Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Syria rejects Russian proposal for Kurdish federation

Options, options, options.
Dozens of Russian aircraft land daily at Khmeimim air base near Latakia, Syria. One such aircraft from Moscow that landed Sept. 17 didn’t attract attention, but its passengers, eight officials of Russia's Foreign and Defense Ministries, were carrying documents that one day could alter the political scene of the region.

But not that day.

The documents, obtained by Al-Monitor, included a memorandum of intent regarding the possibility of the Syrian government's granting Syrian Kurdistan "special status within the framework of Syria." The delegation was tasked with finding a solution to the Kurdish issue in Syria by having the parties agree to the memorandum.
Salih Gedo, secretary-general of the Democratic Party of Syrian Kurds, attended the meeting. "The Russians had a document ready. It was in our favor. They wanted federalism in Syria while reinstating the rights of Kurds. We accepted all of the [stipulations] and suggested some additions.”
According to Gedo, the Syrian government's delegation did not accept the agreement, saying it would split the country, and Damascus would not agree to start a dialogue about an autonomous administration.
The memorandum contains five basic proposals. The text follows below:
The Syrian Kurdish Party has suggested, and the Syrian Arab Party has agreed, to discuss the following issues:
1. Constitutional recognition of the nationalistic and political rights of the Kurdish people in Syria, and at the same time recognition of the rights of other national minorities.
2. Recognition of the democratic self-rule system in the cantons [of Jazeera, Kobani and Afrin, which are currently controlled by Kurds] and acknowledgement that members of the self-rule [system] represent the interests of all national and religious groups in these areas, and acceptance of all decisions issued by the legislative council of these cantons.
3. Recognition of the self-protection units and the Asayish [Kurdish police] forces as the legitimate national military forces.
4. The formation of delegations from both parties [the self-rule system and the Syrian government] to coordinate relations between the cantons and the central government in Damascus.
5. Change the name "the Syrian Arab Republic" to "the Syrian Democratic Republic," and form therein a government with varied democratic views on the basis of a federalism system.
Gedo said the Kurdish side suggested adding: Stop Arabs from settling in the Kurdish villages of Jazeera province, restore the Kurds' property and compensate the Kurds for damages they have suffered.
Any disputes during implementation of the terms would be resolved through talks between the two parties. "These disputes may not be resolved in international courts,” the memorandum said.
Gedo emphasized that the issue is not dead and that the Russian side will continue contacts with the Damascus government. He said the proposed agreement allows for flexibility by stipulating that "each of the parties has the right to abrogate the agreement at any time provided it informs the other of such in writing.”
Syria, one of four Middle East countries where Kurds live in large numbers, has about 3 million Kurdish residents, most of them without legal status. With the advent of the civil war in 2011, Kurds began to demand rights and recognition. Main Kurdish towns in Syria on the border with Turkey, such as Qamishli, Kobani and Afrin, came under the control of the Kurdish nationalist Democratic Union Party (PYD).
From the beginning, Turkey opposed this development. Some in Turkey felt the Syrian regime had abandoned the border region to the Kurds, both to avoid opening a new front in the civil war and also as a challenge to Turkey. But when the PYD unilaterally declared autonomous cantons at Qamishli, Kobani and Afrin, nobody, certainly not the Damascus regime, recognized these new entities. Then when the PYD's military arm, the People's Protection Units (YPG), began seizing land between the disconnected cantons, Turkey reacted strongly and declared it wouldn't allow a Kurdish entity to form a corridor on Turkey’s border.
In recent months, Western countries have been supplying arms to the YPG and giving political support to the PYD. These uncoordinated, conflicting interests of outside powers and lack of political cohesion among the Kurds assured that the Kurdish issue in Syria would remain unresolved. Kurds at times built close relations with the United States and at other times with Russia.
So some political figures in the region have wondered why Turkey has kept silent about Russia's blatant support for the Kurds. Another Kurdish official who was involved in the Khmeimim meeting said, “Of course the Turks know exactly what transpired in the meeting. They also know the Syrian regime is not going to accept the Russian plan for an autonomous Kurdish entity. So why should Ankara react and upset Moscow for an illusion that's not likely to work?"
 It appears from my reading of the above article Russia may have wanted Syria to accept 3 separate cantons existing within it's borders. NATO/US on the other hand is pushing for a unified Kurdish territory- across northern Syria to the Mediterranean.Taking a chunk of Iraq and then a piece of Turkey and onto Iran- I've covered the actions that demonstrate that plan as an ongoing process.

Some readers here may recall this aspect being entertained by myself? If not, I'll refresh your memories...

