Thursday, November 14, 2013

Syrian Kurdish Autonomy

Syria's Kurds are now following the pattern of the Kurds of Iraq, at least in terms of autonomy:
On Tuesday, Kurdish groups announced the formation of an interim autonomous government in Syria’s Kurdish region, with elections to follow. The announcement comes on the heels of battle successes against Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), among the most powerful of the myriad homegrown and foreign forces fighting the Assad regime.
Since the latest fighting between the Syrian Kurds and Al Qaeda affiliates broke out in July, the dominant Kurdish organization, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), has used its battle successes to burnish its image among Kurds and consolidate its hold over the region...
In recent days it has also made advances in the oil-rich Hasakah Province, and consolidated its hold on Ras al-Ayn, Syria, following several months of intense fighting against Jabhat al-Nusra.
The whole article is worth reading, noting the PYD's ties to the PKK in Turkey and allegations that it works in conjunction with Assad's regime, though I wonder if that should really mean just local elements of Assad's regime that are not really taking orders from Damascus.  The PYD has also crushed its opposition in Syrian Kurdish politics, and is accused of setting up a police state. However, good luck to any future Syrian government that thinks it can undo this autonomy declaration.

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