Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"We as the Kurdish parties of Syria decided that we don’t want blood spilled between us & the Syrian regime"

Rudaw: What do you make of the Iraqi Kurdistan region’s silence about the events in Syria?

Abdulhakim Bashar: I believe that Syria is a sensitive case and any interference may cause a civil war. So we have to be careful and not do anything until the course of events is clear. We have to see what will happen to this regime and what will replace it. Then we can draw our own plan. The Syrian opposition has so far not recognized the rights of the Kurds and unless they do so we don’t know what the future of Syria will look like.

Rudaw: Is your party -- the Kurdish Democratic Party of Syria -- taking part in the protest?
Abdulhakim Bashar: We as the Kurdish parties of Syria decided that we don’t want blood spilled between us and the Syrian regime. We allowed the youth to take to the streets and ask for democracy and freedom and then we began holding our own conferences and meetings.

Rudaw: Don’t you think the lack of action by the Kurdish parties has created a gap between the parties and the Kurdish youth?
Abdulhakim Bashar: I don’t think so. In a city such as Qamishli where around 400,000 people live, we can bring 50,000 to the street. Two hundred or 300 people on the streets isn’t really a turn out. The Kurdish people are with the Kurdish parties. Around 50 percent of Syria’s Kurds are with our party and we can even mobilize the supporters of the other parties.

Rudaw: Fawzi Shingari, the leader of the Kurdish Accord in Syria, said in an interview with Rudaw that the Kurdish parties can liberate the Syrian Kurdish areas within 24 hours because the Syrian army no longer has a major presence in those areas. Do you think this is possible?
Abdulhakim Bashar: That information isn’t correct. The Syrian army and the Syrian regime’s intelligence apparatus are still in the Kurdish areas and there is heavy weaponry. Even if we manage to liberate the areas, how can we defend our people against a Syrian bombardment afterwards? You can’t take risks with the Kurdish cause. We have fighters and have fought in the past, but today you can’t bet on the lives of your people.

Rudaw: What is the plan of the 11 parties in the Council of Kurdish parties?
Abdulhakim Bashar: We are now preparing for a Kurdish National Congress in Syria. It may occur within 2 weeks. The parties, men and women, young people and intellectuals will take part  so that we can draw up our future road map. We as the Kurdish Democratic Party of Syria have three main conditions for the Syrian opposition: To change Syria’s name from the Syrian Arab Republic to the Syrian Republic; to recognize Kurdish rights in writing; and to accept that Syria is not part of the Arab world."

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