Qamishli, Syria− A number of Kurdish, Arab and Christian parties held meetings in the city of Qamishli, begin of November, and declared an agreement on forming an autonomous Transitional Administration in several areas northern Syria −where Kurds form a majority. The initiative was first proposed by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria (PYD), which is in control in several cities and villages across the region. The PYD was accused of attempting to monopolize power in northern Syria by other Kurdish parties and the Syrian National Coalition −opposition’s largest umbrella. However, the PYD emphasized that the proposed Administration will be inclusive to all components in the region, “among them Arabs and Christians”. The declaration raised a wide wave of critique among regional powers, including Turkey and the Iraqi Kurdistan, arguing that the PYD and some allies took the decision without returning to other political factions, considering the PYD-led step as an “exclusive” action.
Among the parties that signed the agreement on an autonomous administration in the region was the Syriac Union Party (SUP). In an exclusive interview with ARA News, the leading member of the Christian SUP, Senharib Barsoum, said that the declaration came as a result of the “ongoing instability” in the area and the “urgent need” to run the civil affairs of the residents “in the shadow of the current security vacuum”.
“Our area, where Kurds form a majority and coexist with other components such as Syriacs, Assyrians, Armenians and Arabs, the formation of such a Transitional Administration was necessary,” Barsoum told ARA News. “People need such an administration to manage their daily affairs including security and economic situation.”
According to Barsoum, the declared administration includes 35 local parties and organizations that represent different social components in the region. He refused the reports −calling them “rumours”− that said that the administration is led only by the PYD.
“I want to emphasize that the door is open to all parties to join this formation to strengthen its position and help in achieving its mission,” Christian SUP member said.
Barsoum said that the Syriac Union Party has recently established an armed group −so-called Sorto− in Qamishlo/Qamisli city “to participate in maintaining the security of residents in the area” and fight side by side with the PYD-linked armed groups of Asayish and the Popular Protection Units (YPG).
He added that joint security committees have been founded by Kurdish, Arab and Christian parties, “in order to preserve our areas against the continuous attacks by extremist Islamic group”.
“Those security units (YPG, Asayish, Sorto and others) will receive their orders directly from the Transitional Administration,” Barsoum told ARA News.
Regarding regional and international fears of such an administration, Barsoum said: “We haven’t seen yet any negative reactions from the USA, and we want to reassure all sides that this administration is only meant to fill the security and administrative vacuum in our areas. It is an interim solution for the situation here, and we bar the responsibility of running our areas and responding to the basic demands of our people.”
“There are several issues concerning the region that we didn’t discuss yet within the Administration body, but we will find a solution to all issues at stake in our areas, such as the Baath-led ‘Arab Belt’ policy that deprived many residents of the area, especially the Kurds, of their national and cultural rights,” he stressed. “We deeply appreciate the PYD’s efforts to protect the region against the al-Qaeda affiliations over the last few months, and the Kurds sacrifice was not to only maintain the Kurdish people, but also the Christians and Arabs of the region.”
Barsoum concluded saying that “federalism” will be the best solution for Syria in general, “but the final decision will be of course for all Syrians to decide on the future of their country”.
Interview by: Ahmed Shiwesh
Source: ARA News
(Editing by: Adib Abdulmajid. Translation by: Rwaida Alharfoush)
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