KurdWatch
 

Stay informed with our    e-mail newsletter
Your e-mail adress

subscribe
unsubscribe
 

KURDWATCH, December 31, 2014—On December 26, 2014, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) were able to recapture the area around the village of Abu Qasayib, twenty kilometers south of al‑Qamishli, with support from the Syrian army. A few days earlier, the area had been captured by the Islamic State (IS) [further information]. On December 27, PYD‑supporters buried nine YPG fighters who were killed in the fighting.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December 31, 2014—On December 26, 2014, members of the youth organization Freedom Cooperative of ʿAfrin, which operates underground, distributed flyers in ʿAfrin calling for the release of all prisoners of the Democratic Union Party (PYD). They also called attention to the forcible recruitment of minors generally and pointed to the case of fifteen-year-old Hamrin Husain [further information] in particular.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December 31, 2014—On December 27, 2014, the Kurdish National Council’s local committee organized a demonstration in ʿAmudah against the forcible recruitment of minors by the Democratic Union Party (PYD). Approximately six hundred people took part in the rally, including numerous politicians and activists. The reason for the rally was the kidnapping of the fifteen-year-old pupil Hamrin Husain [further information]. The banner of one of the demonstrators read: »The Islamic State is kidnapping our women and the PYD our children.«

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December 31, 2014—On December 23, 2014, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) recruited ninth-grader Hamrin ʿAbdulhamid Husayn (known by the family name ʿIdi) without seeking her parents’ consent. The girl was picked up in front of her parental home in ʿAmudah. In a press release, her brother Marwan ʿIdi stated: »I went to the Democratic Union Party’s Women’s Defense Units and Asayiş. Both claimed that Hamrin was not with them. However, Hamrin had contacted a friend by phone and had told her she and a group of girls were on their way to a military training ground in the Qandil mountains.« On December 24, 2014, about ten family members of Hamrin’s organized a rally in ʿAmudah and demanded that the PYD let their daughter return home.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December 31, 2014—In mid-December 2014, the body of sixteen-year-old ʿAfan Dschumʿa al‑ʿAbusch was found in a field near his home village of Scharmukh, twenty kilometers south of al‑Qamischli. Since the beginning of the civil war, the area has alternately been controlled by the regime, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Jabhat an‑Nusra, the Islamic State (IS), and regime affiliated Arab militias. Relatives of the deceased, as well as Arab activists and the Syrian National Coalition have accused the PKK of kidnapping and killing the Arab boy. By contrast, the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) have explained that al‑ʿAbusch was killed by a mine explosion. Photos of the deceased exhibit injuries that would, in fact, point to a mine explosion.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December 31, 2014—On December 16, 2014, two employees of the Iraqi-Kurdish television station Rûdaw, Farhad Hame and Masʿud ʿAqil, as well as their vehicle disappeared without a trace east of al‑Qamishli. The Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), explained to the relatives of the missing that the Islamic State (IS) had erected a checkpoint on the road and kidnapped the journalists. However the Asayiş itself has repeatedly kidnapped critical journalists, especially employees of Rûdaw. Hame was previously detained by the Asayiş on February 6, 2014 [further information].

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December 30, 2014—On December 16, 2014, employees of the transitional administration of the canton of Jazirah, which was appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), distributed voting documents in al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê). According to the documents, the legislative council and the municipal administrations are up for election. Identical documents were distributed in al‑Qahtaniyah (Tirbesipî) on November 5, 2014. More precise information is not available.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December 30, 2014—On December 30, 2014, an explosive device attached to a motorcycle exploded near a National Defense Army checkpoint in al‑Hasakah. Two fighters for the regime-affiliated militia were injured.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December 30, 2014—On December 22, 2014, fighters for the PKK as well as Iraqi-Kurdish Peshmerga recaptured the previous seat of the PYD‑government in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) from the Islamic State (IS).

