From the ceremonies of the declaration of federalism in Rojava, Rumelan, northeaster Syria. Photo: ARA New
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SULAIMANIYAH – Pro-opposition Arab tribes and pro-Assad groups condemned the establishment of a federal region by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and it’s Arab allies in Syria’s Kurdish region of Rojava.
The heads and elders of Syrian tribes from Aleppo, Deir ez-Zor, Hasakah, and Raqqah led by FSA brigadier Ahmed Barri on Wednesday condemned the federal system in northern Syria, and said they would expel the PYD from their areas.
Moreover, pro-regime tribes from the Hasakah Council in a meeting in Qamishli on Thursday rejected the federal Syria declaration, saying attempts to undermine the sovereignty are doomed to failure.
“The Ba’ath Party encouraged a system of patronage and confrontation with tribal leaders, within tribes, that would discourage mass tribal mobilization against it. Once the revolution started this led to a situation where within tribes there are many sheikhs competing for authority and influence,” Nicholas A. Heras, a Middle East researcher at the Centre for a New American Security, said in an interview with ARA News.
“Turkey wants to erode the multi-ethnic governance structures of the Rojava administration. Standing up a coalition of Arab tribal leaders is intended to create a conflict within Rojava, to prevent it from becoming a stably governed area,” he added. “Turkey is also trying to send a message to the Americans who are working to add Arab tribes to the Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF] umbrella is futile because ultimately Turkey has strong influence over competing tribal sheikhs.”
US analysts suggest that Sunni Arabs are an important source of reserve manpower in eastern Syria. “The Syrian Democratic Forces, the Assad regime, and pro-revolution states such as Turkey are in the process of trying to mobilize Arab tribes,” Heras added.
Speaking to ARA News, representative of the PYD in Iraqi Kurdistan Gharib Hesso said: “The regime and opposition disagree on everything, apart from being against federalism.”
“The regime and the opposition have a chauvinist Arab mentality,” he added. “This is a mistake, since we want to fight for a democratic Syria.”
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg
Source: ARA News