Federalism might be an Option, but Inclusiveness is a Must


1. Introduction

On March 17, 2016, the “Federal Democratic System of Rojava – Northern Syria” was established officially in areas controlled by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD). Following a meeting of more than 150 representatives of Kurdish, Arab and Assyrian parties in the city of Rumaylan in north-eastern Syria, participants voted in favor of the union of three “cantons” populated by Syria’s most sizeable Kurdish community (Afrin, Kobanî, Jazirah) 1.

The Asad regime and the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces [popularly known as “the Coalition” (al-I’tilaf)] have both stated their opposition to this announcement, while Washington, despite its support for the PYD, and Turkey have both declared they would not recognize this federal entity. The Syrian revolutionary streets also stood against federalism, as was evident from the many placards raised in demonstrations on Friday, March 18 and the following, considering it as a step towards separatism and division.

According to a survey conducted between November 2015 and January 2016 by the independent Syrian-led civil society organization The Day After Tomorrow (TDA), respondents in both regime (86.7%) and opposition-held areas (67,4%) agree on rejecting federalism, while proponents of federalism almost reach a consensus in Kurdish-led Self-Administration areas (79.6%) 2. These results show that a Kurdish-Arab divide exists and that the first imperative regarding any future political system in Syria is dealing with the “Kurdish issue”, although it is not the only requirement as this article will show.

The objective here is to raise a discussion on the kind of political system that could best serve the interests of the underprivileged classes to guarantee democracy and social justice and, at the same time, address the Kurdish issue in Syria. The issue of this article is therefore not to concentrate on the current federal system of Rojava – Northern Syria as that would require another article. Continue reading

Turkey, Opposing the Coup, Surviving Erdogan


*** To oppose the military coup in Turkey was an absolute necessity

*** Some Erdogan supporters lynched soldiers, attacked innocents

*** Close to 50,000 soldiers, police, judges and civil servants have been detained

On the night of Friday to Saturday, July 15-16, a fraction of the Turkish army attempted a military coup against the AKP government. It was a complete failure. The death toll is more than 290, including over 100 plotters, and 1,400 people were injured. Continue reading

The “War” against Daech: a military strategy doomed to political failure

des_militants_de_letat_islamique_defilent_a_syrte_dans_un_document_de_propagande_diffuse_en_fevrier_dernier_dr*** Daech terror attacks show it’s far from dying

*** U.S. willing to give Russia free hand in Syria as part of a deal

*** Horrors in Iraq outcome of U.S. support for sectarian government

The last terrible terrorist attack by the so-called “Islamic State” (or known Daech) killed at least 300 people in Baghdad’s central shopping district of Karrada on July 2. It was the worst single car bomb attack in Iraq since U.S. and British led forces toppled the dictator Saddam Hussein 13 years ago and deepened the anger of many Iraqis over the weak performance of the security apparatus. This followed other terrorist attacks in the region and elsewhere. This put forward once more the question on how to answer and end the threat that represents Daech. The Western states led by the USA have shown that they consider Daech as the main enemy for the region of the Middle East and North Africa. Daech constitutes in the opinion of Western officials a source of regional and international instability, particularly with the terrorist attacks in West. However they propose to use, the same elements that fueled the development of Daech to try to stop it militarily.  This is therefore a recipe for defeat. Continue reading

Contre Daesh, une stratégie militaire vouée à l’échec politique


Les États occidentaux, avec à leur tête les États-Unis, veulent montrer que l’État islamique (ou Daesh) est l’ennemi principal, car il constitue un facteur d’instabilité régionale et internationale, notamment avec les attentats terroristes en Europe…

Les éléments qui ont nourri son développement sont à nouveau utilisés pour tenter d’y mettre fin militairement : soutien à des régimes et groupes autoritaires et confessionnels, politiques néolibérales et interventions militaires… Continue reading

