Does Syria Face a Bloody Partition? Kurds Declare 'Federalization'
Syrian Kurds have today declared federalization within Syria, commensurate with the demand made yesterday by representatives of the Kurdish parties. Against this demand are representatives from both Damascus and the Syrian opposition. Idris Nassan, from the foreign affairs directorate in Kobani has claimed that the new area will be called the "Federation of Northern Syria". This newly claimed area will include not only the Kurdish population, but also other ethnic groups. The proposed name of the 'Federation' is set up to have that potential, and at face value appears to overstep some precedents established historically. Nevertheless, Nassan clarified that federalization will not equate to separation from Damascus.
Damascus, represented by Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, opposes any claim for the federalization of the country, as to be legitimate would involve a constitutional process with representatives from the whole of the Syrian state. In that light, declaring 'Federalization', as opposed to 'independence', is somewhat strange. Representatives of the internal Syrian opposition, known as the Hmeymim Group, have also said that the country needs decentralization but oppose federalization. The opponents of federalization fear that the realization of that policy will result in the actual disintegration of the country.