Thursday, March 17, 2016
Kurdish groups have declared a democratic federal system in regions of northern Syria that border Turkey. Washington, which has been supportive of Syrian Kurds, said it does not recognize autonomous zones in the country.
The Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) of Syria, along with several allied groups, on Thursday announced that three Kurdish-led regions voted in favor of a democratic federal system under the name Rojava-Northern Syria.
"The Rojava-Northern Syria founding document was adopted by the constituent assembly," the PYD said in a tweet.
Kurds took to the streets in the Syrian city of al-Qamishli near the Turkish border celebrate the announcement.
Mansour al-Salum, head of the Rojava-Northern Syria's administrative council, said the new authorities would work to unify all ethnic groups living in the areas, reported Irbil-based Kurdish news outlet Rudaw.
"We will preserve the oneness of the Syrian land and the right of all elements living under the federal system [in Syria's Kurdistan]," said al-Salum at a press conference.
"We had a successful experience with the system of canton in the past and this decree of federalism system will help resolve issues in Syria," al-Salum added.
Kurds in Syria, the country's largest ethnic minority group, have been systematically persecuted by Syrian and Turkish authorities, according to human rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.