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The Kurdish Minority Within the Syrian War

Professor Eyal Zisser, expert on Syria, explains to Shlomi Eldar the divisions and discord among the Kurds living where the Syrian, Iraqi and Turkish borders converge, and how this will impact the future of Syria.
A man repairs shoes in his shop as locals pass through on a street in the town of Cizre in Sirnak province, near the border with Syria March 23, 2013. Turkey's fledgling peace process with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group is all over the headlines. After three decades of war, 40,000 deaths and a devastating impact on the local economy, everybody seems ready for peace. Pro-Kurdish politicians are focused on boosting minority rights and stronger local government for the Kurds, who make up abou
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Syria appears on the verge of gradual disintegration. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad looks like he is locked in a life and death struggle with the opposition forces. It would then seem only inevitable that the infamous “Kurdish blunder” is rising to the surface once again, further complicating the situation in this already war-torn country. The uncertainty over where Syria is headed after its civil war is over becomes a real enigma, when the political status of the Kurdish minority is examined as part of the violent free-for-all that now dominates the region.

Professor Eyal Zisser, dean of the faculty of the humanities at Tel Aviv University, studies the modern history of Syria and Lebanon, with an emphasis on the Syrian Baath Party and the Assad dynasty. His book Faces of Syria: Regime, Society, and State covers the history of the country over the past 100 years. This penetrating analysis of socioeconomic, political and military issues attempts to resolve the Syrian riddle by delving into its roots and examining how it developed since its founding.

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