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Syrian Kurds Try to Maintain Unity

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image Members of the Syrian-Kurdish community in the UK march in London demanding Kurdish rights in Syria . Photo KNC-UK/Facebook.

 

LONDON, England –On July 12, the Kurdish National Council (KNC) and the People’s Assembly of Western Kurdistan signed a new agreement in Erbil, under the auspices of Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani.

The agreement was hailed as a breakthrough for Syrian Kurdish unity. An earlier seven-point treaty signed on June 11 between the parties failed to be implemented by both sides. 

The Democratic Union Party (PYD) created the People’s Assembly after failing to unite with other parties in the KNC, which allegedly receives funding from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The PYD is closer to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), whose leadership is based in the Qandil Mountains.

In a joint statement released on July 12, the KNC and the People’s Assembly thanked their “Kurdish brothers” in Iraq and President Barzani for support, adding that “we promise our Kurdish people to do everything with the Syrian people and democratic forces to bring down the system and build a democratic country.”

On July 3, a clash between the PYD and Kurds allegedly affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) led to the killing of Sheikh Hannan Na’asan and his son Abdu Na’asan Ali -- allegedly affiliated with the FSA -- and PYD member Amed Çekdar.  

Pro-FSA factions and the KNC accused the PYD of attacking Kurds after the event, while the PYD blamed the KNC for giving information to the FSA and Kurdish traitors working with Turkey who were targeting “Kurdish blood.” 

In a Youtube video, the Kurdish Salahadin brigade, allegedly affiliated with the FSA, responded to the event by saying they would target anyone who was “against the Syrian revolution” and blamed the PKK for kidnapping Kurdish activists and members of youth groups, while claiming to have refrained from being involved in the incident in order to prevent Kurdish infighting. 

After the clash, there were reports that PYD leader Salih Muslim was invited to the Kurdistan Region to meet with Barzani in order to achieve Kurdish unity. Many Kurds were afraid that the tensions would lead to more violence and turn Kurds against each other and, as a result, Barzani tried to mediate between the parties.

According to Dr. Welîd Şêxo, a representative of the Azadi (Freedom) Party in Europe, the June 11 agreement failed “because the PYD didn’t comply with the agreement and continued to arrest activists and torture Kurds, and attacked houses and killed innocent people. The Azadi Party was the only party that stood against such acts and criticized this method.”

Despite the tensions, the Azadi Party also supported the new Erbil agreement. 

Hadji Rashid, a representative of the People's Protection Committees (TEV-DEM), told Rudaw that they do not capture activists, only people involved in criminal acts or violence.

PYD foreign representative Alan Semo said that the main problem was that not all Kurdish parties signed the June 11 agreement. “This time all of them were there, and all of them signed it, hopefully. Before, some Kurdish parties did not agree with signing an agreement with the PYD.”

The PYD blames Mustafa Juma and Salah Badr al-Din from the Azadi Party for supporting the FSA and getting support from Turkey and the Turkish intelligence service in order to challenge the PYD in Kurdish areas.

“Salah Badr al-Din went to Turkey to prepare people with weapons to target the PYD,” a PYD source told Rudaw

The PYD says they do not have any problems with the FSA operating in Arab areas, but not in Kurdish areas since they receive support from Turkey. “We do not allow Turks to operate in Kurdistan,” said Rashid.

He added that if the FSA needs weapons, the PYD is willing to smuggle weapons to them if they don’t work with Turkey to target Kurds.

The PYD’s armed committee captured Juma near the border on June 24 and released him three days later. Semo told Rudaw that PYD leader Salih Muslim told Barzani that if Juma’s group “provokes and attacks the Kurdish people, you will be responsible,” and that “Kurds in the name of Barzani attack other Kurds.”

Barzani allegedly rejected this statement and said that Kurds will never kill Kurds again.

Heyam Aqil, the London representative of the Kurdish Democratic Party Syria (KDPS), which is part of the KNC, told Rudaw that the past agreement failed because it was not fully implemented by both sides. 

On Twitter, Aqil wrote that the PYD and other Kurdish parties will create a security committee to take responsibility of Kurdish areas in Syria, a joint foreign relations committee to deal with the Syrian opposition and international community and a coordination committee of 10 members.

“If the points get implemented on the ground, our unity will strengthen the struggle to secure Kurdish rights in the new Syria,” she wrote.

A point of contention that remains is the presence of armed PYD members, while other Kurdish parties have no armed forces. "This is a fundamental point not agreed upon yet," Aqil told Rudaw.

People’s Assembly co-president Ebdul-Selam Ehmed, from the PYD, told the Kurdish Firat News Agency that a High Kurdish Council will be formed that consists of three expert committees on national and foreign affairs, public services and security with members of both the People’s Assembly and the KNC, which will open branches in all parts of Syrian Kurdistan.

This week, there were no tensions during the Friday demonstrations, and media attacks against each side have been relatively low.

“No tensions were reported this Friday, so we hope it will be the start of Kurdish unity on the ground,” Aqil said.

 

 

Subscribe to comments feed Comments (1 posted):

soran on 17/07/2012 09:46:37
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So what are they fighting about, power?

already??

what disappoints me is that, basically they want to take power and power has nothing to do with any of them want a free Kurdistan, they just want to secure their places in the corridors of power and satiate their hunger.

Day by day as I read more and learn more, I see that we Kurds are slipping away from our goal. I have come to realize that there is a reason that there is not a free and united Kurdistan.

You have to sign a contract between the Kurdish parties to avoid war?

The parties' ideology comes before a free Kurdistan, unfortunately. We are under Attack and we fight with each other. the future is in our hands, if we can not look outside the box, we will forever be whitout a State and have master who dictates for us.

I want an independent and united Kurdsitan,


I'm ashamed as the partys ideololgi precedes Kurdish public and we ordinary citizens put our trust in these people.

Wake up!!!
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