The escalation of military conflict in the Middle East may form a prelude to “World War III”, Saleh Muslim, the co-chair of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in North and East Syria, told Green Left Weekly’s Peter Boyle in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
Hegemonic, regional and local powers are on high alert under heightened regional tensions, Muslim said, and multiple forces vie for interests often at the expense of local populations. Muslim pointed out that northeastern Syria lies at the epicentre of the volatile landscape, requiring careful navigation from the local political and military entities.
Kurds are committed to peaceful co-existence, Muslim said. However, he acknowledged the impracticality of calling on other forces to cease hostilities, particularly as regards the protracted Syrian civil war, where Turkey’s involvement has been aimed at suppressing Kurdish aspirations.
External interventions such as these further complicate the situation, Muslim said, including the use of Islamic State (ISIS) proxies to destabilise the region.
On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Muslim reiterated the Kurdish commitment to human rights, and supported a peaceful solution with recognition to the rights of all involved parties. He highlighted the historical solidarity between the Kurdish and Palestinian liberation movements as evidence of a common struggle for dignity and self-determination.
The Kurds envision a democratic and peaceful solution for the conflict within Syria and the wider region, he concluded, stressing that with respect to the diversity of all peoples, the rights of Kurdish communities must be defended.