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Syrian Kurdish Militia Takes Over Oil Fields

Syrian Kurdish groups have seized control of several key oil fields, provoking concerns among the Syrian opposition and Turkey about the coming division of Syria, writes Wladimir van Wilgenburg.
Syrian-Kurdish women and members of the Popular Protection Units (YPG), an armed opposition group fighting against the Syrian government, stand guard during the funeral of a comrade, Basil Zeydan, in the northern Syrian border village of al Qamishli on December 1, 2012. The Syrian army shelled the outskirts of Damascus in a drive to establish a secure perimeter around the capital, including the key airport road that has come under sustained rebel attack. AFP PHOTO/GIULIO PETROCCO        (Photo credit should

In the beginning of March, a Kurdish militia took over oil fields and installations in northeastern Syria, declaring their willingness to share the resources with the Syrian opposition if the Kurds would get their own share.

With the ongoing civil war between Syrian government forces and Arab rebels, a Syrian Kurdish party called the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its militia, the Kurdish People’s Defence Units (YPG), are increasingly using the power vacuum to create a form of Kurdish autonomy similar to that which Iraqi Kurds enjoy.

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