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2014-03-06

ASIA/SYRIA - Archbishop Hindo: Christians do not support the Kurdish autonomous entity

Hassaké (Agenzia Fides) - Christians in the north-eastern Syrian province of Jazira have ruled out any support regarding the creation of an autonomous Kurdish region in the area surrounding the towns of Qamishli and Hassaké. This was confirmed to Fides Agency by the Syrian Catholic Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo, titular of the eparchy of Hassaké-Nisibis.
On the eve of the International Conference on Syria convened in Geneva, the Syrian Kurds had taken a step forward towards the creation of an autonomous political entity in the north- east of the Country, announcing the formation of an autonomous government composed of 20 ministers. "I and the Assyrian bishop Mar Afrem Natanaele" says Archbishop Hindo to Fides "after having consulted our communities, on behalf of everyone we said that every choice regarding the arrangement of the region had to be equally shared by the three components of the local population: Kurds, Christians and Muslim Arabs. The three Christian aggregates in the government were chosen by the Kurds, as a mere concession to seek consensus, but they only represent themselves".
The Archbishop also raises doubts on the real solidity of the Kurdish autonomy project in northeastern Syria: "it is supported" repeats Mgr. Hindo "only by the PKK. Other Kurdish organizations did not get involved. The impression is that the moves carried out by the Kurds are only temporarily tolerated by the government in Damascus". One episode, reported by the Archbishop, is emblematic: a few weeks ago a leader of the Syrian security and intellligence apparatus went to talk with the leaders of the Kurdish separatists, and the next day from Qamishli - home of the self-styled autonomous government of the area - all the banners and flags of Kurdish militants disappeared from the streets downtown. "Even the operations of the Kurdish militias against rebel factions", explained archbishop Hindo "have lasting success only when they are accompanied and supported by the incursions of the government army". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 06/03/2014)

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