Syrian Kurds, allies approve federal plan, boosting autonomy in north

Syrian Kurds and their allies Thursday approved a plan for a federal system of administration in the country's north, a Kurdish official said, a step towards total autonomy in the region that is set to roil neighbouring Turkey.

Idriss Nassan said the plan was adopted at a conference in Syria’s north-eastern province of Hassakeh.

"There was an overwhelming approval of the document," he told dpa without giving details.

The conference in Hassakeh was attended by about by about 200 representatives from various ethnic and religious groups representing the main Syrian Kurdish faction, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), and and its allies.

The federal system covers three enclaves in northern Syria near the Turkish border, according to Kurdish media.

In late 2013, PYD declared autonomy in the cantons of Kobane and Efrin in Syria's Aleppo province and Jazira in Hassakeh

The first two cantons, in the east and centre of northern Syria, have since been physically connected, after territory was seized from the Islamic State terrorist militia with the help of US airstrikes.

Efrin remains an enclave, with Islamic State still controlling territory separating it from the others, though Islamic State is ceding ground in the area to an ongoing offensive.

PYD has been excluded from Syria's UN-sponsored peace talks underway in Geneva between the government and the opposition.

Last update: Thu, 17/03/2016 - 12:17
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