US Concerned about Kurdish Revolutionary Movement in Syria / JOOST HILTERMANN

22/08/2012 RUDAW By ADIB ABDULMAJID – AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – According to American news sources, U.S officials and observers of the developments in Syria are worried about the escalation of violence and have accused Kurdish parties of “weakening the Syrian opposition” and “impeding its progress towards overthrowing the Assad regime.” The concern of the Americans is that Kurdish forces have taken over control of several areas in northern Syria. A number of Kurdish cities were liberated in late July from President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and are now being jointly run by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and Kurdish National Council (KNC).

Although Kurdish forces in Syria are known for their opposition to the current tyrannical rule of Assad and have repeatedly stated their ambition of founding a democratic Syria based on a new social compact, U.S officials are sceptical about the Kurdish revolutionary movement and questioning its intentions.

According to the newspaper Asharq Alawsat, Americans fear the possibility of a compromise between the Kurds in both Syria and Turkey “in order to weaken the Turkish regional role” which has been the most prominent supporter and ally to the Syrian Arab opposition.

Joost Hiltermann, deputy program director at the International Crisis Group, described Turkey’s current situation with regards to the Kurdish issue as a “dilemma.”

“Turkey is providing remarkable support to the Syrian opposition to allow them to overthrow the Assad regime, and it is explicit that the results will be in favor of the Kurds,” Hiltermann said. According to Hiltermann, Turkey has to follow a policy of “divide and rule” in order to avoid the establishment of a Kurdish region in Syria.

“And that is exactly what Turkey does. Turkish authorities are trying to attract some Kurds to their side, and fighting others at the same time … to create a Kurdish-Kurdish tension and weaken Syria’s Kurds in order to eliminate the possible emergence of a new Kurdish power in the region,” Hiltermann concluded.

Asharq Alawsat also reported that some U.S officials believe that clashes between Kurdish forces and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are likely to occur after the collapse of the regime.

Moreover, the U.S Department of State has recently warned Kurdish parties in Syria to not become allies with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) so that no new front will be opened against Turkey in the region. During her last visit to Turkey, U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “We share the Turks’ determination that Syria should not turn into a haven for ‘terrorists’ of the PKK, whether now of after the collapse of Assad regime.”

Clinton’s statement angered many Kurdish activists who considered it as hostile to the Kurdish people, as well as clearly marginalizing Kurdish rights in Syria by linking the rights of approximately 4 million Syrian Kurds to the issue of the PKK and Turkey’s position towards it.