PYD announces establishment of Western Kurdistan autonomy with legislative and executive powers

PKK-linked political party intends to call election for a representative assembly · Other main Kurdish political bloc in Syria distances itself from decision

The Kurdish movement in northern Syria continues to make steps towards the establishment of an autonomous semi-state there. The Democratic Union Party (PYD, closely linked to the PKK) yesterday announced that Western Kurdistan will create a "transitional civil administration" in the coming months, with its own executive and legislative branches. The announcement comes after two days of meetings between representatives of ethnic communities living in the region: Kurds, Arabs, Christians (Assyrians) and Chechens.

According to the information issued yesterday by the PYD, Western Kurdistan will be organized into three regions, each one having its own council. Each of the three regions will send representatives to the General Council (legislature), and an executive body will also be formed. According to PYD, the "next task" is to prepare local and general elections for the legislature.

On their hand, the YPG (Kurdish militias under control of a part of Western Kurdistan) are essential to ensure the existence of the would-be Kurdish autonomy. The YPG are now in an open conflict against several Islamic groups that are attempting to extend their hold over Western Kurdistan (for further information on this, please read this article by Jerusalem Post). Those Islamist militas are also fighting in much of Syria's territory with the aim of overthrowing the regime of Bashar al-Assad. In fact, a part of the territory claimed by PYD to be Western Kurdistan is currently under the control of those Islamist militias. (See the maps on the left. The first one is the proposal made ​​by PYD for an autonomous Western Kurdistan. The second one shows war fronts, according to data compiled by Noria Research until last month .Click on them to enlarge.)

Another Kurdish bloc says decision has been taken without its consent

But immediately after the PYD had announced the establishment of the autonomous Western Kurdistan, the other main Kurdish political bloc (the Kurdish National Council of Syria, KNC, with close relations to the government of Iraqi Kurdistan) distanced itself from the decision. According to newspaper Al- Monitor, KNC members say that PYD alone has taken the decision. KNC sources argue that an effective autonomy cannot be created while the Assad regime maintains a hold in various towns in Western Kurdistan.

In any case, the newspaper explains that PYD and KNC members will meet within a coordinating political structure that they created last year, the Kurdish Supreme Committee (KSC). The meeting will focus on the establishment of a Western Kurdistan self-government.

Meanwhile, the Turkish government is completely opposed to the establishment of the autonomous Kurdish area, which would include almost the entire area of Syria that currently borders with Turkey.