Second canton in Western Kurdistan declares itself autonomous

NEWS IN BRIEF. Kobanê appoints own government as third mainly Kurdish canton Afrin readies to proclaim self-government on Wednesday

The mainly Kurdish canton of Kobanê (Ayn al-Arab in Arabic), in Western Kurdistan (northern Syria, click on the map to enlarge it), has today declared itself to be autonomous. The decision comes six days after the canton of Cizîre had taken the same step. As reported by Kurdish news agency Firat, Kobanê Legislative Assembly has appointed a president, two deputies and 22 ministers to rule the Kobanê region, which lies on the central section of the border between Syria and Turkey.

It is expected that another mainly Kurdish canton, Afrin, will declare itself to be self-governing on Wednesday. Afrin is the westernmost of all three self-styled cantons.

The decision to declare the Kurdish cantons to be autonomous entities had been announced last November by the Democratic Union Party (PYD, Kurdish acronym). According to the Kurdish proposal, the three cantons make up a federal Western Kurdistan which should be eventually granted broad autonomy within a decentralized Syria.