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Al-Malikiyah: YPG ends siege of Kahf al‑Assad

KURDWATCH, February 11, 2013—On February 5, 2013, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) ended the siege of the village of Kahf al‑Assad (Banê Şikeftê, thirty kilometers southwest of al‑Malikiyah) following mediation by the Kurdish National Council. The siege had been ongoing since February 2. No armed skirmishes occurred. The YPG justified the siege of the village, which is home to members of the Kurdish Kherikan tribe, by stating that an unknown person shooting at YPG fighters hid in the village. In the course of the siege, YPG‑ checkpoints were established not only around Kahf al‑Assad, but also in the vicinity of other villages in which Kherikan tribe members live. An activist reported to KurdWatch: »It was the third time in two years that the YPG attacked our village. This time they wanted to march into the village and disarm all of the men. That would have been a fatal mistake. The village residents are traditionally supporters of Barzani; they would never have allowed that. During the siege, no one was allowed to leave the village and not even the mediators could enter the village.«

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