Kurds could help shift course of war in Syria - By Ayla Jean Yackley
Tuesday, 30 July 2013 11:29
ISTANBUL, July 29 (Reuters) - The head of Turkey's main Kurdish party has welcomed contacts between the Ankara
government and Syria's Kurds, saying it could step up pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and help change the course of the civil war, Turkish intelligence officers met in Istanbul last week with Saleh Muslim, head of Syria's Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Kurdish group whose militias have been fighting for control of parts of Syria's north near the Turkish border. The meeting followed Muslim's declaration that Kurdish groups would set up an independent council to run Kurdish areas of Syria until the war ends. Ankara fears that kind of autonomy could rekindle separatist sentiment among its own, much larger Kurdish population as it seeks to end a 30-year-old insurgency.
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