Is an Arab-Kurdish War In the Making in Syria?

Article Summary
As clashes continue between the Kurdish PYD and Jabhat al-Nusra in northern Syria, many fear a Kurdish-Arab war is on the horizon.

The efforts of the Syrian National Council, led by Kurdish-origin Abdel Basset Sieda, to mediate between the PYD and Jabhat al-Nusra to end their clashes have failed. Following the assassination of PYD founder and Kurdish Supreme Council member Isa Huso, Jabhat al-Nusra launched heavy attacks against Kurdish targets. The PYD’s military wing, the YPG, responded by declaring mobilization and calling on all young people and anyone who can hold a gun to take their places in the YPG ranks. Kurdish organizations Kongra-Gel and KCK announced their support for the YPG’s mobilization call.

"Kurdish-Arab clashes"

The general command of the Rojava Popular Defense Units [YPG] said many Free Syrian Army units have joined the Jabhat al-Nusra attacks and this has added new dimensions to the clashes. The YPG command said, "Many of the FSA battalions are supporting Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and are participating in attacks from Derik to Aleppo and Afrin. FSA battalion commanders have ordered their elements to come to West Kurdistan to fight the Kurds. They want to provoke clashes between Arabs and Kurds and to depict them as a war between two peoples. We will foil these plans.”

Focusing on the border crossing

The customs crossing between Turkey and Syria at Ras al-Ain [Serekaniye] that has been calm for a few days is now the scene of battles. Attacks by Jabhat al-Nusra to capture the customs crossing have failed. Jabhat al-Nusra has been firing with artillery and tanks from Tel Halef, which is 3 km from Serekaniye. They are also using snipers deployed at elevated locations. Many people have been wounded at al-Hasakah and Girge Lege by shelling.

We are expanding the war

Hajj Mansur, a member of the Executive Council of the Democratic Popular Movement [TEV-DEM], which is close to the PYD, told daily Taraf, "We didn’t want the war and we didn’t attack. At the moment we are using our right of legitimate self-defense. If they don’t attack us, we won’t attack anyone. But the nature of our defense is gradually changing as all parts of Rojava are under attack and we have to expand the battles to defend ourselves. This is our land and we will stay. Nobody can take any part of Rojava that doesn’t belong to them. We will not surrender. We won’t remain silent because our people are subjected to massacres."

Will resist till the end

Mansur continued: "The call for mobilization by the YPG is to prevent ethnic pressures and attacks on our people. At the moment, Jabhat al-Nusra and groups like them detain whoever is a Kurd. We had deaths and oppression. Kurds were caught and killed at Tel Abiad and Serekshin. We will defend all the people of Rojava at Serekaniye and all over. We will fight back this offensive launched by Jabhat al-Nusra. Our goal is to foil the game of those who are trying to start an Arab-Kurdish war as Jabhat al-Nusra wants. But the Arab people who live here with us are supporting us."

Found in: syrian, syria kurds, pyd, kurds

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using them you accept our use of cookies. Learn more... X