For the first time in Syria’s 19-month uprising, there have been explosions in
the Kurdish regions. Although the target was not civilian, Kurdish parties
realize that their relatively calm regions have already slipped into the swamp
of violence their fellow Syrians have been experiencing for long months
The Qamishli explosion occurred at the headquarters of regime
security forces in the city. Eight Syrian soldiers were killed and dozens more
wounded, including a few civilian passersby. The car bomb also damaged nearby
The state media, as always, accused terrorists of
committing “this act of sabotage.”
However, the Free Syrian Army claimed
responsibility for the bombing. A high-ranking commander of FSA said, “This
attack was the first of many that will target government sites in this [Kurdish]
In addition to FSA and regime forces, there are other elements
that would be part of a looming conflict. Armed men affiliated with Democratic
Union Party (PYD) have already taken control of several areas of the city as
well as other Kurdish towns. The PYD and FSA evidently don’t get along. Several
incidents occurred in Aleppo and Efrin (north) showed the growing tensions
between the two sides. Observers believe that similar clashes might occur in
Qamishli, where the FSA’s presence is surprisingly increasing.
for this tension is mutual accusations. PYD, which is close to Kurdistan
Workers’ Party (PKK), strongly opposes any kind of FSA presence in the Kurdish
Leaders of the Kurdish party claim the FSA, backed by Turkey,
wants to be stationed in the Kurdish north to facilitate possible future Turkish
control of the area. In contrast, the FSA claims that the Kurdish regions are
good launching points for attacks on the Syrian regime.
attack not only indicates an expansion of Syria’s civil war, but also illustrate
other complexities in this part of the war-torn country.
National Council (KNC), an umbrella for several Syrian Kurdish parties, strongly
condemned the bombing and accused the Assad regime of executing the attack.
KNC’s statement said the regime strives to drag the Kurds into the current
conflict as an attempt to plunge the Syrian revolution into a more sectarian
The two main political bodies representing Syrian Kurds
(Kurdish National Council and People’s Defense of West Kurdistan) met in Iraqi
Kurdistan last month. Under direct supervision of the Kurdistan Regional
Government of Iraqi Kurdistan, they signed a memorandum of understanding, known
as Erbil Agreement, resulting in the creation of the Supreme Kurdish Commission
in Syria. The newly-established commission is the first ever attempt at
unification among Syria’s Kurds. It allows Kurdish forces to rigidly stand in
the face of any threat, internal or external, against the Kurdish population of
Furthermore, the commission has announced preparations for an
autonomous region in the northern part of the country.
With this in mind,
Syrian Kurds will likely abandon the position they have adopted throughout the
uprising in the country: remaining peaceful during the revolution. Having armed
men of the PYD already, Kurdish political forces seem to be making a major shift
in its political mechanism toward the new dynamics.
The writer is a
Syrian Kurdish journalist based in Washington, DC. He is a freelance writer and
also a co-founder of the Kurdish Review, a monthly publication based in