Hadiya Yousef, a Kurdish politician casts her ballot inside a polling station in Qamishli, Syria September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Rodi Said
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Thousands voted Friday in the predominantly Kurdish regions in northern Syria to elect heads of local communities as part of the minority Kurds' efforts to move closer to a federal system within Syria.The vote in Syria is likely to anger Turkey, which has been concerned about increasing Kurdish power in northern Syria since the country's crisis began in 2011 .The elections are backed by the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party, or PYD, the country's most powerful Kurdish group and opposed by other smaller factions in the region who object to setting up an autonomous region.Since Syria's crisis began more than six years ago, the country's long ostracized Kurds established self-administrations in three different cantons in northern Syria, expanding their semi-autonomous region.Manbij, a Syrian town liberated and currently administered by a Kurdish-formed local council, is not taking part in Friday's vote.
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