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A New Democratic Government Emerges Out of Syria – But Will it Last?

A New Democratic Government Emerges Out of Syria – But Will it Last? Read Transcript


- Called the Self Administrationof North East Syria

or SANES, it controls a third of Syria

between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

Some four million peoplelive within its borders.

After the Syrian Revolution began in 2011,

the Assad regime began topull out of northeast Syria.

Then the people of thisregion had to fight

both al-Qaeda and then ISIS.

These two majordevelopments led the people

of this region to forma representative form

of government not seen inthe Middle East before.

(speaking in foreign language)

- [Translator] Truly asI have mentioned before,

the Self Administrationof North East Syria

and also in this management,all the minorities are

from North East Syria from Kurds, Arabs,

and Syrians, and Turkmen,and other minorities.

- [Chris] They seemthemselves as an example

of this inclusive government.

Al-Mehbash is an Arab man,Khalid is a Kurdish woman.

It's a federal system ofgovernment like the US

and makes the role of women a priority.

The charter calls for 40%

of the representative body to be women.

(speaking in foreign language)

- [Translator] Of course,after the revolution

in North and East Syria in 2011,

the women in Syria ingeneral and especially

in northeastern Syria haveproven themselves in all fields,

and it started with joining the military.

By joining the Kasadek forces

and the Syrian DemocraticForces in freeing much

of the region side-by-side with the men.

- [Chris] Why the priority?

- [Translator] Because womenare the half of the society.

Men and women complete the society.

- [Chris] This village meeting is one

of the regional women's centers designed

to train women to play a role in society.

They've also made a place for Christians.

(speaking in foreign language)

- [Translator] This project is democratic

and for the first timeit has recognized us

as Syriac Christians andrecognized our language,

culture and even our religion.

- This Church of the Brethren is the only

evangelical church in Kobane.

One of the church leaders says

this would never have beenallowed under the Syrian regime.

It's one more sign ofthe religious freedom

under the Self Administrationof North East Syria.

(speaking and foreign language)

- [Translator] Concerning the church,

we can express our ritualswith complete freedom.

- [Chris] The newgovernment wrote a social

contract in 2014.

In their preamble, it states:

"the charter proclaimsa new social contract

"based upon mutual andpeaceful coexistence

"and understanding betweenall strands of society.

"It protects fundamentalhuman rights and liberties

and reaffirms the people'sright to self-determination."

- It's completely new,completely new in the Middle East

and I'd say it's completelynew in the whole world.

- [Chris] Freelance journalistKarlos Zurutuza has covered

this government for several years.

- What these people are actually doing

is rebuilding themselves,starting from scratch

after decades of repressionby the Assad regime.

So literally from day one, since 2012,

since they liberated their territories,

they are in the process ofreconstructing civil society,

integrated differentcomponents in the region.

Not just Kurds, it'sArabs, Armenians, Syriacs.

- [Chris] Zurutuza says this unique

experiment could be a bridge to the West.

- [Zurutuza] I'd say that these

people are our natural allies.

These people have a model for equality,

of a secular society, fordemocracy, for human rights.

- [Chris] They look to the US and Europe

as their inspiration.

(speaking and foreign language)

- [Translator] I am fond of America.

The American people are free.

They are a democraticpeople and as a region here

we want to create a modellike the European countries

as people, Muslims, Christians, Yazidis,

create a community that is a small Europe

in the Middle East.

- [Chris] Yet Zurutuza saysthis is a fragile democracy.

Is this in danger rightnow if the US pulls out?

- Absolutely, absolutely.

The Turkish border is right there.

Erdogan has always made hisplans very, very public.

And the regime iscontrolling the city center

here in Qamishli.

And there's also lots ofJihadist factions, Islamists.

- [Chris] The leaders saytheir hope is to spread

this new democracy throughout Syria rather

than form another country.

Whether it can survive long enough to make

their dream come true, remains to be seen.

Chris Mitchell, CBN News.

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