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 Political groups to run liberated Kurdish cities in Syrian Kurdistan through joint committee

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Political groups to run liberated Kurdish cities in Syrian Kurdistan through joint committee  20.7.2012  

Kurdistan flag is raised at the top of governmental buildings. The Kurdish people seized all government institutions in the Kurdish city of Kobane in West Kurdistan (Syrian Kurdistan) aka northern Syria. Photo:
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A new WELCOME sign in Kurdish at the gate of Amude city in western Kurdistan (Syrian Kurdistan).
July 20, 2012

ERBIL,— Following the liberation of several areas in Syrian Kurdistan (Western Kurdistan) on Thursday, Kurdish opposition groups formed a joint administration to run towns and villages abandoned by the Syrian army.

Nuri Brimo, spokesperson for the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Syria told Rudaw, “According to the Erbil agreement both the Kurdish National Council [KNC] and the council of western Kurdistan are running Kobane city together, and have formed a joint committee,”

As the Free Syrian Army took its battle against the regime of Bashar Assad into the capital Damascus on Wednesday and killed several top officials, including the defense minister in a bomb attack, the Syrian army abandoned its posts in several Kurdish areas north east of the country.

“At the moment only Kobane city has been liberated and the regime has withdrawn its security forces from here,” Brimo said. “The Kobane story is important and it will the beginning of the liberation of all of western Kurdistan.”

On the other hand, Ali Shamdin, an official from the Kurdish Progress Party in Syria said that the authority of the Assad regime has weakened in western Kurdistan.

“The Syrian regime has lost control of some areas of Kurdistan and its authority is weakening,” Shamdin said. “If the situation continues this way, all Kurdish areas will be liberated from the Assad regime.”

On Thursday residents of Kobane city took over and raised the Kurdish flag on top of government and Baath party buildings amidst celebrations.

“Even before the liberation of Kobane we had decided based on the Erbil agreement to only raise the Kurdish flag officially,” Brimo said.

Kurdish political groups in Syria were until recently divided in their approach to the Syrian revolution. The Kurdish National Council brought under its wings around ten groups, but the Democratic Union Party [PYD] boycotted the council until its leaders held talks with KNC leaders in Erbil in the past few months. The groups signed an agreement for the administration of Kurdish areas in post-Assad Syria.

“I hope all Kurdish groups act according to the Erbil agreement and if any party violates the agreement, it will be held responsible,” Brimo said.

Members of the PYD—a close affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers Party [PKK]—are the most influential in the Kurdish areas of Syria and for months they have run checkpoints banning the Free Syrian Army from entering their territories.

On Thursday the PYD stopped soldiers Free Syrian Army from reaching Kobane city as the news of the liberation spread.

“The Kurdish forces rejected a request by the FSA and told them that they [Kurds] can control their own areas,” Hussein Kochar, a PYD official told Rudaw.

But Brimo says to run the Kurdish areas all groups have to work together.

“PKK alone cannot run western Kurdistan,” he said. “There is no other way but unity and only that way can we achieve our goals.”

Kobane city is part of the Halab [Aleppo] province and located close to the Turkish border. A 2006 census showed the population of Kobane and its surrounding villages as nearly 400,000 people. Kobane is a fertile agricultural area.

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