Politics & Economics

Syrian Kurds fear marginalisation in new Syrian constitution

Syria

In recent weeks, talks have been ongoing between Damascus and the Syrian Democratic Council, led predominantly by Kurds, with the aim of finding a peaceful and mutually-beneficial solution concerning control over the country's northern region.

Kurdish-dominated political forces from the north of Syria have recently been involved in a rapprochement with the Damascus-based Syrian Government in a bid to negotiate the terms and conditions of the next Syrian constitution and political arrangement of the country.

The main coalition of political parties that govern northern areas of Syria is the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), which includes the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Syrian National Democratic Alliance (TWDS), and other parties that represent the minority communities of the north.

The SDC has announced its plans to open centres in government-held areas of the country, in the provinces of Homs, Hama, Lattakia, and in the capital Damascus. The coalition is seeking to build closer ties with the Damascus-based government in order to allow for a smooth transition into a new Syria.

The Syrian Government has stated its wish to reinstate the constitution of 2012, which would allow for local administration in northern Syria, falling short of the autonomy requested by the SDC. The SDC has called for a federal Syria which would assign territories under their control to an autonomous status. Its leaders have stated that centralised rule from Damascus is not desirable and that Syria does not belong only to Arabs, but to Kurds, Assyrians and other minorities. They believe that centralised governance would reinstate Arab nationalism as the dominant ideology and would continue to benefit only certain communities within Syrian society.

Throughout the civil conflict in Syria, the rebel uprisings across the country and ascendance of ISIS has allowed for Kurdish-dominated military groups in the north of the country to take control over parts of the north. These groups now form the general military umbrella of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), regarded as the military wing of the SDC. The SDC has established several civilian councils across the northern regions in order to administer those areas and to assist reconstruction efforts. Despite incursions made into the north of Syria by Turkey, SDC has continued to reified its rule over those territories and it now represents the most powerful political force in Syria after the Damascus-based government.

Image: Al Hurra