Syria Kurdish Leader: Solution Must Include Assad

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Salih Muslim, co-chairman of the Syrian Kurdish PYD, said no solution can be reached in Syria without involving President Assad, and his exclusion would mean the death of 2 million Alawites.

Salih Muslim, co-chairman of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), said a solution in Syria without President Bashar al-Assad is not easy. “A solution without Assad means the death of 2 million Alawites," he said.

Muslim, who gave an exclusive interview in Rojava to Hilmi Hacioglu of the popular Turkish TV news program The 32nd Day, said his party wanted to participate in the Geneva meeting not as part of the Syrian National Coalition but as an independent Kurdish movement. Yet, some countries, including Turkey, were trying to block this.

Muslim said a solution without Assad would have been possible two years ago, but it was now impossible. "All Alawites now support Assad. Insisting on a solution without Assad means the death of 2 million Alawites in the country,” he added.

Asked if they were cooperating with the Assad regime, Muslim replied: "No, never. Whoever says this is disrespecting our martyr brothers. We have been fighting with the regime since the 2004 Kurdish uprising. We have nothing in common with them. They don’t recognize Kurdish identity. But others are worse than the regime."

Muslim claimed 400 Salafists who came from Turkey through the Kilis border crossing are fighting the Kurds in Azaz. He said: "We gave Turkey a list of 20 organizations that are supporting them [the Salafists]. This week, 120 [Salafists] came from Germany and 180 from Great Britain. They have to be prevented, nobody is doing anything about it."

To the question, "What do the Kurds aspire for now?" Muslim responded: "Kurds can speak of a federation without dividing it into Kurdish, Arab and Christian zones. We want to accept a new status. We are thinking of a democratic, federal system."

In the meantime, the Kurdish Democratic Society Congress reacted to [the news that] Muslim was denied entry to the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. In a written statement, the congress said, "At a time when the national unity of the Kurdish people is of vital importance and there are preparations for a national congress to that end, we find denying Salih Muslim's entry to South Kurdistan an unfortunate and unacceptable move. We denounce this attitude that harms Kurdish national unity and invite the South Kurdistan government to rectify it."

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Found in: syrian crisis, syrian alawites, syria, pyd, democratic union party, bashar al-assad
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