Syrian Muslim Brotherhood Leader Rejects Kurdish Autonomy
Syrian Rebels Capture Building near Turkish Border
A tip of the hat to Sherkoh Abbas of KURDNAS.
We reported the rise of de facto Syrian Kurdish autonomy in the vacuum created by the current bloody conflict between the armed forces of Syrian Alawite strongman Bashar Assad and rebellious Sunni forces backed by Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The Muslim Brotherhood dominated Free Syrian Army commander, Col. Riad al-Assad, announced the deployment of the largely Sunni rebel force Headquarters from its safe haven inside Turkey to “liberated areas” in adjacent northwestern Syria. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood leadership in the rebellion would oppose the quest for Kurdish autonomy in the traditional northeastern homeland area.
A recent interview with the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood Secretary General Mohammed Riad al-Shaqfa in a Turkish newspaper, Cumhuriyet, revealed both concerns and rejection of Kurdish aspiration and presence in Syria. As noted in a Rudaw English article Shafqa said:
There is no one single purely Kurdish area in Syria and the Kurds are a minority in northeastern areas since they live with other components of Syrian society there.
We clearly oppose the ambitions of establishing a Kurdish entity in Syria.
Rudawcontrasted Shaqfa’s figures on Kurdish demographics in Syria and the rebuttal of Massoud Akko, a prominent Kurdish Activist and Journalist about Syrian Kurdish aspirations:
Most research estimates Syrian Kurds make up between 12 and 15 percent of the population in Syria. However, Shaqfa claims, “The Kurds in Syria do not constitute more than 5 percent.”
Shaqfa’s statements angered many Syrian Kurdish activists and politicians, and caused controversy between the different revolutionary forces in Syria.
Massoud Akko, a prominent Syrian Kurdish activist and member of the Syrian Journalists Association (SJA), told Rudaw on Thursday that the statements by the leader of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood went too far.
“This is not the first time for Riad al-Shaqfa to issue such flawed statements about the Kurds,” Akko said. “Neither Shaqfa and his group nor any other opposition party know the precise percentage of Kurdish people in Syria.”
He added, “The Kurdish population … should be based on the results of research, not by issuing baseless statements in this regard, because there was never a neutral or official census concerning the Syrian Kurds.”
“My advice to Mr. Riad al-Shaqfa and his entire group is to read more about the Kurds before issuing any statement; otherwise, it would be better for them to shut up,” Akko concluded.
According to Akko, such hostile statements by opposition leaders against the Kurds reinforce the divisions in Syria.
“Shaqfa and his group reveal their hostility to the Kurdish people, and that doesn’t serve the revolution and its goals. I think that such a position represents a serious danger to the future of the Kurdish people and their issue in Syria, in the case that the Muslim Brotherhood rules the country someday,” Akko said.
He continued, “They should review these shameful statements and attitudes which basically spread a spirit of hatred between them and the Kurdish people.”
Regarding the establishment of a Kurdish entity in Syria, Akko stated, “That is one of the legitimate rights for Kurds in Syria according to all the international conventions and the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. The Kurds are a nation and it is their legitimate and unquestionable right to be an independent entity and enjoy their sovereignty on their own land.”
However, Akko noted that none of the Kurdish factions have demanded that an independent Kurdish entity be established in Syria, and that their ultimate demand is for a decentralized federal state as is found in Germany, Switzerland, the U.S and the U.A.E.
An alternative demand is the right to a self-governed Kurdish region where the Kurds can enjoy an autonomous administrative rule, a right they have been deprived of for decades under different Syrian governments.
Akko argued that a Kurdish state is a right, and any denial of this by any party or opposition faction is unacceptable and should be condemned by all Kurds.
“The main question remains whether it can be implemented, because this issue is relevant to the geopolitical circumstances in the region,” Akko said, also noting the importance of international support towards reaching this Kurdish ambition.
“Anyway, nothing is impossible,” he concluded. “Where there’s a will, there is a way”.
Clearly the objective of the Muslim Brotherhood leadership in the bloody Syrian rebellion is to maintain and assert control over a unified Syrian state governed under Shariah, Islamic law and the likely conduct of brutal sectarian warfare aimed at 'ethnic cleansing' of minority groups opposing this objective; i.e., the Kurds, Alawites, Druze and Christians. With direct Iranian intervention via insertion of Quds forces in Syria and supply of war material for the Assad regime via a ‘humanitarian’ air bridge passing over neighboring Iraq versus the Sunni supremacist coalition of Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia supplying the Free Syrian Army, the bloody rebellion will continue. Iraq –based al Qaeda cadres have also entered Syria from adjacent Anbar province. No effective UN intervention is likely given the stalemate at the Security Council with the opposition of both Russia and China to US and other Western resolutions. In the meantime the Kurds in Syria will continue to perfect de facto self government while Turkey is preoccupied in combating heightened levels of asymmetrical warfare from emboldened PKK insurgents in its adjacent southeastern provinces seeking control of the region.