PYD names Tal Abyad part of its ‘canton’
BEIRUT - Agence France-Presse
AFP PhotoKurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria has incorporated a mixed town they captured from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) into territory they claim in the country’s north.
According to the PYD, Tal Abyad’s local council agreed Oct. 21 their town would be ruled by “autonomous administration, formally part of the autonomous administration in the Kobane canton.”
In June, Kurdish forces and their Arab rebel allies expelled ISIL from Tal Abyad, in Syria’s northern Raqqa province, after fierce clashes.
A local council of Kurds and Arabs has since overseen the town’s affairs.
Quoted in the PYD’s statement, local official Ferhad Derek said Tal Abyad would become “a model of peaceful coexistence for all the Syrian people”.
A Kurdish-led autonomous administration has ruled parts of northern and northeastern Syria since government troops withdrew from majority-Kurdish areas in 2012.
The territories are divided into three “cantons,” Jazira in Syria’s northeast, Kobane in the north, and Afrin in the northwest.
Kurdish affairs analyst Mutlu Cıvıroğlu told AFP that Kurds, Arabs and others in Tal Abyad had agreed to “democratic autonomy.”
“However this does not mean they will be separate, but part of Kobane canton,” he said.