Syrian Kurds set dates for local, regional elections: Official

Kurds in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) have agreed to set dates for local council and regional assembly elections.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Kurds in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) have agreed to set dates for local council and regional assembly elections, an official said on Saturday.

The Kurdish-led administration in Rojava is aiming to “consolidate its growing autonomy,” according to Reuters.

The Kurds control large territories in northern Syria thanks to the efforts of the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The SDF is comprised of Kurdish and Arab forces and is spearheaded by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

The elections will be held in late summer for bodies running local communities and in November for bodies running larger areas, the Kurdish official said.

Moreover, elections for the entire region of Rojava will be held in January, the unnamed official added.

“The dates and rules for conducting the vote were agreed by a council set up in December to form governing institutions and prepare for elections,” Reuters confirmed.

Turkish groups in northern Syria have tightened their grip on self-governing regions since the civil war began in 2011.

According to officials from the dominant groups, the Kurds are not seeking independence from Damascus.

Turkey is on alert regarding Kurdish autonomy in Rojava fearing Kurds in its southeast will pursue similar dreams of formal self-government.

Ankara considers the YPG an offshoot of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) who are waging an ongoing battle against the Turkish government for broader Kurdish rights.

Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has allowed Kurds to control parts of the country in the north.

However, Assad has mentioned he is against the “decentralized federal system” and says Rojava’s ruling councils are “temporary structures.”