Emergence of federalism in Syria

Few days ago Syrian Kurds announced creation of a Kurdish autonomous region that seeks a federal alignment with central government in Damascus. Russia, USA and Turkey rejected this call for unilateral autonomy announced by the Kurds. But this is not where the story ends.

There are many opinion pieces and analysis published by international newspapers that are promoting a federal structure for a peaceful Syria. Russia and USA have supported this idea but suggested that only Syrians can decide the fate of their country. Another view is that federalism will lead to division of Syria as experienced by Iraq where Kurdish region (KRG) has demanded autonomy in terms of controlling their oil exports, economy and security. Iraqi Kurdish Presdient Massoud Barazani has announced a referendum to be held in November to seek independence. Turkey is supporting this initiative while Iraq has rejected any divisions. This has raised fears in the minds of Syrian about their future if they adopted a federal structure.

There is also a view that a new Sykes-Picot type agreement has been formed between Russia and United States to redraw the map of Middle East. There is suggestion that Bashar al-Assad regime will be limited to the north including Aleppo and Damascus while Southern Sunni dominated regions may seek independence including some parts of Northern Iraq as well. There seems to be an agreement between Iran and Turkey to allow emergence of these new entities.

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