In a city like Ras al-Ain, where graffiti celebrates the expulsion of the Arab opposition at the hands of the Kurdish People\’s Protection Units (YPG) on July 17 and rockets keep being launched from the neighboring villages controlled by the rebels, some Arab residents show no hesitation in praising the YPG.
\”Most Arab tribes are relieved by the departure of the Free Syrian Army [FSA] fighters,\” an Arab electrician told Al-Monitor. \”People initially welcomed them when they liberated the city from government troops [in November 2012], but they regretted this after the arrival of looters belonging to the brigades of Ahrar al-Ghoyran, Ahrar Manbij and others.\”
Despite the preference accorded to Kurdish militias, Arabs in Ras al-Ain are far from convinced of the merits of political decentralization without an effective Arab-Kurdish reconciliation.
\”Relations are tense; the percentage of mixed marriages is low. Before any self-management plan you need to clean hearts from fences — that means reaching an agreement between Arab and Kurdish tribes
If kurds are able to get over tribalism, and find a negotiate way to fix historical issues with Syrian arab settlers and decades of baathist intervention, they will have a great chance to repeat a huge part of the success they achieved in Iraq,… that is… to be the only people building a place where things make some sense in the whole region.