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Syria: parties discuss forming Kurdish regional government - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Massoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq, is seen sitting behind a Kurdish flag prior to speaking to supporters in the northern Iraqi Kurdish city of Arbil on May 26, 2013.  (AFP Photo / Safin Hamed)

Massoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq, is seen sitting behind a Kurdish flag prior to speaking to supporters in the northern Iraqi Kurdish city of Arbil on May 26, 2013. (AFP Photo / Safin Hamed)

Erbil and Amman, Asharq Al-Awsat—Talks have begun between the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and other Kurdish factions in West Kurdistan—the Kurdish region in Syria—aimed at forming an interim civilian administration. A source in the PYD leadership stressed that it would “represent all components and the Kurdish political spectrum.”

Sherzad Al-Yazidi, the official spokesperson for the People’s Council in Western Kurdistan, said in a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat that the decision to form an autonomous civilian administration was made long ago, but it was delayed because of the ongoing events in Syria. The People’s Council is the political front of the PYD.

Yazidi added that talks are currently taking place to cement the formation of this governing body. The pace of developments in the region called for the establishment of an administration to deal with the current situation, which is an extremely volatile, he added.

“Citizens in our Kurdish areas are today facing many crises and living problems,” the spokesman explained. “Mainly, economic siege, a deteriorating security situation due to increasing attacks by extremist Islamic forces—Jabhat Al-Nusra and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which are subsidiaries of Al-Qaeda—as well as [the task of] finding one single political authority to take on the task of leading the current phase of the Kurdish revolution.”

Talking about what form such an authority would take, Yazidi said: “We are now in the process of consultation, which will embrace all political forces and organizations—including the Kurdish National Council. It will also ensure the representation of all other constituents in the region, such as Arabs, Turkmen, Christians and others, because we want to become a base for an expansive government.”

In a statement, the head of the PYD, Salih Muslim, indicated in statements published by local news agencies that discussions around the forming of “an interim government” within Kurdish territories in Syria had already begun. “We hope that all parties will reach an agreement in this regard, so that a government that satisfies all sides can be formed.”

Over the last week, Muslim has visited officials in Turkey and Iran to discuss the latest developments in Syria’s Kurdish areas. He met with the head of the Iranian wing of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Abd Al-Hakim Bashar, and discussed compromises, as well as monitoring the serious threat faced by the Kurdish people from Jabhat Al-Nusra, which has been accused of mass murders of Kurdish women, children and young males in some Kurdish areas.

While the YPD says that its control of most Kurdish areas in Syria is solid, there have been considerable disagreements with other Kurdish political forces and parties.

These differences came despite the fact a Kurdish Supreme Committee was formed late last year—under the guidance of the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Massoud Barzani—to contain such disputes.

Elsewhere in Syria, fighting between government and rebel forces continued.

Fragments of the Syrian conflict hit Jordan yesterday with missiles landing near intelligence headquarters in the border town of Ramtha, reportedly as a result of clashes between government forces and militias affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Clashes have increased since the leader of the National Coalition for the Syrian Opposition forces, Ahmad Jarba, entered the town of Dera’a and visited areas controlled by the opposition forces, where he carried out Eid prayers.

Sources pointed out that the FSA has been trying to take control of Dera’a—close to the border with Jordan—for almost a year. Two shells landed near a military intelligence building yesterday, without any causalities, while a third landed near a populated area.

There was also intense fighting in the coastal province of Latakia, where FSA Chief of Staff Salim Idriss was visiting rebel fighters on a tour intended to boost morale. News sources also reported rebel gains in eastern Syria, around Deir Al-Zour.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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