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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Qamishli - Kamal Sheikho

Kurdish Officials: 3 Challenges Facing Autonomous Administration in 2022

Syrian Democratic Council meeting in Raqqa, Syria (Asharq Al-Awsat)

The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (Rojava) is facing three challenges this year, said Head of the Executive Committee of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) Ilham Ahmad.

The Rojava Executive Council held its third annual meeting in Raqqa, in the presence of the seven Autonomous Administrations, for two consecutive days on Feb 6 and 7.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Ahmed said that the Autonomous Administration and its military forces and security services accomplished outstanding achievements.

She warned that ISIS still exists amid attempts to reunite its ranks.

Ahmed explained that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) thwarted the attack on the Industrial Prison in Hasakah with the support of the coalition, special forces, and counter-terrorism units.

The security operation in prison and targeting ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi in Idlib is a "clear message" that counter-terrorism operations are militarily and include cultural and social efforts, said Ahmed.

She stressed that the campaign to combat terrorism and track down terrorist sleeper cells is among the most significant threats facing the Autonomous Administration during 2022.

Rojava also faces the challenges of Turkish attacks, targeting the north and east of the country.

Ahmed linked the Turkish army's attacks with the increase of the terrorist organization's activities in Hasakah.

"Ankara supports the opposition factions, which are not moderate. They are ISIS and al-Qaeda, and investigations proved that the plan to attack prison in Hasakah was launched from Ras al-Ayn."

Ras al-Ayn is north of Hasakah, under Turkey's Operation Peace Spring.

Ahmed also referred to a third challenge, including the media and official discourse of the regime in Damascus.

"We in the [SDC] Council reject the attempts of the authority in Damascus to sow discord among the components," she said, adding: "We aim to achieve the desired democratic transformation."

The Kurdish official stressed the importance of taking real and serious steps towards achieving a political solution in Syria, according to mechanisms based on UN references and Resolution 2254.

Ahmed pointed out that the political solution and democratic transition are the only way to resolve the Syrian crisis and achieve security and stability.

Meanwhile, the Broadened Committee to draft the Social Contract of North and East Syria completed its work Saturday.

The Social Contract serves as a local constitution regulating the work of the institutions and committees of the administrations, east of the Euphrates, which are under SDF control.

The document will be presented for deliberations to legislative councils in seven cities and towns located in four Syrian governorates.

The draft was written in the absence of the opposition Kurdish National Council, one of the most prominent political entities, and the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party, among the largest Kurdish parties in Syria.

The Executive Council discussed the works and projects completed during the past year, in addition to the most prominent challenges and difficulties. It also approved a comprehensive plan to develop the services, political, and military aspects.

Co-chair of the Executive Council Berivan Khaled told Asharq Al-Awsat that the bodies and committees discussed several obstacles hindering the implementation of the rest of the administration's plans.

She noted that the administration faced many issues during 2021, including health, military, and economic crises.

Khaled reported that the meetings focused on supporting the development and service sectors in the Autonomous Administration regions.

The Co-chair explained that the action plan aims to achieve the aspirations of the peoples and components of the administration areas, "and we will seek to liberate the rest of our areas while ensuring the safe and sound return of the displaced people."

Khaled acknowledged the administration failed in providing services in its areas of control, saying it is due to the blockade imposed by the Syrian regime and Turkey.

"Despite our capabilities, we were able to face the challenges and obstacles to some extent, especially as we are self-financing. We have put forward solutions to confront these challenges."

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