The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria.. a model can be depend on

Most of the countries in the region, especially Syria, lived and still is a difficult situation due to the policy of domination, abolition and marginalization of all ethnic and religious communities. In Syria, the suffering was severe as a result of the hegemony, exclusivity and dictatorship of one party, which transformed from a political party to an authoritarian religious one that dominated over the joints of the party and power until the outbreak of the popular uprising in 2011, which erupted when the congestion from the policies of the ruling authority reached an indescribable extent as a result of discrimination in treatment among the Syrian communities.

What made the matter worse was to give the impression that Syria is an Arab national homeland, with the presence of an important and balanced number of other nationalities, especially the Kurds, who remained deprived of their rights until the popular uprising in 2011. This put Syria in a position of confrontation, alongside with the internal affairs among different ethnicities and nationalities, in addition to the confrontation and religious conflicts that were founded by the regime’s method of consolidating power in the hands of a single Syrian religious group.

The Syrian revolution revealed the depth of disagreement and that continuing to follow this approach is not possible. On the contrary, it revealed that change is necessary to get out of the cycle of crises, confrontations and conflicts but on objective bases that address the core of the problem and its roots. Unfortunately, the uprising turned against the regime’s injustice and its practices as a result of malicious attempts to divert the uprising from its true track to a religious and sectarian conflict.

However, what was remarkable was the scene in northeastern Syria after the emergence of the Islamic State terrorist organization ISIS. In 2015, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) was established to confront the chaos that afflicted the Syrian arena and to re-correct the situation to be a struggle to determine the future of Syria and the Syrian people, and to affirm its quest to liberate Syria from corruption, chaos, nepotism and the one-party system, in addition to consolidate democracy and respect for pluralism. Since its establishment, the SDF announced that it was a unified national military force for all Syrians that includes Arabs, Kurds, Syriacs and all other communities. Accordingly, this indicates the existence of cooperation among all the aforementioned communities to build a homeland, consolidate stability, and present a road map to get out of the conflicts. In fact, this is what we are witnessing today in the region controlled by the SDF, where it enjoys security and stability away from the manifestations of confrontations, divisions, disparities and conflicts among the various communities that have pledged to cooperate and build a new Syria based on justice, equality and respect for human rights.

Some are trying to portray the AANES as a separatist project, but this accusation can only be answered by the AANES’ struggle in achieving objective national goals, not being biased towards a party against the other. Based on this, the importance of the Social Contract emerged through the cooperation of the national communities within the Syrian society, particularly in northeastern Syria, which re-corrected the direction and nature of the conflict that it was against injustice, exclusivity and authoritarianism, and that it was possible to draw the future of Syria on the basis of equality, and that the Syrian state be civil in its constitution and the content of its laws. However, dealing with the Syrian national reality is still governed by a view that falls short of understanding what happened and charting the path out of the crisis or sow chaos by fueling armed conflicts under different titles and labels without a prospect of a possible solution or settlement. The emergence of ISIS had a very negative impact on the reality of the relationship among the Syrian communities and even outside the Syrian borders, and the religious and ethnic division became linked to the concepts of ISIS.

Therefore, the experience of AANES must be carefully studied and benefited from in drawing lessons and consolidating what can be considered a success in its ability to gather communities within a comprehensive national framework, to correct what can be seen as errors in practice or orientation, and to work to improve the path and develop the behaviors so that it is as close as possible to the truth and the service of building a homeland in which all its sons live in harmony, happiness and homogeneity.. Thus, the experience can then be generalized on the various Syrian lands.

It is true that the SDF was initially established to confront the dangers of ISIS and to prevent the transition from the authority of the regime to another similar model, not much different from it. However, the diverse scene drawn by the AANES of the ability to mix among the various communities in managing the affairs of the northern Syria region, has confirmed the ability of these communities to deepen the concept of coexistence, especially since the peoples of this region are characterized by similar cultures, faced common difficulties, suffered from accumulated oppression, and worked to confront their difficulties and overcome adversities and threats for centuries and decades.

It has become clear, after years of bloody conflict, political division, social disparity, and geographical and demographic manipulation, that the dangers that threaten our homelands are one and that confronting them is the same. It is our responsibility to engage in building a civil state in its laws and democracy both in its constitution and political system. It increases the chances of understanding and cooperation among the various national communities, and the establishment of national parties that seek to consolidate the concept of citizenship and compete for the service of the country and the various groups of the people without favoritism or discrimination.

It is also noted that the SDF is a mixture of the various communities of the northern Syria region, which means that harmony, understanding and cooperation exist among these different communities, and this is what helped them to form joint and mixed forces under one command, to form an ideal model for the shape and nature of the future Syria. This reality constitutes an objective prelude to proceeding towards building the future of Syria, which represents a model to be emulated in the Middle East.

Hassan al-Qutub, Director of the Lebanese Center for Research and Consultation 

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