by Brandon Turbeville, Activist Post:
It was only a matter of time before the Syrian military and Kurdish organizations butted heads in Syria over who controls specific territory in the north. Over the past few months and as both the Kurds and the SAA push forward against the ISIS and related Western-backed forces operating near the Turkish border, these confrontations have become increasingly frequent, requiring the help of outside negotiators to defuse the situation and implement a ceasefire.
For instance, as far back as April 20, a heavy firefight was ignited when Kurdish police (Asayish) would not stop at a Syrian border checkpoint in Qamlishi. The fight lasted three days, taking the lives of 10 Kurdish fighters and 22 SAA soldiers as well as 17 civilians. Many innocent lives lost and much time and equipment wasted that could have been spent on ISIS.
On April 22, the Russians were able to secure a ceasefire which was respected by both sides, despite remaining tensions. In Qamlishi, all joint Syrian-Kurdish roadblocks and checkpoints were dismantled as a result. Still, a prisoner swap was organized and taken advantage of almost immediately by both sides.
At the end of the battle, YPG forces found themselves in control of a formerly government-held prison on the outskirts of Qamlishi and the NDF took control over several locations in Qamlishi’s central districts. Government troops still maintain control over about 50 villages on the southern border of the city, despite being effectively surrounding by Kurdish fighters. It is expected that the YPG will eventually attempt to take the city since it is the “capital” of the “Rojava Government” also known as “Syrian Kurdistan.” Such an attempt would result in a fierce battle, however.
Another incident took place in Hasakah on July 3 when the city became the site of sporadic clashes between the SAA and the YPG. Like the result of the Qamlishi deal, a ceasefire was struck between the two sides and a prisoner exchange was made. The SAA will soon hand over control of the Literature College and two other sites recently seized by their forces to the YPG and Asayish.
Why the Clashes?
The clashes between the Syrian government and the YPG Kurdish forces (notably not the Kurdish people themselves) have been a virtual inevitability since the informal declaration of a “Rojava” administration by the YPG in 2013 when the “Kurdish areas” found some level of autonomy due to a lack of government presence as the SAA began losing territory to Western-backed terrorists. Certainly, the potential for violence increased with the official declaration of Rojava autonomy in 2016. This is simply because the goal of the YPG has always been nothing more than the establishment of a “Kurdistan,” a separate enclave run by Communist YPG forces who routinely terrorize, abuse, disenfranchise, and kill Assyrians, Christians, and other non-Kurdish peoples in areas they control (see here, here, here, and here).
The Kurds have long acted as a force which the US has been able to harness to stir up destabilization in the Iraqi, Syrian, Turkish, and Iranian sphere. Such is the case now, as the US and NATO powers seek to use the Kurdish desire for an independent country – Kurdistan – as a destabilizing force against Syria, Iraq, and Iran and a galvanizing force for the Turks. Whether or not the Kurds will ever obtain such an independent state, however, remains to be seen.
Regardless, the US has been attempting to use the fighting force of the Kurds for their geopolitical aims – whatever those aims might be in relation to the creation or not of an independent Kurdistan.
Kurds in Northern Syria have declared a federal system in Syria, with the areas they have seized in the northern part of the country designated to act as an autonomous zone. The official declaration came on March 16, with reports like those coming from the BBC reaching Western audiences on March 17. According to reports, the conference at which the federation of three Kurdish entities in Syria took place was located in Rmeilan.
Kurdish journalist Barzan Iso confirmed the initial rumors surrounding the Kurdish declaration to RT earlier on March 16 when he stated that “Now the conference has just started in Rmelan, about 200 representatives of Rojava have joined [the event]. They represent different ethnicities and nationalities. There are Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Syriacs, Turkomans, Armenians, Circassians and Chechen. Also we have representatives from the Syrian democratic forces, YPG, women defense units. This conference is supposed to announce a federation as a political project for Rojava region in northern Syria.”
The “new project” is designed to replace the currently autonomous zone of Rojava by formally creating a Federation of Northern Syria incorporating the 250 miles of Kurdish-held territory along the Syria-Turkey border with the section of the northwestern border near the Afrin area. At least, this is the plan as relayed by Idris Nassan, an official working in the Foreign Affairs Directorate of Kobane (Ayn al-Arab). The new system entails “widening the framework of self-administration which the Kurds and others have formed,” he said.
Rojova only received a degree of autonomy in 2013, when Syrian forces were overwhelmed by Western-backed terrorists and were forced to abandon much of the territory now occupied by Kurdish militias such as the YPG and others. In place of the SAA, the NDF and other Syrian patriot militias, as well as Kurdish forces, remained and fought terrorists gallantly to the point of securing large swaths of border territory.
Before 2013, Rojova was never an autonomous region nor was there a separate Kurdish entity in Syria. After all, the “Kurdish” areas are occupied by many more religions and ethnicities than Kurds, including Syrian Arabs, Assyrians, and Turkmen. Indeed, Kurds are the distinct minority not only in Syria as a whole but in most of the areas they are claiming should be labeled as Kurdistan. In January 2014, however, the PYD (Democratic Union Party) declared all three “Rojovan” cantons autonomous. This included Afrin, Kobane, and Jazira. The Rojova “interim Constitution,” known as the Charter of the Social Contract, came immediately after. The charter called for the peaceful coexistence of all religious and ethnic groups residing under its jurisdiction and reaffirmed that Rojova would remain part of Syria.
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