March 01/2016: In this post - Vladimir Putin, Godfather of Kurdistan? Not a Parent of Kurdistan?
Russia has sold Syria’s sovereignty down the river. As the US long did too
Both the US and Russia claim Syrian sovereignty is non negotiable. Both are lying. Would everyone feel better if I said- misleading?  Russia jumped into the Syrian fracas to block a split, a complete split, or a balkanization.  Pushing for some type of federated Syria instead of the US fracture. Speaking for myself, I wanted Syria to remain the nation that stole my heart. But, pretty much figured Russia was not going to save Syria in the way I’d hoped.
Was I mistaken? I don't think so. Am I disappointed? Always was.
But the blog is about discerning truth to the best of my ability- 
shrugs shoulders....that's all there is to it.

NATO-Run Safe Zones Could Stabilize Syria- Invoke Article 5- US Election Unaffected

 Cognitive Dissonance aside:


  1. Why though? At my university, there are posters of 'Rojava' and events being organised to support this.

    1. Hi Ally.

      Not sure what your asking.

      "At my university, there are posters of 'Rojava' and events being organised to support this"

      Not a surprise,really.

    2. Why are they proppsing the federation?

    3. Can't be sure what may have been behind the Russian proposal?

      My interpretation of this? Some sort of a compromise. Rather then having Syrian territory completely annexed (cut away) the federation would have allowed for the claims of Syria remaining intact.

  2. Keep in mind that numerous options would have been on the table- from all parties-

    This is why I posted the earlier post...

    NATO-Run Safe Zones Could Stabilize Syria- Invoke Article 5- US Election Unaffected

    Clearly the US is prepping options for all scenarios

    Invoking article 5 let's the Obama admin off the hook
    Doesn't affect the election machinations negatively

    This is what the whole UN move was about last week also



  3. Russian choice is far more complex. Benevolence hasn't won sanctions relief. Any Syria give away is an existential threat already manifesting in Iran. Unless Iran has agreed to cut away any prospect of a Iran pipe or caspian canal. And then there is the eec and the events in uzbekistan. Ifp putin just made clear on inability of rebels and backers to negotiate given familiarity with dictati. And givven the Russian moves to date and the assyrian links and eurasian zone it would be an underestimation to suspect that federlization was going to stand in the way of the project as was ade clearby the usaf after the us planes scattered to greet Syrian planes post the Russian copter shootdown. Frozen conflict maybe. Are the Russians the assyrian protector?

    1. At this point it's deal or total war. Who keeps breaking the ceasfire in Yemen?ass assad said the best outcome would be turkey turning it's attention back to being an energy ccooridor and cutting a Cyprus deal. Presumably that same proposition stands for Saudi Arabia which itself faces it's own pincer bond deals notwithstanding. Is Russia and China emphasis delivering that message that's future is better than no future? The cchinese are afterall confronting the very same rebels on the western border as the baluchistan insurgency and afghan warring are driven into higher gear. Syria as has been the case since ancient times is the crossroads to the 21 century. The US understands this the Russian too (who quietly launched another icbm today after debuting the sarmat yesterday).

    2. Turkey will not tolerate the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state for greater “Kurdish autonomy,” using parts of northern Iraq as bases, Çavuşoğlu said. The PKK wanted to make Sinjar a “second Kandil,” but such actions would not be allowed and Turkey will “intervene more actively” to stop it from happening, he added.

    3. Part about the coalition and united statesinteresting too.

    4. Thanks for all those comments :)

      "Benevolence hasn't won sanctions relief"

      -That's for sure!

      "Any Syria give away is an existential threat already manifesting in Iran"

      -Yes, it is. I've covered that here

      I hadn't heard or read Assad stating that?
      Recent interview?

      Are Russian the Assyrian protectors?

      -Can't be sure? I would like to think they are.
      However dealing with the kurds, who are busily erasing Assyrian christian history suggests to me Russia is more practical on these matters

      re: the hurriyet article
      I'm taken back at Cavusoglu's talk- that's blunt

      “Iraq has become a country that is not being governed anymore,” he said. “If the threat to us increases [there], we can deal with them using our rights under international law and our strength including a ground operation,” Çavuşoğlu said.

      “We aren’t saying this to Iraqis alone, but to the United States and all coalition nations, to the northern Iraqi government,” he said.

      thanks- now those are the comments I like :)

  4. I don't see why you would think your earlier assessment of Russia's plan to help bust off a piece of Syria was wrong. These three cantons are Rojava and as I have written and you have written in the past, Rojava has an unofficial embassy in Moscow right now.

    1. Hey willy:

      I don't think my earlier assessment was mistaken. I think it was correct. Russia offered a compromise position to Syria- an optional position.

      It was not annexation as in the NATO/Israel plan
      It was federation- intact Syria- three cantons
      The agreement had an opt out option

      It seems sensible to me that there would be, at any given time, for any party in this situation, multiple options, points of bargaining etc
      This was one option.

      Syria did reject it according to this reporting..
      It does not mean Syria can't accept it or another version of this at a later date