PYD leader: Syrian Kurds seek autonomy

Salih Muslim, the leader of the Kurdish PYD party in northern Syria, has said that Syrian Kurds are seeking autonomy.

PYD leader: Syrian Kurds seek autonomy

World Bulletin / News Desk

Salih Muslim, the leader of Syria’s most dominant Kurdish party, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), has announced that Syrian Kurds are looking to establish three separate autonomous federal states in the country’s north.

The three provinces would include Kobani, Afrin and Qamishli, where most of the 3 million Syrian Kurds reside.

Kurds in the western Kurdistan region, known as Rojava, which is located in northern Syria along the Turkish and Iraqi borders, have been battling against Al-Qaeda linked groups who have accused them of siding with regime leader Bashar al-Assad in return for newly recognized rights for the Kurdish population.

Currently, the Kurdish language is banned from official institutions and as many as 20% of Syrian Kurds have been denied the right to citizenship.

However, the PYD has denied that it has sided with the Assad regime, and claimed that it is simply fighting to defend the Kurdish people in the region from foreign fighters. Armed Kurdish groups have filled in the security vacuum left in the region after regime troops pulled out in 2012.

Although the president of the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government of northern Iraq, Masoud Barzani, has criticized the PYD for bullying other Syrian Kurdish parties in the region, Salih Muslim admitted that sympathizers including Iraqi president Jalal Talabani and PKK from Turkey have been supporting them.

"We have been helped by our people, the Iraqi Kurds, the Iraqi president and by the PKK," Muslim said. 

Last Mod: 02 Aralık 2013, 16:11
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