According to a report by Mark Townsend in the UK Observer, Syrian Kurds are planning to link the autonomous Rojava region in Syria’s north with the Mediterranean Sea. A move that would certainly escalate tensions with Turkey.
Leading Kurdish officials told Townsend, who is in Syria, that they are planning on asking for political support from the US, to form a trade corridor from the northwestern Afrin Canton to the Mediterraneanm as part of the deal for capturing Raqqa and other cities from the Islamic State (IS) group.
Hediye Yusuf, the co-leader of the Democratic Federation of North Syria (DFNS) Assembly said, “Arriving at the Mediterranean Sea is in our project for northern Syria, it’s a legal right for us to reach the Mediterranean.”
“If we arrive at the Mediterranean it will solve many of the problems of the population in northern Syria, everyone will benefit,” she added.
However, the plan would require approval from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russia, the report says, adding that the two forces have agreed on a deal which has given the Syrian army partial control of Qamishli airport, which is in Rojava.
But the plan would be met with disapproval from Turkey, which has vowed to prevent Kurdish-led autonomy on its southern border, going as far as launching a ground operation and recently airstrikes targeting Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the leading group in the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is marching on Raqqa.