TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Syrian Kurds further push for autonomy

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, 8:36 p.m.
 

BEIRUT — Syria's Kurds dramatically have strengthened their hold on the far northeast reaches of the country.

The Kurds have carved out territory as they drive out Islamic militant fighters allied to the rebellion. This week, they have declared their own civil administration in areas under their control amid the chaos of the civil war.

The moves could be a first step toward creating an autonomous region similar to one that Kurds run across the border as virtually a separate country within Iraq.

The Kurds' drive, however, has angered rebels fighting to topple Syria's President Bashar Assad. Some Kurds suspect the main faction leading the fighting and the administration is acting on behalf of Assad to undermine the rebellion.

Kurds are the largest ethnic minority in Syria, making up more than 10 percent of the country's 23 million people. They are centered in the impoverished northeastern province of Hassakeh, wedged between the borders of Turkey and Iraq.

The declaration of their own civil administration on Tuesday is a sign of Kurds' growing confidence after taking control of most of Hassakeh province in an offensive against jihadis that has accelerated in recent months. The fighters, known as the People's Protection Units, have driven militants out of a string of towns. Activists said Kurdish fighters have captured nine villages from jihadis.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. IMF chief investigated for negligence in 2008 case in France
  2. Right-wingers say Israel failed ‘so long as Hamas exists’
  3. Russian help implicit in new separatist push into Ukraine
  4. Coast Guard fires in defense on Iran boat
  5. Kenyan rangers killing poachers, rights group say
  6. ‘Holocaust T-shirt’ for kids discontinued in Spain
  7. Colombia drug lord’s most loyal assassin courts Hollywood upon early release from prison
  8. Witnesses recount secret July raid to free journalist at ISIS base in Syria
  9. Neanderthals, humans may have mingled, study finds
  10. Landslide in Japan leaves dozens dead
  11. Ukrainian troops regaining control
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.