The Democratic Union Party (PYD) terrorist group's declaration of a self-proclaimed "federation" in northern Syria aims to reduce pressure on the Damascus regime, said a Kurdish member of the opposition's High Negotiation Committee (HNC).
In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Abdulhakim Bashar, a Kurdish member of the HNC and a delegate on the Kurdish National Council (KNC), said that the declaration by the terrorist PYD is an attempt to distract from ongoing efforts to find a permanent solution for the region's woes. "The PYD wants to create trouble through this unilateral declaration," he said. Bashar blasted the PYD's decision by saying, "The PYD's hastily taken, reckless decision is not for the benefit of Kurds."
The PYD, the Syrian affiliate of the terrorist PKK organization, declared on Thursday a "federal system" in PYD-controlled areas in northern Syria. Following a two-day conference with more than 150 representatives in Syria's northern town of Rmeilan, the PYD declared the establishment of a "federal system" in three PYD-held areas – namely Hasakah, Afrin, Kobani – in northern Syria.
According to an unnamed source, the meeting was snubbed by the KNC, which does not support plans for the establishment of autonomous regions in Syria. Turkey has repeatedly voiced its concern over the PYD's affiliation with the PKK terrorist group and their sharing of information and weaponry. At Turkey's request, the PYD was not invited to ongoing U.N.-sponsored talks in Geneva aimed at resolving the six-year conflict in Syria.
Dozens of Syrian opposition factions on Friday condemned a PYD/YPG declaration of a federal region in the war-ravaged country's north as a step towards partition. "We categorically reject the declaration... regarding an autonomously-run or federal region in northern Syria and we consider it to be a dangerous step aimed at partitioning Syria," some 70 opposition factions said in a statement posted online. "The unity of Syria's people and land, and our rejection of any plans for partition or any other design that could lead to partition... constitute a red line," they said.
And opposition groups on Friday threatened to use "all the political and military force" at their disposal to counter the announcement. They likened the PYD/YPG declaration to the Daesh terrorist group's bid to carve out a self-styled "caliphate" from swathes of territory under its control in Syria and Iraq. "Several groups have taken advantage of the Syrian people's revolution and their sacrifices and taken control of parts of Syrian territory to set up ethnic, nationalist and sectarian entities," their statement read.
The PYD/YPG control over 10 percent of Syria's territory and three-quarters of its border with Turkey and is accused of expelling Kurds who oppose their rule. The organization have however been excluded from the U.N.-mediated Geneva process that has brought regime and opposition representatives together for indirect negotiations.
On Friday, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets across opposition strongholds in Syria to mark the fifth anniversary of the outbreak of the revolt against Bashar Assad's regime. Along with the three-starred, tricolour flag used by the opposition, activists in the war-ravaged city of Aleppo held up a banner that read: "Down with federalism."