Support a Federal State or a Democratic Confederate States of Syria!

Rebwar Reshid

By Rebwar Rashed:

Authoritarianism, dictatorship, centralism, ethnic aggressive nationalism and racism have been the history of the Middle East in the past hundred years since the Sykes-Picot agreement.

Countries in the upper Middle East, such as Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq have always been shifting between various dictatorships and fascistic regimes. The fact that there is a “ballot-democracy” with some kinds of law-based popular freedoms in the Turkish Anatolia in Turkey (but not in occupied Kurdistan!) hasn’t really made a difference.

When it comes to genocides, atrocities, human rights violations, racism, discrimination and the humiliation of peoples, Turkey is a pioneer. The Turkish extermination-policy against Kurdish people, Assyrians, Armenians, the Kurdish Allawis and other groups is well documented.

The Turkish anti-indigenous-nations policy in the Middle East did not change after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire; it has only changed in tactics and methods. For instance:

  1. Turkey’s military intervention in the Kurdish part of the Federal state of Iraq aims to destabilize Iraq and aggravate the already deteriorated sectarian war between Shias and Sunnis. It aims to stop Kurdish achievements and destroy Kurdish-Arab reconciliation. The people of Kurdistan in the Iraqi federal republic are against the Turkish presence and have voiced many times previously against Turkish incursions which usually are aggressive, tend to aggravate existing conflicts and pave the way for conflicts between different groups.
  2. Turkish support for terrorist groups in Syria such as ISIS, Jabha Alnusra (now Jabhat Fateh al-Sham/Front for the Conquest of the Levant), Sultan Murad Brigades and a few dozens of other small tactical groups, has exactly the same aim, namely to destabilize Syria and further deepen the conflict between Kurds, Sunnis, and Allawis of Arab origin.
  3. Through these two interventions the AKP leadership strives to revive the Ottoman dreams. The AKP leadership tries to confuse the democratic opinion by saying that Turkey want to defend Iraq and Syria’s territorial integrity and only stand against Kurdish gains, which is designed to stop its own Kurds’ demands for freedom and national and democratic rights.
In Rojava's schools children can now learn in Kurdish, Arabic and Assyrian

In Rojava’s schools children can now learn in Kurdish, Arabic and Assyrian

Realistic solutions:

  1. The Kurds, Allawis and Sunnis in Syria have the right to live in peace and harmony in a united federal or confederate state of Syria, decentralized and democratic. Therefore, the Kurds’ initiative to build a federal unity, starting from Rojava and Northern Syria, must be supported and encouraged so that the Sunnis and Allawis follow this path. Right now, Rojava is the only place where Christians, Assyrians, Armenians and other groups are living together, enjoying democratic and cultural rights. It is not a secret any more that the number of Christians, Assyrians and other non-Islamic groups decreases by each day in the Arab and Muslim countries. Therefore, a federal state of Rojava or a democratic confederate state of Rojava is the only center for gathering the beautiful mosaics of the area. We must accord to human beings and their friendly inter-relationships a central place.
  2. If Turkey was a democratic country it would certainly not mind a decentralized, democratic Iraq and Syria. It would rather encourage and support such a step. A good step is to guide Turkey to solve its own Kurdish question. Freeing the leader of the Kurdistan National liberation Movement, Mr. Ocalan, is an important and expected step to show Turkish seriousness and good intentions regarding a peaceful and democratic solution. The Kurds can only invest in sustainable and workable solutions.The USA and NATO must use their influence so that Turkey pulls back its military from Federal Kurdistan of Iraq and Rojava/Syria. Both the USA and NATO must take a much clearer stand when it comes to the terrorist groups which are called “moderate opposition” and are supported by Turkey.
  3. The Turkish army cannot participate in liberating Mosel simply because Turkey has previously been helping ISIS take over Mosel and other areas and because Turkey has ambitions to take over Kurdish wealth. Additionally, a Turkish participation gives more excuses to Iran to play a more active part in the conflict, which in turn gives Russia more grounds to build up its military presence in the area.The Middle East needs a de-escalation of aggressive behavior and conflicts, not the opposite. The people of Kurdistan live in the middle of the area — between Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Iran — and therefore appreciate such a de-escalation and struggle to find democratic and peaceful solutions, as for instance the model of a “federal state or a democratic confederate state” for the people of the area.
  4. Making the whole Rojava a no-fly zone would for sure serve as a workable platform for stability, reconstruction and repatriation of the people only if the USA and the coalition keep Turkey away from damaging the Kurds. Having Turkey occupy Jarablus and enabling Turkish paramilitary Islamic groups that operate under the name of the FSA (Free Syrian Army) just makes the situation worse.When Turkey claims that the Turkish army is in Iraq (KRG Federal area) “to train local Iraqi forces” this is simply not true.
  5. By having a very unclear stance towards different sides of the Syrian issue, the USA has made the Coalition very fragile and in addition this confuses those who struggle for a democratic, pluralistic and peaceful Syria. Supporting Kurds while also supporting the so-called “moderate Islamists” — which have been proven to be as terroristic and ruthless as ISIS — and letting Turkey do whatever it pleases — for instance invading Jarablus — just doesn’t add up.The USA also flirts with the Syrian government and at the same time shows understanding towards Iran which is a loyal Syrian ally, otherwise sometimes known as the ‘axis of evil and terrorism’. Thus, public opinion does not understand the US position concerning the future of Syria. This unclear policy has made Syria, Iran and Russia get stronger every day since the beginning of the war. Russia is very clear: It supports Bashar Al Assad and is against all so-called “moderate groups”. Period!

Therefore, the Kurds´ “Third way” or “own way” in Syria has been the most reliable choice. It is costly, but less confusing and certainly less risk-taking.

It was also a mistake that the USA gave permission to Turkey to enter the Rojava/northern Syrian town of Jarablus in the operation of “Euphrates Shield”. Prior to this invasion, Turkey was supporting ISIS, other Islamic terrorist groups in the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) and indirectly using different ways and tactics. Now, following the invasion, Turkey is behaving as though Jarablus belongs to Turkey, saying that the government and Turkish NGOs are delivering “humanitarian aid” to the people of that city while calling itself the “voice of the oppressed in Syria.” Turkey has no explanation as to why hundreds of people in Jarablus are fleeing daily into Kurdish-controlled areas.

The USA doesn’t seem to have a proper and functional strategy towards the Turkish incursion in Rojava/Syria. Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar continue to support ISIS and other fascistic and radical Islamic groups. They — Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar — are all described by the USA as “US allies”. There have been 5 years of “friendly fire” between these groups which has cost the Syrian people at least half a million lives and the total destruction of the country.

Therefore the USA will need to have a strategy which gives pluralism, secularism, democracy and liberty a clear space. This has to be done quite fast, before Turkey and Co. have time and opportunity to destroy even more of Rojava and Syria.

So giving support to the project of a Democratic Federal State of Rojava and Northern Syria (or a Democratic Confederate States of Syria) is a logical expectation. It is logical because countries like the USA, Russia and many other countries in the coalition have been “federal”, “confederal” or have very “decentralized” models of structure. The Rojava mosaics could work as a backbone of this decentralized structure. The Sunnis and Allawis in their own federal/confederate states, together in a united Syria, could change the course of history: From been unbending, unfriendly and suspicious of each other towards an understanding, a cooperation and coexistence of national joint venture.

The ball is still, at least for a while, in the United States’ court. We shall not let it be taken by the evil-doers and Turkish invaders.

Rebwar Rashed is Co-Chairman of the Kurdistan National Congress – KNK

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