People celebrate in Ras Al-Ain countryside as they announced the members of the interim government of democratic self-administered party, in the city of Amuda near Hasaka January 21, 2014. (REUTERS/Rodi Said)
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In the northeast corner of Syria, a pocket of stability is emerging amid the country's raging civil war.The 30 million Kurds spread across Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey have been the world's largest ethnic group without an independent homeland. Only the Kurds in Iraq, who displaced Iraqi forces in the 1990s when a U.S. and British no-fly zone was in place against Saddam Hussein, have carved out an area of real autonomy. The northeastern Kurds have long been one of Syria's poorest and most oppressed minorities, with few official rights to the fertile land they live on or the oil reserves it contains.While Assad's forces were distracted with their fight against rebels in Syria's west, Kurdish leaders gradually seized territory."Perhaps we will have to resort to separating Alawites and Sunnis and Kurds administratively".He foresees a federalized system, rather than Syria's Kurds carving out an entirely new land for themselves.
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