PYD Leader Warns of War with Arab Settlers in Kurdish Areas

By RUDAW – 24-11-2013  – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region–The leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Salih Muslim, has warned that the Kurds’ future war would be with Arabs who have settled in the Kurdish areas with the help of the Syrian regime.

“One day those Arabs who have been brought to the Kurdish areas will have to be expelled,” said Muslim in an interview with Serek TV. The PYD leader said that the situation in Qamishli and Hasakah is particularly explosive and that “if it continues the same way, there will be war between Kurds and Arabs.” Qamishli is the largest Kurdish city in Syria and Hasakah boasts most of the country’s oil wealth.

Muslim’s own armed forces known as People’s Protection Units (YPG) have been in control of Syria’s Kurdish areas for the past year and a half.

The YPG has been locked in fierce battles with radical Islamic and other rebel groups who have tried to bring the war against the regime of Bashar Assad to the Kurdish cities. “Syrian government policy has brought many Arabs to the Kurdish areas,” said Muslim. “All the villages where they live now belong to the Kurds.” Earlier this month Salih’s PYD declared an autonomous government in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava). “We are busy putting in order our own house, so why should others have anything to say about it?” said Muslim in response to Turkey’s objection to his party’s announcement of autonomy. “If they are only looking for excuses, then that it a different story.” Meanwhile, the PYD leader expressed support for the ongoing peace process between Ankara and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), saying, “The Kurds aren’t harmful to Turkey. They have been living together as brothers for years.” “If in Turkey Kurds are accepted, then they will be accepted in all other countries,” he added.

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