Kurds are planning a breakaway region in Syria, and it won’t go down well

Could a solution to Syria’s woes be a dramatic decentralization of power?

On Wednesday, Kurdish groups in Syria argued just that, proposing a plan under which the country’s largely Kurdish north would become its own region — a model that could eventually be applied to the entire nation, supporters of the plan say. Saleh Muslim, head of the People’s Democratic Party (PYD), which is leading the push for a new region, said in the Iraqi Kurdish city of Sulaymaniyah that no decision had been reached on its precise format or a name.

“The name is not important,” he said, speaking on the sidelines of a forum in the Iraqi city on the future of the region. “Call it federalism. Call it autonomous.” It is impossible, however, for Syria to “go back to the old Syria,” Muslim added. “It is something to be changed,” he said.