60% of Syrian oil controlled by Kurds: PYD leader Salih Muslim
Salih Muslim, co-president of the Syrian Kurdish
Democratic Union Party (PYD).
Photo: UKS •
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May 9, 2013
Syrian Kurdistan,— According to Salih Muslim,
PYD (the main Kurdish party in Syria) co-chair, 60%
of oil is controlled by Kurds. "We protect the oil
wells," he said, before pointing out that the
Kurdish rewrite their history in the Middle East.
"The Kurdish people are re-writing their history. We
are rebuilding a poorly written history. Today,
Kurds are settling accounts with history", he said
Relying on a draft democratic autonomy, developed by
Kurdish imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan, the
Syrian Kurds are now a major force for the future of
Syria. The Kurds are maintaining their neutrality,
despite pressure from international and regional
"Our position has not changed. - said Muslim - We
protect our people. Sometimes we are facing regime
forces, sometimes armed groups". Muslim added that
Kurds are waiting for the coalition of the Syrian
opposition to clarify its position on the Kurds and
the future of Syria.
The process of democratic self-government is on
track for several years, but the revolt launched in
March 2011 has accelerated the implementation of
this project. Before being forced to withdraw from
the Kurdish cities, the Syrian regime was very weak
against the parallel structures put in place by the
Kurds, as people's councils, committees, an
alternative army and a police force.
Since 19 July 2012, the Kurds took control of
nine cities in the region: Kobani, Afrin, Dirbęsiyé,
Amude, Derik and Girkę Lęgué, as well as of these
three cities Tel Temir Tirbespiyé and Rimęlan, where
Kurdish, Arab and Christian communities shared their
life. For the Kurdish city Serękaniyę (Rass al-Ain),
on the border with Turkey, an agreement on the
cessation of hostilities between the Kurds and the
Free Syrian Army (SLA) was concluded on 17 February
2013. The only Kurdish city where Syrian regime
forces are still present is Qamishlo,www.ekurd.net
but this city is governed by a board of people,
installed by the Kurds. There are also Kurdish
villages in the great city of Hasakah, where Kurds
want to create a board that would represent all the
communities living in this region, in order to force
the regime to withdraw.
The Kurds have also taken control of the oil wells
in the region. Rmaylan, Til Kojer and Jibis are the
three areas that are home to major oil fields. "The
regions that produce 60% of the oil in Syria are
under the control of People's Defence Units (YPG,
Kurdish army)", said the PYD co-chair. "Oil
production is stopped, but the wells are under the
protection of YPG" he added.
The Kurdish region is rich in water, oil and gas.
Oil wells and gas are concentrated in the region of
Jazeera. But the Kurds still can not take advantage
of these resources because of the discriminatory
policy of the Baath regime for decades. All the
riches of the Kurdish region with agricultural
wealth were transferred to cities like Damascus and
Aleppo. The region also lacks factories, refineries
and universities, which pushed the Kurds to mass
immigration in the context of the "Arab belt"
implementation policy in 1962 to expel the entire
Kurdish population from the region of Jazeera (Cizre
in Kurdish) along the Turkish border and replace
them with Arabs.
Other oil areas are to be found in the region of
Deir ez-Zor, controlled by armed groups. New oil
wells in the region have recently been burned,
according to the Kurdish leader Salih Muslim. "The
regime does not control oil zone, but there is not
production," he added.
"All we want is to live in freedom, peace and
dignity on our land," Muslim said before adding:
"There is a power struggle in Syria for 26 months.
We have adopted a different strategy. We knew from
the beginning that the Syrian revolution will not be
like that of Tunisia and Egypt. Opponents of the
regime had bet on the fall of the regime within six
months. More than two years have passed and who
knows how long it will last yet. This 26 months of
war - he concluded - showed that the military
solution will lead nowhere. And history has also
shown that stability in the Middle East depends on
stability in Syria. Today we play the role of bridge
to preserve the brotherhood between Arabs and Kurds.
We will continue to play this historic role."
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