Syria’s FSA must distance itself from Arab-Islamic al-Nusra Jihadists: Kurdish PYD leader

August 13, 2013 – worldbulletin  – Syrian Kurdistan,— A Kurdish opposition leader in Syria has said the main opposition army group Free Syrian Army (FSA) must put distance between itself and the Arab-Islamic Jihadist al-Nusra Front group linked to al-Qeada.

Salih Muslim of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) told the Anadolu Agency on Monday that the three-day ceasefire between the PYD and al-Nusra had drawn to a close. “The war has re-started since yesterday,” Muslim said.The PYD’s armed branch and al-Nusra were involved in a fight last month, vying for control over a strategic border Kurdish town in western Kurdistan (northern Syria).

“The FSA has now announced that it did not regard al-Nusra among its membership. However, some troops still side with al-Nusra,” Muslim said.”We say, if the FSA really wants democracy in Syria, it needs to distance itself from radicalists. The FSA should not support al-Nusra Front, and it should be clear on this.”

Muslim’s Turkey visits

Muslim visited Turkey three weeks ago to meet with Turkish intelligence officials. Turkey sees the PYD as a branch of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) organization. Muslim said he would make another trip to the neighboring country in a matter of days, this time without the secrecy that surrounded his first visit.

The PYD does not have a secret agenda, he said, and regards Turkey’s demand for security on its 900 km border with Syria as “legitimate and normal”.

The PYD is thought to be preparing to declare autonomy in the northern Syria region, a plan Turkey opposes. “We’re already in dialogue with Turkey,” he said, suggesting that humanitarian aid to Syria and Turkey’s opening its border gates for shelter-seekers could be topics of discussion for the talks. Muslim said Turkey changed its attitude towards the group he leads. “Meeting with PYD’s president is a big change for us,” he said. “The parties involved with Syria have all revised their policies, no matter their circumstances.”

Violence against Kurdish population

Muslim said Kurds in Syria became the target of massacres. “It is correct that massacres took place. They are calling from mosques; ‘everything Kurdish is permitted [to attack].’ Houses are blown up, entire village populations are forcibly removed, and Kurds are killed. “Hundreds have been massacred in Tel Hasil and Tel Aran Kurdish villages, and thousands displaced. It is not only Russia that denounced the killings. The US State Department also protested them.”

The exact number of deaths was not known, Muslim said, but there was video evidence of people brutally murdered.

Kurdish PYD leader to visit Turkey again

PYD leader Salih Muslim will meet with Turkey for the fourth time after two prior meetings on Cairo and one in Istanbul.

The agenda for the meeting with PYD leader Salih Muslim this week will include the latest situation in Syria and the repercussions of the issues discussed during the previous meeting held in Istanbul. Muslim is expected to arrive in Ankara this time and again meet with foreign ministry officials.Turkish officials had met with Muslim two previous times in Cairo, and once in Istanbul at the end of July.

Turkish officials had expressed to Muslim that Turkey definitely did support the Al Nusra Front in Syria, and that Turkey was not against the victimized Kurds in Syria being granted their rights. Ankara had urged the PYD leader, ” do not allow the [Assad] regime to use you. Integrate with other opposition groups. Do not create a fait accompli regarding Syria’s future.”