ABDEL HAMID DARWISH : ‘Syria is descending into darkness’ – General Secretary of the Syrian Kurdish Party

Mustafa Sino – REUTERS – Oct 11, 2012 – Abdel-Hamid Darwish, one of the founders of the Kurdish National Movement in Syria, general secretary of the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Pary of Syria, in an interview with the VoR discussed the situation in Syria, including its Northern districts that are primarily Kurdish.

Many people in the region believe that the current escalation of the situation at the Turkish-Syrian border is only an introduction to a full-scale invasion of the borderline districts of Syria by the Turkish army. What is your opinion?

From the very first day of the conflict our party supports exclusively a peaceful resolution of the Syrian crisis. In our opinion, the war that currently goes on in Syria is pushing the country to catastrophe. It would be preferable that all parties in Syria, the ones in power and the opposition, with the support of the international community should get down to resolving the crisis by political means and put an end to the current military actions. As far as the full-scale conflict between Syria and Turkey goes, I believe that in the near future such development of events is unlikely. But we have to be ready for anything. If such a conflict does break out, it would push to catastrophe all of the Middle East and the scale of that catastrophe is unpredictable.

Judging by your words one can draw a conclusion that you consider possible negotiations with the current regime?

We say that the authorities must comply with the people’s demands. The Syrian people did not want a war, Kurds also never wanted a war, but the authorities ignored the demands of the people and thus forced them to take up the arms. Our party and me personally told the authorities at the beginning of the conflict: listen to the people, don’t push the situation towards its escalation, the people have the right to demand democracy and reforms, because they have lived under pressure for 50 years, under the power of special services, who have for so long humiliated people and deprived their lives of human dignity. Unfortunately, the authorities did not hear the people, and this is where it led. But let’s be honest: the people on the other side are not angels either. Not everybody who calls himself the opposition or a democrat is that in reality. Among the opposition there are also people who are only after their own interests and ambitions. They wanted and want only one thing – the war.

Many Kurdish refugees from Syria now live in Kurdistan in Iraq. Do refugees from other regions of Syria go there as well? And if they do, who helps them besides the government of the Iraqi Kurdistan?

No, there are very few refugees from other regions. Many people have come from the Kurdish regions of Syria. No foreign or international organizations are helping them – only the authorities of the Iraqi Kurdistan. And their help also did not meet our expectations. To tell the truth, we expected more from our brothers.

Where is Syria going in your opinion? And what is the destiny of the Kurds in that process?

Now unfortunately Syria is descending into the darkness very fast. And naturally, it directly concerns the Syrian Kurds who are a part of the Syrian nation. I must admit, that for us as well as for the other Syrians the situation appears to be quite hopeless so far.

In other words in the near future you don’t see a peaceful resolution of the crisis?

The only thing I do see is that we have to work very hard in order to resolve the crisis by political means, and not military. The war cannot resolve that conflict. Neither the authorities, not the opposition will never be able to achieve their goals by military methods – that road leads nowhere. And as the conflict develops, the situation will only deteriorate.

There is another very worrisome factor. Many forces will try to benefit (in a variety of ways) from our sorrow, the sorrow of the Syrian people. Various «volunteers» – adventurers, terrorists and drug dealers – are already coming to Syria from all over the world. Their coordination of actions is in perfect order – they work non-stop and their work brings only damage to Syria. And we, the Syrians, cannot understand each other. But despite all the difficulties we need to continue working to find ways for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. We have no other option. We don’t do it ourselves; nobody will be able to help us.