Wladimir van Wilgenburg writes: They have been locked out of Syrian peace talks, and by extension a future Syrian government, despite controlling much of northern Syria, being the only force to successfully oppose the Islamic State and having the favour of both the United States and Russia.
On Thursday the Syrian Kurds decided on their answer to this outsider status: the formation of a new Federation of Northern Syria that would take in Kurdish-majority areas of Jazeera, Kobane and Afrin, knowns as Rojava, plus Arab towns currently under Kurdish control.
Syria’s government, opposition and regional powers have rejected the new system, saying the Kurds have no right to carve up Syria for their own purposes.
But Salih Muslim Mohammed, the co-leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the largest Kurdish party in Syria, said the federation should not be seen as an autonomous Kurdistan region, but rather a blueprint for a future decentralised and democratic country, where everyone is represented in government.
“There is no autonomous Kurdish region, so there is no question of recognising it or not,” he said. “It is part of a democratic Syria, and it might expand all over Syria. We want to decentralise Syria, in which everyone has their rights.
“The name is not important, we call it a democratic Syrian federalism,” he told Middle East Eye. [Continue reading…]