KURDWATCH, December 12, 2013—In early December 2013, the PYD-affiliated Union of Kurdish Teachers in Western Kurdistan decided to close all private schools in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). School tutoring courses were affected, as were Kurdish language courses. On December 8, several hundred pupils and representatives of the institutions took to the streets in protest against this decision.
KURDWATCH, December 11, 2013—On December 1, 2013, members of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) occupied the home of ʿAbdullah Badro in al‑Qamishli. His daughter Nazhat Badro told KurdWatch: »Because of threats by PKK‑members, our entire family had to leave Syria. Once my mother had also left, the house was occupied and looted.« On January 12, 2012, three of ʿAbdullah Badro’s sons were killed by PYD‑members [further information].
KURDWATCH, December 9, 2013—In recent weeks, members of the Democratic Union Party Union (PYD) have repeatedly carried out inspections of businesses in al‑Qamishli and other cities in the Kurdish regions. Violations of existing laws—for example by forgoing the pricing of goods—were punished with fines. The PYD inspections are taking place parallel to inspections by the government. A civil servant reported to KurdWatch that government employees had rejected the suggestion by PYD members to carry out joint inspections.
KURDWATCH, December 8, 2013—On September 29, 2013, Sardar Naʿsan, a member of the youth movement Cooperation Aland Kobanî and ʿAbdulhakim Bashar’s Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (el‑Partî), was arrested by the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) when he tried to apply for an exit permit to Turkey at the office of the security service. His apartment was subsequently searched and his computer confiscated. Naʿsan was released from custody on December 1, 2013.
KURDWATCH, December 4, 2013—On November 19, 2013, at least nine fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) were killed in attacks by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant at several YPG checkpoints. The attacks took place around the Arab village of Ghibash, a few kilometers southwest of Tall Tamr. The residents of the village, which was under YPG control, had secretly provided the Islamist fighters with access to the village in order to prepare for the attack against the YPG. The residents themselves had left the village. In the days that followed, the YPG carried out a broad attack on the village and its surroundings. Dozens of homes were destroyed and the Islamist forces were driven out.
KURDWATCH, December 2, 2013—On November 22, 2013, the doctor Ziwar Jamal Manja (b. 1981 in al‑Qamishli) was killed along with four other doctors, five nurses, and two ambulance drivers in a Free Syrian Army attack on a hospital in Dayr ʿAtiyah (just under ninety miles north of Damascus). Dayr ʿAtiyah is located on the road between Damascus and Homs. The strategically important city is largely controlled by the FSA. The hospital remains under the control of the Syrian regime. Manja was about to complete his specialist training in medicine.
KURDWATCH, December 1, 2013—On November 20, 2013, members of the Military Intelligence Service arrested the Kurdish singer Sharif ʿUmari and the activist Muhammad Wali in al‑Qamishli. During the interrogation, they were accused of inciting activists to participate in demonstrations. ʿUmari and Wali were released from custody after seven hours.
KURDWATCH, November 29, 2013—On November 19, 2013, Renas Ahmad Aiyub, member of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî), was shot and killed at a wedding. According to eyewitness accounts, Aiyub was involved in a dispute. Fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) arrived from a nearby checkpoint and attempted to separate the disputed parties at gunpoint. Allegedly, a YPG‑fighter accidentally fired the shot that killed Aiyub while loading his weapon.
KURDWATCH, November 26, 2013—Within a short time frame of a few hours on November 23, 2013, three car bombs exploded in al‑Qamishli and the surrounding area. The first attack was directed at the Syrian regime’s largest checkpoint on a busy roundabout five kilometers south of the city. The second bomb exploded in front of the office of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), in the district of Qanat as‑Suwais. The third attack took place in the PYD-controlled village of Tall Maʿruf (fifteen kilometers southeast of al‑Qamishli) and was directed against the party headquarters located within a school. According to Islamist sources, these were targeted attacks by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant against the regime and its supporters. Exact information about the number of victims is not available. Islamist sources mention more than forty dead; PYD sources mention three dead without listing their names. The Syrian regime has not yet commented on the number of victims.
KURDWATCH, November 26, 2013—On November 21, 2013, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) organized another demonstration against Masʿud Barzani, the president of Iraqi-Kurdistan, in ʿAmudah. Similar to the demonstration in ʿAfrin [further information], Barzani was also described in ʿAmudah as a »traitor and collaborator« due to his meeting with the Turkish prime minister Erdoğan on November 17 in Diyarbakır. Only eight days earlier, the PYD had prohibited a Kurdish National Council demonstration in ʿAmudah to mark the 63. anniversary of the ʿAmudah cinema fire [download PDF] due to the general political situation [further information].