Kurds in Syria to push for federalism

Kurds in Syria to push for federalism

ARBIL - Reuters
Syrian Kurdish functions have agreed to re-unify their ranks and push for federalism in Syria after a previous pact that was not implemented, but the new deal has already been undermined by the reluctance of one faction to fall into line.

Under firm pressure from Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) leader Masoud Barzani, representatives of two main camps: the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Kurdish National Council (KNC) met and renewed their commitment to a joint higher council.

Joint security apparatus
“We agreed to adopt federalism as a working draft,” said Aldar Khalil, a member of another council that presides over the PYD. They also said they would create a joint security apparatus, control border checkpoints together and merge their military wings. But an armed unit known as the Popular Protection Units (YPG), which is affiliated with the PYD, issued a statement saying it would not unite with any other military force, according to media close to the group.

There is also discord regarding the new Syrian opposition coalition, which the PYD rejects as a proxy of Qatar and Turkey. The KNC, itself a coalition of more than a dozen smaller parties, has yet to decide whether to join the body.

Barzani already brought the two sides together in July, but the KNC repeatedly accused the PYD of flouting that accord, blaming the group for kidnapping one of its members and harassing rival activists. At the recent meetings in Arbil, Barzani said he would not support the Syrian Kurds unless they stayed together.