Experts Say Disunity Could Scupper Syria Kurdish Region
[An Nahar] The announcement of a new transitional authority in Syrian Kurdistan marks a key point in the ethnic group's moves towards self-rule, but experts say disunity and war could still scupper their hopes.

Tuesday's declaration of a temporary autonomous administration in Kurdish-dominated parts of northern Syria, a plan initially mooted in July, came after Kurdish forces made territorial gains against jihadists.

But it was marred by several major Kurdish groups failing to sign on to the announcement.

That lack of consensus, coupled with the raging Syrian civil war that has killed more than 120,000 people since 2011, could undermine Syrian Kurdish efforts to gain an unprecedented level of autonomy and emulate the successes of their Iraqi Kurdish neighbors.

"If it succeeds, it will be a very important turning point for the Kurds in Syria, from a state which rejected giving them even citizenship to having a self-ruling area inside Syria," said Asos Hardi, an Iraqi Kurdish journalist and analyst in Sulaimaniyah, the second largest city in the northern autonomous region.

"But I am cautious about the reaction from different sides -- I am cautious that a fight may happen, and Kurdish citizens may pay the cost of this."

Hardi pointed in particular to the reactions of other Kurdish groups and Arab-dominated parties opposed to the rule of embattled Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Leveler of Latakia...
, both of which criticized the decision.

Currently, the transitional authority is formed by the powerful Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and several other smaller groupings, but not the Kurdish National Council which includes a broad spectrum of parties.

KNC members called the declaration "rushed" and "one-sided", and expressed concern
...meaning the brow was mildly wrinkled, the eyebrows drawn slightly together, and a thoughtful expression assumed, not that anything was actually done or indeed that any thought was actually expended...
that the move will become a long-term obstacle towards ending the Syrian war.

Arab groups have said the decision threatens the country's long-term unity.

"The formation of any local administration in the Kurdish areas in West Kurdistan is a must," said Bahjat Bashir, a member of the opposition Syrian National Council, referring to Syria's Kurdish areas by the oft-used West Kurdistan name.

"But it has to meet the conditions of success, and the first of those is the participation of all of the active political powers.

"Apparently the brothers in West Kurdistan rushed in announcing this government," Bashir said.

"The management of the region cannot be done by a single party without the agreement or coordination of the Syrian opposition."

Posted by: Fred 2013-11-15