Assad told Sputnik in an interview published on Wednesday that Syria was too small for federalization, and claimed most Kurds wanted the country to remain united. Earlier this week, Assad told French lawmakers that Kurds would be a minority within their own territory.
"Assad does not approve the federal state declared by the Kurds in Syria by making the argument that ‘Syria is a little country and Kurds are the minority within it’," Yuksel stated. "However, what about Belgium and Switzerland? They are not even half the size of Syria, but have adapted [a] federal system as their governing system."
Moreover, Yuksel noted, if Assad believes minorities in Syria are not eligible to form a federal system, one can easily argue that the president’s Alawite minority should not have been able to rule over a central state for more than 50 years.
"The issue is not the type of system in Syria, but Assad's reluctancy to acknowledge the status and the rights of the Kurds in the country," Yuksel argued.
At a constituent conference in the Hasakah province on March 17, the Syrian Kurds announced the creation of a federal region in the country's north — the so-called Federal Democratic System of Rojava and Northern Syria.
Kurds expect that the federation would unite separated national communities as well as their militias to counter terrorists in the region.
Russia has repeatedly stated that Syria's territorial integrity was a critically important issue for the majority of states taking part in the process to settle the Syrian crisis. Last month, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow would support the establishment of a federal republic in Syria if the Syrians themselves decided that that is what is best for their country.