As Kurds Fight for Freedom in Syria, Fears Rise in Turkey of Following Suit (Video)

In Syria’s civil war, a third party fights for autonomy against Syrian rebels and Assad’s government troops: Syria’s Kurds. Turkey’s own Kurd population watches, and tensions increase, especially for those sympathetic to the PKK, who have waged insurgencies for freedom.

Watch As Kurds Fight for Freedom in Syria, Fears Rise in Turkey on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

JEFFREY BROWN: And now to the conflict in Syria.

Government warplanes bombed rebel headquarters near the Turkish border today, reportedly missing their target, but sending hundreds of Syrians fleeing.

Margaret Warner has been on a reporting trip to the region. In her third and final story, she examines how the Syrian civil war has heightened tensions between Turkey and its ethnic Kurd population.

MARGARET WARNER: Just 25 miles from Aleppo, which has been pounded into dust by Bashar al-Assad’s air force, the Syrian town of Afrin is a picture of domestic tranquility. But that’s because it’s being run by a relatively unknown player in Syria’s civil war: Syrian Kurds.

They fly the banned Kurdish flag in a symbol of defiance and pride. The Kurds took control of the town after the government’s overstretched ground forces withdrew earlier this year. The Kurds quickly demolished the regime’s jailhouse.

But much of life here seems normal. Olive groves are being tended, and there’s a new school for women who were denied education before.

ATOUF ABDO, People’s Council, Afrin, Syria (through translator): There are three forces in Syria, the regime force, the Free Army force, and we became the third line in this struggle.

MARGARET WARNER: Atouf Abdo heads the new People’s Council in Afrin.

ATOUF ABDO (through translator): Every community has its own destiny now, so as a free city, we are implementing self-government. Throughout Syria, the people are getting nearer to freedom and to democracy.


Complete transcript linked here.

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