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Co-chairman of Kurdish-led Democratic Council says federalism is Syria's best solution: Interview

Interviews | 2017-11-20 02:55:07
Co-chairman of Kurdish-led Democratic Council says federalism is Syria's best solution: Interview
   Riad Darrar, The co-chairman of the Syrian National Democratic Council

(Zaman Al Wasl)- The co-chairman of the Syrian National Democratic Council said that France, the U.S. and Britain have voiced their support for the reconstruction of Deir Ezzor, assuring that collaboration in Raqqa's battles has emboldened such initiative.

In an interview with Zaman al-Wasl, Riad Darrar revealed that an international conference was held in Italy, representatives of the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait participated, concerning the reconstruction of Raqqa. He also said that Saudi Arabia has a role to play in Raqqa and confirmed that what is ongoing in al-Raqqah city will also happen in Deir Ezzor. 

Darrar ruled out the possibility of clashes between the Syrian Democratic Forces and the regime forces due to the US-Russian understanding and the geographical considerations since the Euphrates River separates the two forces. In the following.

Read the Interview:  

Z: Deir Ezzor today is torn a part between many forces. What is your plan for this city?

D: The Deir Ezzor civil council is still under construction, and it is working hard to present an action plan to overcome what happened in Deir Ezzor after all this destruction.

Z: Do you expect clashes between the regime forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)?

D: As part of the Russian-American understanding, there can be no clash between the two sides, especially since the Euphrates River separates the two forces. Al-Jazira is now under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces and the regime forces control al-Shamiyet. If the Syrian Democratic Forces are attacked, there will be a response, but we are not in the midst of a clash with the regime. 

Z: Do you think that the presence of the Syrian Democratic Forces in al-Jazira and the regime in al-Shamiyet is a normal situation and a Syrian solution?

D: This is the case in the whole of Syria, so we are heading towards working on a federal system which does not mean seceding from a united Syria. All we want is self-management for the Syrian regions, and this is what we work for at all meetings as we see that the shape of the future Syria will be federal and this must be part of the new Syrian constitution. 

There is a division in influence and orientations as Idlib is under the control of the Islamists and the regime claims that it wants a useful Syria according to the rules of tyranny, and we see that the solution is federalism.

Z: If we accept the federal system then the question is: have you consulted the people?

D: In 1920, a group of Syrian intellectuals, thinkers and clerics held the Syrian Conference, and they created a federal constitutional monarchy. This federal system only changed in 1930, and the name changed. Also let me speak transparently who used to consult the Syrian people? At all stages, the Syrian people voted. And then the Baath Party constitution came, were the people consulted? And now we are calling for a federal system to put human rights before the rights of homelands. Citizenship is the borders of a country held in pledge to a single leader while today we say that people can manage their own areas. They can develop [the areas] economically without being exploited by the center and the sovereign portfolios will remain the center's share.

Z: The people we are talking about in Deir Ezzor no longer exists, so what federalism are you talking about?

D: The people of Deir Ez zor came to SDF-held areas to escape the regime which means that they chose those areas because they found safety, and therefore they chose these areas and headed to the areas of Northern Syria. We as the civil council in Deir Ezzor are working to communicate with countries for the reconstruction.

The regime came to Deir Ezzor to benefit from the resources and achieve its interests and not the interests of the Syrian people, and so here is the competition with the regime for those people who came out against the regime in 2011 to create a new life for them. I believe we will influence those people more than the regime which has been exposed to all. 

Z: Are there promises or indications of international support for Deir Ezzor?

D: After the liberation of al-Raqqah, the civil council in the city took over running the affairs of the city, and they began their international communication. The Saudi minister of state even visited the province after its liberation. In Rome, the council met with 11 countries including Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates and received promises of support for reconstruction.

This applies to Deir Ez Zor, as it happens in al-Raqqah, and there are guarantor countries in the context of the reconstruction of Deir Ezzor.

Z: Who are these guarantor countries?

D: America, Germany, Britain, France and other countries.

Z: The situation in Deir Ezzor is tragic. Are there organizations providing support to civilians?

D: There are active organizations in Deir Ezzor, and they started communicating with us, but in general [the organizations] do not want to declare themselves, because of the nature of the conflict in Syria.

Z: What about the role of the tribes in Deir Ezzor?

D: Tribes are part of the social structure in Deir Ezzor, and the nature of the social structure cannot overcome the tribes. There is communication between the Syrian Democratic Council and the tribes because they will contribute to social stability. There was a tribal conference in al-Raqqah, and it played a role, and one will be held in Deir Ezzor.

Z: Do you think they have a role?

D: We cannot rid ourselves of our tribal dress, and what distinguishes these tribes is that they are educated and cultured, but this does not mean that the tribal logic will be relied on in governance and organization. 

Z: What about the future of the Syrian Democratic Forces in Deir Ezzor and Raqqa?

D: These forces will be for protection and to ensure stability in these areas until these areas regain their security status.
Zaman A Wasl
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