Assad, opposition reject Syrian Kurds’ ‘federal region’


MOSCOW: The Syrian government and its opponents have rejected a declaration by Syrian Kurds of a federal region in northern Syria on Thursday.

A statement issued by the Syrian foreign ministry said the declaration made in the town of Rmeilan in Syria’s Hassakeh province on Thursday is unconstitutional and worthless. It also warned against any attempt to encroach upon the integrity of Syrian territories.

The Syrian National Coalition, one of the main Syrian opposition groups, also said it rejected such unilateral declarations and warned of any attempt to form autonomous regions that “confiscate the will of the Syrian people”.

The statements came after the Syria’s main Kurdish faction, the Democratic Union Party, declared a federal region in Kurdish-controlled areas in northern Syria.

Earlier on Thursday, a Kurdish official said the main Syrian Kurdish faction has declared a federal region in Kurdish-controlled areas in northern Syria. Nawaf Khalil, an official with the Democratic Union Party (PYD), says the announcement was made on Thursday at a Kurdish conference being held in the town of Rmeilan in the northern province of Hassakeh.

The declaration comes as Syrian government representatives and their opponents are holding talks in Geneva on ways to end the war. The PYD, which is viewed by Turkey as a terrorist organization, has been excluded from those talks.

Khalil said that the federal region declared Thursday was called “Rojava – northern Syria”. Rojava is a Kurdish word that refers to three distinct enclaves, or cantons, under Kurdish control in northern Syria: Jazira, Kobani and Afrin.


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