after years of rejection to keep the Kurdish regions away from conflict and use them as a barrier to the spread of opposition parties whether they were supporters of the Syrian coalition or fundamentalist groups.

It is known that the Kurds represent 15%, unofficial estimations are between one and two millions. Some sources close to the Kurdish raise these estimations to approximately three million of the 23 million people who constitute the Syrian population.

Kurds live in the area of Hasaka and in areas adjacent to the Turkish border, and have already established a number of political parties, the most important is the Kurdistan Democratic Party, which was founded in 1957 and the Kurdish Democratic left party, which was founded in late fifties of the last century, the two have prompted to the early liberation and unicity of all the Kurdish provinces before reviewing their political discourse and seeking political and cultural equity.

This means that the autonomous region would get along Malkye to parts of Alep in the west, including Kamishli and its surroundings to the city of Hasaka which capital would be the Kamishli. Crossings of the border will be primarily Ras al-Ain, in addition to the Simlka port in Iraq which is a water passage on the river Dijlah and the only with Iraq from the side of Hasaka and another non official passage with Turkey and the Kameshli located in Ras Al Ain, which was closed for more than two months because of the fightings, and also the port of Tel el Abyad.

Kurds took advantage of the war taking place in Syria since two years and changed the street names from Arabic to Kurdish and began teaching the Kurdish language in schools, Kurdish militias even raise their flag of the checkpoints on the main roads.

But the announcement of a Kurdish autonomy presents major challenges, including:
1-Iran's fear that this step will necessarily have its impact on the situation of Iranian Kurds and this is what the leader of the Party of the Democratic Union Saleh Moslem tried to dissipate during a recent visit to Iran.

2-The Turkish fears explicitly expressed by the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who warned the Kurdish groups in Syria from a divisive leadership warning of  the “serious consequences" which might result.
3-A refusal by Salafistes groups strongly present in the Kurdish regions, which are in violent Combat with Kurdish fighters and which the result was a large number of dead and wounded from both sides.

It seems that the origin of this battles have disturbed the President of the Iraqi Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani, who confirmed that the region is ready to defend the Kurds in Syria if it is found that they are threatened by terrorists linked to al-Qaeda.

Anyway, it seems that the Syrian crisis is heading towards new dimensions with the fear that the beginning of the partition of Syria and Kurdish autonomy will be an ethnic preamble
for the establishment of small sectarian or doctrinal autonomies.




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