DAMASCUS, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Scores of Kurds fighters from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) have attacked strongholds of the rebels Free Syrian Army in the northern province of Aleppo in retaliation to similar attacks carried by rebels on Kurds- dominated areas in Syria, media reports said Saturday.
Reports said the Kurdish move has come against the backdrop of an attack carried out recently by the armed rebels against the Kurds-dominated al-Ashrafieh district in Aleppo.
It said the armed rebels have kidnapped 14 Kurds in northern Syria whose destinies are still unknown, adding that more than 36 people have been killed in fighting between the Kurds and rebels in the northern area.
Reports have recently said the Syrian government still keeps hold on the rein of power in areas mostly inhabited by the Kurds in the northern slice of Syria, but indicated that the Kurds are the ones who actually run their own affairs now.
Kurds are the largest ethnic minority in Syria, making up around 15 percent of the country's 23 million population. Most of them are Sunni Muslims who live in northeastern Syria.
Some reports said there is an implicit understanding between the Syrian government and the Kurds providing that Syria withdraws its forces from the most important areas in the Kurdish-majority north and east parts of the country, leaving the management of the enclave for the Kurdish political forces, particularly the Kurdish Democratic Party that has been formed from the remnants of the PKK, Syria's old ally.
The objective of the Syrian government is basically to neutralize the Kurdish movement and detach it from the Syrian anti- government movement, thus alleviating the burden on its troops so they can devote themselves to battles and confrontations in hotspots in Syria, observers said.
A report broadcasted recently by a pan-Arab TV channel said that the pictures of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his late father, former President Hafez Assad, are heavily seen in all parts of Qamshli in northeast Syria, which is the main strongholds of Kurds.
The report said teachers at their 30s are currently training on the rules on the prohibited Kurdish language in preparation to make the Kurdish the official educational language in their areas.
Even the Kurdish parties which remained banned for decades have started opening their headquarters, where tens of their members are huddling to discuss the destiny of the Kurdish affair.
Turkish officials have also raised speculations that Damascus has decided to use the Kurdish card against Turkey which is the main supporter of the Syrian rebels.
They said that Syria has pulled back its army and security agents from border areas with a Kurdish majority and allowed the Kurdish fighters to fill the security vacuum there, especially those affiliated with the democratic Union Party which is still rejecting any involvement in the Syrian events and which has showed clear sympathy with the PKK fighters branded by Turkey as terrorists.
In April 2011, Syria has granted citizenship to thousands of stateless Kurds, a move seen as a gesture to placate the predominantly Arab country's restive minority.