عربي | كوردى



Syrian Kurds criticise Damascus ‘threats’ to retake northeastern Kurdish areas

Syrian Kurds criticise Damascus ‘threats’ to retake northeastern Kurdish areas

2019/03/19 | 16:45

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)- The Syrian Democratic Federal Council in Syrian Kurdistan (MSD), Rojava, Dec. 2016. Photo: Ekurd/Reuters

QAMISHLO, Syrian Kurdistan,— Syria’s Kurds have criticised the “threatening language” of the Damascus regime after it pledged to retake northeastern Kurdish areas they control by reconciliation or by force.

The minority have largely stayed out of Syria’s war, instead carving out a de-facto autonomous region across in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava), a large swathe of northern and northeastern Syria.

That region is held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces who have been battling the Islamic State group with backing from a US-led coalition.











Syrian Defence Minister Ali Abdullah Ayoub on Monday said his government would recapture all areas held by the SDF “in one of two ways: a reconciliation agreement or… by force”.

In a statement late Monday, the semi-autonomous administration in Syrian Kurdistan slammed his comments.

“The Syrian defence minister’s statement regarding the SDF… reflects the continuation of the racist and sterile policy that has led Syria to this disastrous situation,” it said in a statement.

“The use of threatening language against the SDF who have liberated and protected the north and east of Syria from terrorists only serves those forces working to divide Syria,” it said.

In 2013, the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party PYD — the political branch of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) — has established three autonomous Cantons of Jazeera, Kobani and Afrin and a Kurdish government across Syrian Kurdistan in 2013. On March 17, 2016, Kurdish authorities announced the creation of a “federal region” made up of those semi-autonomous regions in Syrian Kurdistan.

US President Donald Trump’s announcement in December of a pullout of all American forces from Syria shocked the Kurds and sent them grappling to mend fences with Damascus.

Dialogue between both sides has been ongoing, but has failed to bear fruit.

Damascus rejects Kurdish self-rule and wants a return of government institutions to oil-rich SDF-held areas.

The Kurds want protection from a long-threatened Turkish offensive, but seek some form of decentralisation from Damascus.

“The autonomous administration… stands by its position of the need for a solution and dialogue within the Syrian framework for all pending issues,” the Kurdish authorities said.

“But we want all sides to know that we, while choosing the political solution, we will spare no effort in the legitimate defence of our rights if necessary,” he said.

Eight years into a war that has killed more than 370,000 people, the Damascus regime controls almost two-thirds of the country after a series of victories against rebels and jihadists.

But the SDF-held region, a northwestern jihadist bastion and border areas held by Turkey’s Syrian proxies remain beyond its control.

Washington has for years supported the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria, as part of an international anti-jihadist coalition dominated by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). But U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly announced the pullout from Syria.

The Kurdish PYD and its powerful military wing YPG/YPJ, considered the most effective fighting force against IS in Syria and U.S. has provided them with arms. The YPG, which is the backbone of the SDF forces, has seized swathes of Syria from Islamic State.

Copyright © 2019, respective author or news agency, AFP | Ekurd.net

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