The World According to Syrian Kurdistan
The odds that Syria’s tyrant Bashar al-Assad will survive the insurrection against him are increasingly slim, but the civil war might last a lot longer. The opening chapter pits the Baath Party regime and its paramilitary units against the Free Syrian Army, but there are other factions that have a stake in what happens next. Most of Syria’s Alawites—who make up roughly twelve percent of the population—are with the regime. They may face persecution from the majority if Assad loses. They might also mount a terrorist war against a new government, either from the alleyways of Damascus or from a breakaway state of their own on the Mediterranean.
The Sunni Arab majority is not only divided between Islamists and secularists, but also by region and tribe. The Christian and Druze minorities are nervously watching and waiting. And the Kurdish minority in the northeast hopes to divorce all of the above and go its own way like the Kurds have in Iraq.
Most Kurds are Sunni Muslims, but the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamist groups have never been able to get much traction in that community. The Muslim Brotherhood is an exclusively Sunni organization, and it’s also, for the most part, an Arab one. Rather than viewing Islam as “the solution” to what ails them, most Kurds in Syria as well as Iraq view freedom and independence as the solution, along with an alliance with the US and Israel.