Fears of Anti-Kurdish Campaign by Syrian Arab Opposition

29/08/2012 RUDAW By ADIB ABDULMAJID – AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – Kurdish leaders in Syria say that a number of Arab opposition figures are leading a campaign to inflame hostility against the Kurds. A Kurdish opposition source told Alkurdiya News that parties are receiving support from regional powers and prominent Arab journalists in order to continue their campaign against Syria’s Kurds.

The source, who preferred to remain anonymous, said, “Some of the opponents running this anti-Kurdish campaign are members of the Syrian National Council (SNC), and others belong to another opposition movement.”

According to Alkurdiya, the insistence of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to form brigades in Kurdish areas is based on reports issued by this campaign. The FSA is reacting to fears of an independent Kurdish entity being established in northern Syria and the potential danger to Arab tribes and the Christian minority in Kurdish areas.

Egid Yusif, a Syrian Kurdish activist and member of the Kurdish Youth Movement (Tevgera Ciwanên Kurd), told Rudaw that the Turkish government is the main supporter of the campaign which aims to “weaken the remarkable Kurdish role in the ongoing popular uprising” and to “prevent the Syrian Kurds from obtaining their legitimate rights in a new Syria.”

“Obviously, Turkey is playing an influential role in this campaign, and its tool in inflaming hatred between the Arabs and Kurds in Syria is the chauvinistic Arab mentality which seems to be entrenched and deeply rooted in some Arab opposition figures,” Yusif said.According to Yusif, any real democratic change in Syria is considered by the Turkish political leadership as a threat to its interior affairs. “In order to show political maturity and understanding regarding the developments in the region, Turkey should support democratic change in Syria instead of suppressing the people’s will, because the time is up for policies of persecution and marginalization,” he stated.

Yusif believes that the Kurdish Supreme Committee in Syria should bear its responsibility concerning this campaign and its supporters should be confronted, “otherwise, we will suffer grave consequences, and threats of a new era of persecution seem to be looming over the Kurdish future in Syria.”

Regarding the potential role of some Kurdish figures involved in the campaign, Yusif told Rudaw, “We are not surprised about the cooperation of some Kurdish opposition figures with the enemies of the Kurds for some personal agenda, but the majority of Kurdish people in Syria are still supporting the effort of founding a new social compact with the rest of Syrian society.”

On Thursday, Alkurdiya News reported that dozens of Arab opposition fighters from Deir ez-Zor had entered the Kurdish region of Syria in order to form an Arab military council in Hasaka province to reinforce the presence of the FSA in the area. The step was said to be FSA reaction to fears of Kurdish separatist tendency.

In this regard, Yusif cited the Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat, who once said, “Every Kurdish activist spends a part of his day participating in anti-regime demonstrations, and the other part dedicated to reassuring the rest of Syrians that the Kurds are not separatists.” Yusif said that the Kurdish people can manage their own affairs in Kurdish areas and that there is no need for FSA battalions there. “We don’t want the FSA to leave its real front with the Assad regime and come to the Kurdish areas to implement the Turkish agenda there,” he said.