March 6, 2019

THERE IS NO SYRIA:

DO KURDS HOLD KEYS TO SYRIAN PEACE? (Karlos Zurutuza, 3/06/19, OZY)

[I]n recent days, Syria's Kurds have released 300 former ISIS militants, having determined that the fighters didn't have blood on their hands. This sign of leadership is helping Kurds gain credibility outside their own circles. Syria's Kurds are credited with much of the success against the militants, but Salih Muslim Muhammad, the best-known face of Kurdish opposition in the Syrian civil war, believes he and his colleagues deserve far more credit for the revolution inside Syria. Meanwhile, Kurds are negotiating with the Australian government, asking it to take Australian ISIS fighters back -- underscoring how the Kurds weren't just central to the fight against the ISIS but also to the creation of a post-ISIS future for Syria.

Muslim, the former co-chair of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the main political party for Kurds in Syria, which he founded in 2003, today serves as head of international relations for the party and as its spokesperson. OZY sat down with him to discuss the American withdrawal from the region and its repercussion for the Kurds. This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity. [...]

HAS THERE BEEN ANY POSITIVE OUTCOME SO FAR?

We're just asking for the decentralization of the country, constitutional reforms and a democratization process, not just for the Kurds but for all Syrians. We haven't received any answer, because Syria has to agree on every move with Russia and Iran. Our delegation visited Moscow with a road map, which received good feedback from the Russians. Neither the so-called Syrian opposition nor the regime has a plan for the country; they don't follow any democratic principles, they don't recognize society's most basic rights. But we do, and we truly think that's the only way to achieve peace in Syria. [Muslim is referring to decentralization of Syria, recognition of non-Arab demographics like Kurds, Syriacs and Armenians and a true democratization process.]

Posted by at March 6, 2019 5:55 PM

  

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