Syrian opposition leader calls Kurds ‘terrorists’

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Head of the Syrian opposition's negotiations delegation to the Geneva, Asaad al-Zoubi (L). File photo

ARA News 

GENEVA – Asaad al-Zoubi, head of the Syrian opposition’s negotiations delegation to the Geneva peace talks, called Kurds terrorists in an interview with Sky News. 

The Syrian opposition member said that the United States refused to work with the Free Syrian Army (FSA), and preferred to work with Kurdish ‘terrorist’ groups such as the People’s Protection Units (YPG), Peshmerga forces and Yezidis, “while refusing to deal with the FSA that effectively fought against ISIS in Northern Aleppo, and recently in Jarabulus”.

“He said that Peshmergas and YPG are terrorists. This is not the first time that Mr. Al-Zoubi issues such statements against the Kurdish people. I think he is saying this to gain support from Mr. Erdogan,” member of the Kurdish Unity Party, Majdal Delli, told ARA News.

The Kurdish Unity Party is one of the leading member parties of the Kurdish National Council (KNC)–which is part of the Syrian opposition.

“The KNC must do something about this,” Delli said.

Speaking to ARA News, Bader Mustafa, a member of the Kurdish Youth Movement (TCK), said that al-Zoubi’s statement reflects the chauvinist position by the Syrian opposition towards the Kurds.

“In the first day of the formation of the [Opposition’s] High Negotiations Committee (HNC), he said that Kurds are only 1 per cent of Syria’s population,” Mustafa said.

“It’s not something that makes you optimistic about any solution for the Syrian crisis, since the Syrian opposition leaders use this kind of statements against all Kurds. The history of the Syrian revolution is full of this kind of statements,” he said.

“I wonder what kind of democratic or inclusive government we could have in Syria in the future if the Syrian opposition came to power,” he added.

Zara Salih, a member of the Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria, told ARA News that this is not the first time the Syrian opposition releases such statements.

“It’s a typical statement and opinion showing their chauvinist and radical views that are not much different from the Baath-party and the Nusra Front. While being based in Istanbul, al-Zoubi is a real example for the Syrian opposition,” Salih said.

Al-Zoubi’s statement will most likely lead to more pressure from the Kurds to completely withdraw from the Syrian coalition. This comes just two weeks after the Kurds refused a transition plan announced by the Syrian opposition for excluding any recognition of federalism in northern Syria.

“The KNC must ask for an apology from al-Zoubi and the Syrian coalition, and demand to freeze the membership of Zoubi as a condition for the Kurdish council to continue as a member of the Syrian National Coalition [SNC],” Salih said. “If they don’t listen, the KNC should respond by withdrawing from the coalition and the High Negotiations Committee.” 

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg

Source: ARA News

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