ANF - News Desk
Saleh Muslim: 60% of Syrian oil controlled by Kurds.
According to Salih Muslim, PYD (the main Kurdish party in Syria) co-chair, 60% of oil is controlled by Kurds. "We protect the oil wells," he said, before pointing out that the Kurdish rewrite their history in the Middle East.
"The Kurdish people are re-writing their history. We are rebuilding a poorly written history. Today, Kurds are settling accounts with history", he said to ActuKurde.
Relying on a draft democratic autonomy, developed by Kurdish imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan, the Syrian Kurds are now a major force for the future of Syria. The Kurds are maintaining their neutrality, despite pressure from international and regional forces.
"Our position has not changed. - said Muslim - We protect our people. Sometimes we are facing regime forces, sometimes armed groups". Muslim added that Kurds are waiting for the coalition of the Syrian opposition to clarify its position on the Kurds and the future of Syria.
The process of democratic self-government is on track for several years, but the revolt launched in March 2011 has accelerated the implementation of this project. Before being forced to withdraw from the Kurdish cities, the Syrian regime was very weak against the parallel structures put in place by the Kurds, as people's councils, committees, an alternative army and a police force.
Since 19 July 2012, the Kurds took control of nine cities in the region: Kobani, Afrin, Dirbêsiyé, Amude, Derik and Girkê Lêgué, as well as of these three cities Tel Temir Tirbespiyé and Rimêlan, where Kurdish, Arab and Christian communities shared their life. For the Kurdish city Serêkaniyê (Rass al-Ain), on the border with Turkey, an agreement on the cessation of hostilities between the Kurds and the Free Syrian Army (SLA) was concluded on 17 February 2013. The only Kurdish city where regime forces are still present is Qamishlo, but this city is governed by a board of people, installed by the Kurds. There are also Kurdish villages in the great city of Hasakah, where Kurds want to create a board that would represent all the communities living in this region, in order to force the regime to withdraw.
The Kurds have also taken control of the oil wells in the region. Rmaylan, Til Kojer and Jibis are the three areas that are home to major oil fields. "The regions that produce 60% of the oil in Syria are under the control of People's Defence Units (YPG, Kurdish army)", said the PYD co-chair. "Oil production is stopped, but the wells are under the protection of YPG" he added.
The Kurdish region is rich in water, oil and gas. Oil wells and gas are concentrated in the region of Jazeera. But the Kurds still can not take advantage of these resources because of the discriminatory policy of the Baath regime for decades. All the riches of the Kurdish region with agricultural wealth were transferred to cities like Damascus and Aleppo. The region also lacks factories, refineries and universities, which pushed the Kurds to mass immigration in the context of the "Arab belt" implementation policy in 1962 to expel the entire Kurdish population from the region of Jazeera (Cizre in Kurdish) along the Turkish border and replace them with Arabs.
Other oil areas are to be found in the region of Deir ez-Zor, controlled by armed groups. New oil wells in the region have recently been burned, according to the Kurdish leader Salih Muslim. "The regime does not control oil zone, but there is not production," he added.
"All we want is to live in freedom, peace and dignity on our land," Muslim said before adding: "There is a power struggle in Syria for 26 months. We have adopted a different strategy. We knew from the beginning that the Syrian revolution will not be like that of Tunisia and Egypt. Opponents of the regime had bet on the fall of the regime within six months. More than two years have passed and who knows how long it will last yet. This 26 months of war - he concluded - showed that the military solution will lead nowhere. And history has also shown that stability in the Middle East depends on stability in Syria. Today we play the role of bridge to preserve the brotherhood between Arabs and Kurds. We will continue to play this historic role.