A retort on al-Assad interview from March 30, 2016

On march 30, 2016, Bashar al-Assad gave an interview to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti and claimed that in Syria there would be neither the need nor the popular support for a federal system. He even dared to state that the majority of the Kurds would be against federalism. On the contrary, the absolute majority of Kurdish parties argues in favour of federalism. More than 625.000 signatures, collected in the beginning of this year by the Kurdish National Council in Syria, witness the broad support for this demand.

Therefore, the mentioned statements of al-Assad have to be strictly objected. The Kurdish National Council in Syria campaigns actively for a profound discussion about possible federal models for all of Syria. During the war, the social division, which had been impelled by Assad’s regime for decades, outcropped in a very sad way.

Especially the Kurds suffered under his and his father’s rule. They were deprived of their rights and persecuted. The revolution showed that essential parts of the population want to end the centralistic dictatorship in Syria. Possible alternatives are democracy and federalism, thought together.

In the view of the KNC, a federal system which enables democratic participation at all levels – from the national to the regional and local one – is the best option to bestow justice on the oppressed parts of the people, to stabilise Syria as a whole and to open up perspectives of an intra-syrian reconciliation.

We call upon all groups interested in helping form the future of a democratic Syria to pursue a common constructive debate. Assad is worn out and should eventually realise this. Now it is the Syrian population and Kurds as one of its important constituents who define the future themselves.

Kurdish National Council in Syria – Geneva office