PYD قامشلو.. حزب يكيتي الكردي يعتصم ضد ممارسات


بدعوة من حزب يكيتي الكردي اعتصم العشرات مساء اليوم امام مكتب حزب يكيتي الكردي شرقي مدينة قامشلو(مكتب سليمان آدي) منددين بالممارسات التي يقوم بها حزب الاتحاد الديمقراطي PYD وفي مقدمتها الاعتقالات التي طالت قياديين في الاحزاب المنضوية تحت راية المجلس الوطني الكردي

وبحضور ممثلين عن احزاب المجلس الكردي, ومجموعة من المثقفين والنشطاء, ومنظمتي حزب يكيتي (غربي قامشلو – شرقي قامشلو), بدأ الاعتصام برفع صور المعتقلين ولافتات تندد بالاعتقالات السياسية, والمطالبة بالإفراج الفوري عن السياسيين والنشطاء الكرد وفي مقدمتهم عبد الرحمن آبو الذي اعتقل في عفرين بتاريخ 5/3/2016 وانور ناسو الذي اعتقل في عامودا بتاريخ 28/5/2016

كما ألقى الاستاذ حسن صالح بدوره كلمة شكر فيها جميع الحضور, وندد بممارسات PYD في جميع المناطق الكردية في كردستان سوريا, وبما فيها الاعتقالات التي تطال القياديين واعضاء الاحزاب المنضوية تحت راية المجلس الكردي, والكف عن القرارات الجائرة, في مقدمتها التجنيد الاجباري, مشيرا بأن PYD لا تمت بالديمقراطية التي ينادون بها بأية صلة, مؤكدا بأن المجلس الكردي سيبقى مستمرا في نشاطاته السلمية ضد هذه الممارسات اللامسؤولة

جدير بالذكر بأن PYD قامت بالعديد من الاعتقالات في عموم المناطق الكردية تحت ذرائع واتهامات, وصفت من قبل سياسيين بالبعيدة عن الحقيقة الواقع Continue reading

On the Syrian Revolution and the Kurdish Issue – an interview with Syrian-Kurdish activist Alan Hassaf


Joseph Daher: Let’s start with your participation in the Qamishli uprising in 2004 and the Syrian revolution, which began in 2011. Why did you participate in them and what was your role?

Alan Hassaf: In March 2004, I was a student at Aleppo University, Kurds gathered in all Syrian cities in these difficult days, harsh repression occurred in Kurdish neighborhoods and cities in which demonstrations were organised. Many martyrs fell in these protests. In Aleppo, the regime’s repression able it to maintain control of the situation, trapping the university and the university’s campuses, and arrested many of the organizers’ activists, what created an additional sense of alienation from the Syrian society. I remember the names of dozen of my Arab friends who have shown solidarity with the Kurdish protests that continued for several days at the University of Aleppo, but except them the Arab street was mostly hostile to our movement. Most of often the Arab street did not stand between at equal distance from the two parties (regime vs Kurdish protesters), but participated in accusing the Kurds protesting of betrayal against “the resistant” Syria and against Syria the “heart of Arabism”.

In the years that followed, the Syrian Revolution was a permanent dream as a Kurd and as a Syrian, and I wished it so much to come one day. Continue reading

مظاهرة في سلقين ضد جبهة النصرة – Demonstration in Salqin against Jabhat al-Nusra



مظاهرة في سلقين ضد جبهة النصرة بعد قيام احد عناصرها (تونسي) الجنسية بضرب امرأة وطفلتها (١٠سنوات) بحجة عدم التزامها الحجاب الشرعي،كما طالبت المظاهرة بخروج جبهة النصرة من المدينة

Demonstration in the city of Salqin, countryside of Idlib, against Jabhat al-Nusra after one of its members (a Tunisian member) beat a woman and her daughter (10 years old) under the pretext of not adhering to the Islamic hijab. The protesters demanded the departure of Jabhat al-Nusra of the city.