Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

FSA to Syrian Kurds: We want you | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat – The Free Syrian Army [FSA] has called on the Syrian Kurdish community to join the opposition organization, declaring that it is working in the interests of Syria as a whole, and in order to lift the “injustice” being faced by Syria’s Kurdish community. FSA military commander, Brigadier General Mustafa al-Sheikh, informed Asharq Al-Awsat that Syrian Kurdish participation in the revolution should not be compared with the injustice experienced by this community, adding “the regime has played its game with the Kurds with regards to surrendering Kurdish areas to the Kurdistan Worker’s Party [PKK] that is following its orders, whilst the Syrian regime is also using this as a playing card against Turkey…so they [the Syrian Kurdish community] have become afraid to take any decision against the PKK or to join the revolution.”

Brigadier General Ahmed al-Sheikh also revealed that a limited segment of the Syrian Kurdish community are participating in the revolution, adding that the election of Abdel Basset Sayda – a Syrian Kurdish dissident – as the new president of the Syrian National Council [SNC] should have a positive impact on Syrian Kurdish participation in the revolution. He stressed that “the Syrian revolution should encompass all segments of society, and not limit itself to one social segment at the expense of others.”

For his part, another Syrian Kurdish dissident and member of the SNC, Mousa Mousa, added his voice to the calls for more members of the Syrian Kurdish community to join the FSA. Mousa told Asharq Al-Awsat that “I support the FSA and call on Kurdish soldiers and other volunteers to join the FSA.”

However Mousa also asserted that Kurds have participated in the Syrian revolution since its launch, although in a lesser manner than the people of Homs, Idlib, Deraa and other regions where mass unrest broke out. He claimed that Kurdish participation in the Syrian revolution is intensifying day-by-day, adding “the lack of Kurdish soldiers defecting and joining the FSA in large numbers is due to the lack of Syrian military battalions in Kurdish areas.”

As for the PKK’s control of Kurdish areas in Syria, reportedly preventing Syria Kurds from joining the revolution in large numbers, Mousa stressed that “the Kurds do not obey this group, however the information that we have received – although this is not enough because we lack sufficient evidence – reveals that PKK elements are cracking down on Kurds through road-blocks, preventing freedom of movement and participation in demonstrations.”

The FSA Joint-Command issued a statement calling on their “Kurdish brothers” to join rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, whilst promising an end to the injustices faced by the Syrian Kurdish community in a future democratic Syria.

FSA spokesman Colonel Kassem Saadeddine appeared in an online video calling on Syrian Kurds to join the FSA. He said “The Joint Command of the FSA appeals to our Kurdish brothers, soldiers and civilians, and invites them to join the ranks of the FSA inside the country.”

He added “Let us work together to transform the FSA into an alternative national military institution to the army of the ruling gang. The FSA will become the legitimate guarantor protecting national unity and territorial integrity, defending the Syrian revolution’s demands for freedom, justice, national participation and the creation of a civil, democratic, pluralistic state.”

Colonel Kassem Saadeddine also stressed that the FSA will work to lift the injustice being faced by Syria’s Kurdish community, adding that Syrian Kurds will work “hand-in-hand as national partners…to build the country’s future and end discrimination for all Syrians, whatever their ethnic or religious background.”