Not all the Kurds who live in Syria want to establish a homeland. The majority of the Syrian citizens of Kurdish ethnicity want to continue negotiations with the central government in Damascus and exit the current conflict peacefully. They envision their region remaining Syrian territory, but they will maintain their ethnic identity and exert some political clout.
The far North Eastern triangle of Syria, which is now being called “Rojava” by some, has a large percentage of Kurdish inhabitants, but they are not the majority. The Kurds came pouring into the area in the 1920s and are not the original inhabitants. The people who can trace their ancestry to the area longest are Syrian Arabs and Syrian Christians.
The three ethnic groups have lived side by side peacefully for decades. Historically, the Kurds of the region now Turkey, Syria, and Iraq have participated in many uprisings spanning hundreds of years, but have never been successful in establishing a homeland.
Kurds are known to be fierce and able fighters and even their women are soldiers. The daughter of Ilham Ahmed, the co-head of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), was killed accidentally while cleaning her weapon.
The U.S. needed a ground force that would be loyal to the U.S. in Syria, and which did not follow Radical Islam. The Kurds were a perfect fit for the Pentagon. A local Syrian fighting force: not loyal to Damascus, but not Jihadists, and who would be capable to fight to eradicate ISIS.
The Americans promised the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) salaries, weapons, training, satellite imagery, and a homeland. The U.S. backed SDF controls over 30 percent of the Syrian territory east of the Euphrates, which holds nearly 52 percent of Syria’s oil resources, and contains over 75 percent of the wheat production, along with major dams and the much of Euphrates River.
The U.S. could have chosen to support the Syrian government troops, and the Russian air force in the fight to eradicate ISIS, but they couldn’t accept that Pres. Assad had won the war, and the US-NATO war on Syria for the purpose of regime change had failed. However, choosing the Syrian Kurds destroyed the relationship between the U.S. and Turkey, who is a NATO member and had been the principal transit point of terrorists, cash and weapons which fueled the Syrian conflict from 2011 to 2019. Turkey has a much larger percentage of citizens of Kurdish ethnicity.
Over the decades, the Kurds of Turkey have waged a domestic terrorist campaign, which has taken more than 40,000 lives, not to mention the impact on the tourism business. Pres. Erdogan could not fathom how an ally could stab him in the back, while supporting Kurds in Syria, who follow the same politics and are directly connected to the Turkish terrorism designate, PKK.
The PKK is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the U. S., NATO, and most western allies. The group’s leader, Abdullah Ocalan, has been in prison for more than 20 years, but his teachings are still followed and revered. Recently, his lawyers were able to visit him for the first time in almost a decade. He made a point to send a message to the Kurds in Syria: he advised them not to fight the central government in Damascus, but to end the conflict in a peaceful settlement.
Though he did not express his reasons for the advice, many believe it stems from a realization that the U.S. is leaving Syria, and their relationship with Turkey is beyond repair, and to prevent a Turkish invasion and massacre in “Rojava” it would be better to accept the fact that the Kurds are Syrian citizens, and would remain under the military protection of the Syrian Arab Army, and their allies. “Rojava” was a Pentagon ‘pipe-dream’, now burnt out in the stark face of reality.
The Supreme Kurdish leader, Abdullah Ocalan, was greatly influenced by an obscure American communist, Murray Bookchin. The “Rojava” project in Syria has been organized along communist lines, which are masked in a cloak of ‘democracy’. In fact, many communist groups are effective in an organization, while preaching a secular political ideology of sharing, social justice, and equality. The communist teachings look good on paper but have not been very successful in practice globally. Greed, corruption, and inequality often taint the results.
The non-Kurdish residents of “Rojava” have told of oppression at the hands of the Kurds. Their lands and property confiscated, for communist goals. “Every Assyrian and Christian knows the self-administration is using the curriculum as a weapon to implement their ideological end goals. Bishops and their members all protested — we don't accept their curriculum. They want to achieve a Kurdistan region in Syria as they did in Iraq by driving us out." said Saadi Eyala , a Syrian Christian living in Qamishli.