The leader of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Massoud Barzani, has accused the Democratic Union Party (PYD) of making “secret deals” with the Syrian regime in an attempt to establish PYD rule in parts of northern Syria, also denominated as Rojava.
“PYD claims having made a revolution in Rojava. And may I ask who is this revolution targeted at? The only thing that [the PYD] does is rule in areas that the [al-Assad] regime has conceded to them,” Barzani said in a written statement on Nov. 13.
The Iraqi Kurdish leader said the PYD violated an agreement signed on July 11, 2012 which states that all Kurdish groups in Syria would act in concertation.
“Unfortunately the PYD has not abided by this agreement and divided all sides. It declared itself a fait accompli military force by way of its military armament and mutual agreements it entered into with the [Syrian] regime,” Barzani said.
Barzani’s statements come as the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party-affiliated (PKK) group declared an interim rule in Rojava.
The Iraqi Kurdish leader is also set for an important visit to Diyarbakır on Nov. 16, where he will meet with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
PYD’s co-chair Saleh Muslim said a constituent assembly was formed as a “first step” toward a transitional government, adding that they aimed to hold elections within three months. Both Ankara and Washington had expressed concerns regarding the move, with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu stating that some Kurdish parties did not participate in the meeting prior to the declaration of the autonomous rule. For his part, Barzani expressed concerns about the possible consequences of the Syrian Kurdish Party’s declaration of self-government.
PYD ‘playing a dangerous game’
Barzani also said that the PYD was imposing its agenda on other parties.
“PYD’s cooperation with the regime is a dangerous game for the future of our people in Rojava. PYD has not only taken control of the region, it has already started to arrest and kill members of other party members,” Barzani said.
“The PYD has dragged the Kurds into a war which does not belong to Kurds and will not bring them any gain. This war has forced thousands of Syrian Kurds to migrate, with PYD members opposing Kurdish unity and banning Kurdistan’s flag in Rojava. They have currently declared a de facto administration. This is clearly an unilaterally act which disregards the other Kurdish parties.”
The Iraqi Kurdistan regional administration refused Muslim’s to entrance to its territory last week, which was interpreted as a sign of the disagreements between the PYD and the KRG. The Syrian Kurdish leader stated that he had to wait for five days before ultimately being told that he would not enter Iraqi Kurdistan.
“Our piece of advice to the PYD is to maintain their unity with other parties and abide by the Arbil agreement. If the PYD only bring themselves to the forefront and push its brothers to the rear, it won’t be able to deal with the inevitable threats alone. Then the faith of the Kurds in the region would face very serious threats,” Barzani said.
Turkish commentators noted that Rojava will be the first item on the agenda in the Erdoğan-Barzani meeting in Diyarbakır on Nov. 16. The meeting is also considered as key with respect to the ongoing Kurdish peace process in Turkey.