President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday vowed Turkey would thwart any attempt by a Kurdish militia it deems “terrorists” to carve out a Kurdish state in northern Syria.
Kurdistan Regional Government president Masoud Barzani announced on June 7 that the region had set September 25 as the date for a referendum on independence. He was joined by members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Kurdistan Islamic Union, Kurdistan Islamic Movement and other small parties, including those representing Assyrian and Turkmen minorities. New signs on billboards throughout the KRG capital of Erbil tout “yes to independence.”
The Pentagon this week declared that 40 percent of Raqqa in Syria has been liberated. Bashar Assad’s forces are miles away from Abu Kamal, and it seems that in eight to 12 months eastern Syria will be cleared of Daesh. So what is next for the United States in Syria, especially with regard to the People’s Protection Units (YPG)?
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says that Russia and the Kurds of Iraq have strong historical ties that go back decades and that Moscow makes sure its ties with Iraqi Kurdistan do not have a negative impact on anyone else, particularly the Iraqi central government.
The draft of Syria’s new constitution developed by the Russian experts had a number of positive points relating to the decentralization of power in the country, the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) representative to France, Halid Isa said.
A senior Russian official said Kurds should be included in the intra-Syrian peace talks that will resume in Geneva in September this year.
Syria’s Kurds should not be ignored, and their representatives must be allowed to take part in drafting the country’s new constitution, UN envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura said.
Outside the headlines, something remarkable is going on in Syria. The Kurds, making a long-term play for an autonomous region, seem to have decided that their best bet is to buy it from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. And the US is signaling that it may be on-board — a startling reflection of its pro-Russian, anti-Turkish policy.
The Kurdish National Council (KNC) who has two representatives at the Syria Geneva talks has to look into the mirror for ignoring the Kurdish question in the talks that seek a negotiated end to the six-year long war in Syria, the UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan De Mistura reportedly told the Kurds, according to a member of the KNC’s External Affairs Committee who calls for the replacement of the two Kurdish delegates.