Investigating the role of Kurds and al-Qaeda in the Syrian crisis from a structural-agent perspective

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Command and Control, Faculty of Command and Control, Air Defense University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Political Geography, Faculty of Literature and Human Sciences; Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Introduction:In the wake of the Syrian crisis and the weakening of the political structure in the country, ethnic and religious activists of different backgrounds have demanded that they create agents who have a hegemonic, geopolitical, and ideological approach. The Kurds and Jabhat al-Nusra as two strong organizations among the new activists in the Syrian crisis have defined themselves as agents or geopolitical entities that have challenged Syria's political structure due to territorial and geographical conditions. This research examines the rise of new Syrian agents and their demands through an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing on the theories of social, geopolitical, and dialectic structure-agents, and considers the research hypothesis as the rise of agents and their institutional confrontation with structures.

Dialectic Structure - The broker who does not give authenticity to any of the structures and brokers considers them both intertwined and necessary. In geopolitical science, too, the structure and practice of geopolitics have been in constant conflict with one another, and this conflict is most evident in world wars and regional and inter-state conflicts. In the Middle East, due to the artificial boundaries of the early twentieth-century agreements and ethnic fluidity on the borders of countries, the aforementioned conflict has caused a geopolitical dispute that has put together these fields, structures, and geopolitical agents. It has caused geopolitical entropy in the region. Following the developments of the Arab world and geopolitical anarchy in Syria, two major actors in Syria, namely the Kurds and al-Qaeda (Jabhat al-Nusra), are defined as geopolitical practitioners who have influenced geopolitical codes and structures that influence the geopolitical map. . The Kurds and al -Qaeda have created pseudo-governments that seek to enter the geopolitical arena for action in geopolitical fields by formulating and articulating geopolitical discourses.

Methodology: Applied and methodological, descriptive is mixed with the analysis approach. The method of data collection in the qualitative phase of the research was performed using literature review and semi-structured interviews with Syrian experts and advisers of the Republic of Names in Syria. In the second phase of this research, the researcher has developed a questionnaire using the extracted codes. In this study, due to the lack of a standard questionnaire, a researcher-made questionnaire was used.

Results and discussion: According to the interpretation of concepts and statements resulting from the processing, orderly and summarized analysis of sources and documents, operational experiences and information provided through interviews with experts and explaining the goals and intersection of analysis results, results (research) on the role of Kurds and al-Qaeda The following are debatable on the Syrian crisis from the point of view of the structure-broker:

-Although Kurds are religiously Sunni, they identify with ethnic interests and advance their identity discourse. The Kurdish regions of Syria have been one of the influential variables in the Syrian crisis in recent years, which has been a point of conflict for many local, regional and trans-regional actors. In this regard, Kurdish parties in northern Syria and in the Kurdish regions were able to show themselves as an influential force in the political life of the region by strengthening their military might and model of local self-government. The creation of a nationalist discourse and its transformation into a geopolitical discourse has made this geographical unit a significant actor for the squares and sub-squares located in the Syrian crisis game.

- Al-Qaeda in Syria, which states that its goal is to establish the Islamic Emirate and revive the religion, cannot achieve its goals without establishing a government.

Conclusion: According to the statistical analysis, the following statements regarding the situation of the Kurds have been confirmed and prioritized:

• The Syrian Kurdish identity discourse has the potential to become a geopolitical discourse;

• The Kurds, according to Abdullah تئcalan's theory, demand cantonal autonomy (democratic confederalism);

• The Kurdish geopolitical discourse causes political decentralization and the need for a multicultural, multilingual, and multi-ethnic government in Syria;

• The Kurds want a cohesive geography in northern Syria;

• The geopolitical branding of the Syrian Kurds (Rojava) is effective in developing their geopolitical discourse;

• The Kurdish geopolitical discourse will go beyond the Kurdish lands in the future;

• The strategic goals of the Kurds face a fundamental challenge: Turkey's strong opposition;

• The strategic goals of the Kurds face a fundamental challenge: Turkey's strong opposition;

• The geopolitical discourse of the Kurds could challenge the formation of a national government in Syria;

• The geopolitical structure of Syria (the ruling regime) will accept Kurdish sovereignty federally in a state of emergency.

Also, according to the statistical analysis, the following statements regarding the situation of al-Qaeda in Syria have been confirmed and prioritized:

• The religious discourse of Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaeda in Syria) has the potential to become a geopolitical discourse;

• The establishment of the Islamic Emirate in Syria is a strategic goal for Jabhat al-Nusra as the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda;

• The complete removal of Bashar al-Assad from the political scene and a fundamental change in the current political structure in Syria is a prelude to the realization of Al-Nusra's strategic goal in Syria;

• The power to create unity among the elements, to follow the Shari'a and not to impose opinions, contrary to ISIL's practice, makes al-Qaeda's geopolitical discourse acceptable to the public;

• Al-Qaeda's geopolitical (religion-based) discourse challenges the formation of a national government in Syria;

• In the political stage, Jabhat al-Nusra becomes a riotous security activist;

Al-Qaeda's geopolitical discourse leads to political decentralization and the need for a multicultural, multilingual, and multi-ethnic government in Syria;

Al-Qaeda's public service agencies in Idlib prepare the public for the acceptance of al-Qaeda's geopolitical discourse;

• The adoption of a secular system in the Syria is effective in strengthening al-Qaeda's geopolitical discourse.


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