Syria's Kurdish-controlled regions approve federal system – Reuters
Syria's three Kurdish-controlled autonomous regions voted on Thursday to approve the establishment of a federal system in the north of the country, defying warnings from Damascus and neighboring Turkey against any such unilateral move, according to Reuters.
The vote was held at a conference in the town of Rmeilan in northeast Syria. The Syrian government immediately said it had no legal or political impact, Reuters wrote.
Voting on the federal model had been expected on Wednesday but was delayed by one day, in part because of demands from local Arab and Assyrian communities for reassurances that it would not mean separation from Syria, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.
Nevertheless, it will be sure to alarm neighboring Turkey, which fears that growing Kurdish control over parts of northern Syria is fueling separatism among its own minority Kurds.
Read alsoKurdish TAK militant group says it was behind Ankara bombing that killed 37A Turkish Foreign Ministry official said on Wednesday that Syria's national unity and territorial integrity was fundamental, and any unilateral decisions outside that framework "cannot have validity."
Syria's Kurds effectively control an uninterrupted 400 km (250 miles) of territory along the Syrian-Turkish border from the Euphrates River to the frontier with Iraq, where Iraqi Kurds have enjoyed autonomy since the early 1990s. They also hold a separate section of the northwestern border in the Afrin area.