Syrian Kurds to declare federal system – reports

The areas will reportedly be named the Federation of Northern Syria and represent all ethnic groups living there, Idris Nassan, an official in the foreign affairs directorate of Kobani – one of three autonomous areas set up by Kurdish groups two years ago – told Reuters. The federal system would mean “widening the framework of self-administration which the Kurds and others have formed,” Nassan said.

A newly established system would see the autonomous cantons in Syria Kurdistan (Rojava) replaced.

Syrian Kurds effectively control a stretch of 400 kilometers (250 miles) along the Syria-Turkey border, from the frontier with Iraq to the Euphrates River. They also control a section of the northwestern border in the Afrin area.

The Syrian Kurdish YPG militia has proved to be an effective participant in the military campaign against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in northwestern Syria.

Kurdistan would, however, still remain within Syria as an autonomous region, a Kurdish representative told RIA Novosti.

“Within days, probably today, self-governing [bodies] of three Kurdish cantons in Syria’s north will declare a federation,” Abd Salam Ali, representative of the PYD party in Moscow, told RIA Novosti on Wednesday. “Separation of Rojava [Western Kurdistan] from Syria is not an option. We remain [a part of Syria], but declare a federation,” he said.

Syrian Kurds expect their experience to be applicable to other ethnicities and religious communities in Syria, according to Ali. “Our experience would be useful for Alawites and Sunnis. Perhaps, this is the key to [bringing] peace in our country.”

“A conference will be held in the town of Rmelan by the democratic self-administration cantons in Rojava to discuss their dismantlement,” an official told the Kurdish media outlet Rudaw.

“We have the so-called Project of Democratic Syria. We also had this project before. We also have the Commission preparing everything for this project. It consists of all the components of Arabs in Rojava in the North of Syria — those who are Arabs, Turkmens, Syrian Kurds, all together,” Senam Mohamed, the European representative of the Rojava administration, told Sputnik on Wednesday.

Rojava, or Western Kurdistan, has been a de-facto Kurdish-administered autonomous region of Syria since 2012, after government’s forces abandoned the area. Most of the two million plus Syrian Kurds live in Rojava, making up the majority of the region, followed by Syrian Arabs and smaller communities of Assyrians and Turkomans. In January 2014, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) declared all three Rojavan cantons – Afrin, Kobane and Jazira – autonomous.

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