mercredi 8 octobre 2014

La collaboration entre le PYD-YPG et la dictature sanguinaire d'Assad

"Flight of Icarus ? The PYD's Precarious Rise in Syria", Middle East Report, n° 151, 8 mai 2014, p. 7-10 :

"B. An Unspoken Alliance?

The PYD’s relationship with the regime has proved crucial to its territorial gains, instrumental in ensuring services in the territory under its control and key in defining relations with other opposition elements. Anti-regime activists, armed factions and politicians tend to describe the movement as a regime stooge, but the reality is more complex. PYD officials acknowledge they have made a strategic decision not to confront Damascus, yet reject charges of collusion, describing themselves as a “third current” between an oppressive regime and hardline rebel militants. As proof of their independence from central authorities, they point to limited instances of clashes with regime elements. The party is a member of the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change (NCB), a left-leaning opposition grouping tolerated by Damascus.

Salih Muslim has taken the position that, while any resolution to the conflict must include Bashar Assad, he should not remain the country’s ruler. Still, there is little doubt that the PYD is engaging the regime in a conciliatory rather than confrontational manner and has pursued a modus vivendi that serves both, at least for the short term. Its initially rapid advance was dependent on Damascus’s June 2012 withdrawal from Kurdish areas; this was mutually beneficial, as it freed regime forces to concentrate elsewhere in the north, while the PYD denied Kurdish areas to the armed opposition. (...)

In some cases, the regime apparently has provided material support to the PYD in its fight against opposition armed groups. After Jabhat al-Nusra and other rebel factions drove regime forces from the mixed Arab-Kurdish city of Ras al-Ayn on the Turkish border in November 2012, the regime reportedly offered weapons to YPG forces that fought to wrest the area from them. A local resident who fought in Ras al-Ayn said:

The YPG had a stronghold in Ras al-Ayn, but we were surrounded from all sides [after rebels expelled regime forces]. The YPG then received up to twelve DShk [heavy machine guns] and tanks from the regime. Without them I am not sure we could have won the battle.

The regime remained an important source of supply for the PYD in the months that followed, as the party’s hostile relationship with Turkey, coupled with the closure of the border separating Hassakah province from the Kurdish region of Iraq, deprived the Kurdish movement of access to its hinterlands. In October 2013, the PYD took a major step toward addressing its supply problems when it seized the Yaroubiyeh border crossing, located on a key road linking Kurdish areas in Syria with Iraqi territory under Baghdad’s control. In wresting the crossing from ISIL, its forces reportedly benefited from the support of both Syria’s air force and the Iraqi army’s artillery.

As the PYD expanded its control in Kurdish populated areas, regime forces have maintained a presence in the largest enclaves nominally under the party’s control, most notably Qamishli and Hassakah. Damascus pulled back most of its security personnel but kept government services under its charge; for example, it continues to pay salaries to state employees and run administrative offices. Far from leaving these functions to the PYD, it has centralised them, giving it an important edge in relations. A Qamishli resident and teacher on the state payroll, said all residents in the surrounding areas now can collect their salaries in two cities only:

Now we collect our salaries in Qamishli and Hassakah, where the regime is still present. If the regime takes back these cities [militarily] and cuts the salaries [of state employees] for the rest of the Kurdish populated areas, I don’t see how the PYD project could continue in Syria."

Source :

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