Aldar Xelîl, a member of the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD’s) Co-Presidency Council, shared his concerns regarding the latest developments in north-eastern Syria and in the wider region.
Xelîl stated that the party’s negotiations with the Kurdish National Council (ENKS) continue officially, but they have stalled in practice. He noted that there would be no compromise over issues related to the freedom of women, the right to self-defense, mother language teaching and education issues. According to Nazım Daştan’s report for Mesopotamia Agency, Xelîl stated that Turkey is not the only party responsible for mounting attacks against north-eastern Syrian localities. He added that some other forces in the region allow or support these attacks. In a wide ranging interview with Nazım Daştan, he shared his concerns.
Xelîl expressed his concern regarding Turkey’s intentions for the region: “They do not want the democratic project we are trying to develop: they always cause trouble. Turkey has occupied Afrin, Bab, Ezaz, Serêkaniye and Girê Spî. A significant disruption is taking place there, especially in terms of economic, political and administrative concerns. Turkey aims to expand its occupation. There is a heavy attack against the Kurds in northern Kurdistan (south-eastern Turkey). A political genocide is taking place there. Plans towards Sinjar are being activated. They are trying to implement these same policies in North East Syria (Rojava). Everywhere, Kurds face attack”.
“Look, did the war end after the attacks against Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî?” Xelîl added: “It was supposed to have ended as a result of agreements signed between Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and between Erdoğan and Donald Trump. They designated some borders as a result of those agreements. They agreed on and declared a ceasefire, but it is not being complied with. Guarantor forces of the agreement have reneged on their promises. This is what Turkey always does. The coalition of Erdoğan and Devlet Bahçeli targets the termination of the system that the Kurds have built, as well as the destruction of Kurdish existence”.
According to Xelîl, Turkey also attacked Ayn Issa, because Turkey tried to take advantage of the vacuum in the region, which came about after the presidential elections in the United States. Xelîl also added that Turkey would not take strategic decisions regarding Russia until the current process becomes clear.
The concept of destruction in Sinjar
Referring to the plans on Sinjar, Xelîl warned that “the concept of destruction” is being applied, considering the fact that the Baghdad administration and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) agreed to walk into Sinjar, but not to those places where the Islamic State (ISIS) existed.
Concerning recent developments in Idlib, Xelîl said Turkey faced serious troubles in İdlib and consequently changed its orientation towards the Mediterranean, Libya and Karabakh: “When Turkey sets foot in a zone, it begins to negotiate. All the negotiations of Turkey are aimed against the democratic project and it intends to arrive at agreements regarding the fate of north-eastern Syria. This is the nature of the relations that Turkey develops with Russia, the US and Europe and it also reveals what it intends to do via its negotiations with the South Kurdistan Regional Administration”.
Russia and the US
Referring to Russia’s role in the region, Xelîl stated that they aim to preserve their current relations with Russia and that a solution to the crisis is not possible without Russia. He also stated that the US is an effective global power, with whom they have worked together against ISIS. They would still like to maintain their relations, he suggested, adding that everyone should care for and engage in dialogue.
Concerning the results of the presidential elections in the US and the repercussions it will have for the region, Xelîl suggested that: “Not everything will change suddenly, but the attitude of the Joe Biden administration might be different to that of Donald Trump. However, Biden has not yet determined a political route or road-map for the region. But we are in a process of a revolution. We will develop our revolution with our inner dynamics and autonomous power. Instead of an expectation, we will keep working to make productive politics that influences our environment positively. We will also find the solution ourselves. This will change their approach to us as well”.
Xelîl also commented on the ongoing ‘unity negotiations’ that are taking place between the Kurdish National Council (ENKS) and Kurdish National Unity Parties (PYNK): “The negotiations continue, but have halted in practice for a while, because the representative of the US in the region has been replaced after the elections in the US and the new official assigned to the post has not yet arrived”.
“The topics – which are the top priorities for us in the negotiations with ENKS – are the issues of education, women’s freedom and defense. They say ‘no’ to the notion of self-defense. It is as if we have already established Kurdistan, as if we have no enemy to deal with. Self-defense is not only a military or safety-linked question, but a question of our very existence”, he clarified.
Adding that the demands of ENKS reflects the demands of Turkey, Xelîl stated that: “The so-called dissenters, Turkey and the Syrian regime, do not accept our education system. Then, they (ENKS) come and say: ‘Let us change the social contract’. But if we say ‘yes’ to this, they will change our education system entirely. Currently, we provide education in the mother language: in Kurdish, Arabic and Assyrian languages. By not accepting our education system, they want to adopt the education system of the regime”.
In this context, Xelîl clarified that: “We have red lines in the negotiations that will be held. Our military defense is not open for discussion: our very existence depends on that. We face great dangers. The second red line concerns women’s freedom. Rojava is a victory of women, who are now symbols of its success: this is known globally. We can also add ‘mother language’ and ‘education rights’ to our list of red lines”.
“We need to organize the revolutionary people’s war”
Commenting of the future of the Kurdistan region, Xelîl clarified that: “None of the achievements gained have been reached easily. In order to defy the dangers surrounding us, we need to organize the revolutionary people’s war. This should not be understood merely as a military exercise and endeavour. This is about being aware of the fact that we live in a revolution and we are supposed to organize our lives accordingly. This is about people organizing themselves mentally, philosophically and diplomatically. Organising ourselves in all respects. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) opened a new page in our history 42 years ago. Before the PKK, Kurds had no such philosophy. There have been many rebellions, but only with the PKK has a special strategy been built. The PKK has achieved a renaissance, which we see as a national rise and resurrection. The struggle of more than 40 years sheds light on the path of the struggle of not just the Kurdish people, but of all humanity”.