Syria: Kurds hold first local elections

a 25 News, Kurdish, Syria
a 31 News, Kurdish, Syria

The Kurds of Syria are preparing to hold the first local elections in the areas they control tomorrow, Friday, to the great displeasure of Damascus and Ankara, which are already annoyed by the referendum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan.

The Kurds, who make up an estimated 15% of Syria's population and are oppressed by the Damascus government, have taken advantage of the war in the country to gain de facto autonomy in the areas they control, in the north and northeast.

Invincible in their fight against Islamic State, thanks to US assistance, Kurdish forces have been able to gain ground even in areas that are not predominantly Kurdish.

In March 2016, the semi-autonomous regions also announced the creation of a "federal province", causing concern in Turkey and in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has described the local elections as a "joke".

This federal province consists of three cantons: Afrin, in the province of Aleppo, Furat, between Aleppo and Raqqa, and Jazira, in the province of Hasakeh.

In tomorrow's elections, the equivalent of a committee will be elected, which will be chaired by the "mayors" and on November 3, in another vote, the members of the "municipal councils" will be elected. Finally, on January 19, 2018, the legislative councils of each canton will be elected, as well as a legislative assembly for the entire federal province.

The Kurds deny that they want Syria to be divided. "These elections will strengthen the federal system," said Saleh Moslem, co-chair of the Kurdish Democratic Unity Party, Syria's main Kurdish party. "We are part of Syria. "Our demands are not the same as those of Iraqi Kurdistan."

"In Syria, the first step is being taken. In Iraq, it may seem like the last step. In both cases, the goal is to gain local and international recognition, "said geographer Fabrice Balance, a Syrian expert.

Source: Sigma Live