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December 30, 2014—On December 16, 2014, members of the Kurdistan Women’s Association held a small rally in al‑Qamishli to protest the fact that there is not a single woman among the Kurdish National Council’s twelve representatives to the Kurdish Decision-making Body [further information]. The association is itself a member of the Kurdish National Council.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December 28, 2014—On December 23, 2014, fighters for the Islamic State (IS) began an offensive against the positions of the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) and the regime-affiliated National Defense Army in Abu Qasayib und Tall Ghazal. At the very minimum, the IS captured Abu Qasayib, located twenty kilometers south of al‑Qamishli. Reliable information about the number of people killed is not available. The Syrian army shelled IS positions with surface-to-surface missiles.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December 28, 2014—On December 16, 2014, two dozen activists held a rally in Raʾs al‑ʿAyn (Serê Kaniyê) in support of Kurdish prisoners, who have been on hunger strike in the Iranian city of Urmiah for several weeks. They are protesting the execution of Kurdish students and activists as well as the practice of housing political prisoners with people who are convicted of murder or rape. On December 17, 2014, a similar rally took place in ʿAfrin. It was organized by the Revolutionary Youth Movement, a group with close ties to the Democratic Union Party (PYD). On December 23, 2014, the Kurdish Youth Movement organized a rally in al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê) for the same reason. Approximately sixty people took part.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December 28, 2014—On December 16, 2014, the Kurdish Decision-making Body [further information] met for the first time. The twelve representatives of the Kurdish National Council selected on December 7 [further information] as well as twelve representatives of the PYD‑affiliated Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV‑DEM) took part in the session. During the session, six additional members were elected. Five of them have close ties to the Democratic Union Party (PYD), one is a member of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria (Democratic Yekîtî). Since the PYD candidates must have received votes from the Kurdish National Council, the Kurdish National Council formed a committee of inquiry to resolve this issue. On December 24, the committee informed the Kurdish National Council that the lost votes stemmed from three parties: the Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria (Democratic Yekîtî), Nasruddin Ibrahim’s Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (el‑Partî), and the Syrian-Kurdish Democratic Reconciliation (Rêkeftin), a PYD splinter party. The Kurdish National Council subsequently expelled these parties and revoked their seats in the Kurdish Decision-making Body. Three new members were named to the Kurdish Decision-making Body; all are considered to be non-partisan. The Kurdish National Council thus currently holds twelve votes in the Kurdish Decision-making Body, while a total of eighteen nominees have ties to the PYD. In a press statement, Aldar Khalil, the press officer for the PYD, commented that since the Kurdish National Council has expelled three parties, it is entitled to fewer seats in the Kurdish Decision-making Body than before. In addition, he took the view that members of the decision making body may not simply be replaced.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December 21, 2014—On November 7, 2014, Jigarkhwin Ibrahim Husain (b. 1985) was released from Aleppo’s central prison. He had been sentenced to twelve years in prison on March 30, 2004, following the »al‑Qamishli Uprising«. During his imprisonment, Husain was subjected to brutal torture.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December 21, 2014—On December 6, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), took young men between the ages of eighteen and thirty at several checkpoints in ad‑Darbasiyah in order to recruit them against their will for the PYD’s People’s Defense Units (YPG). There is no information available about the exact number of people who were kidnapped.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December 21, 2014—On December 19, 2014, the Kurdish National Council met in al‑Qamishli and named twelve representatives. In accordance with the Duhok Agreement [further information], these twelve representatives will form the Kurdish Decision-making Body along with representatives of the Democratic Society Movement (TEV‑DEM), a PKK‑organ. This body is tasked with developing a common strategy and a unified Kurdish political position. The Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S) received two seats, eight additional parties received one seat each. Independent candidates filled two seats. Delegates from women’s groups, youth groups, and the Yazidi are not represented.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December 21, 2014—On December 3, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped ʿAli ʿAbdurrahman (b. 1986), a journalist and employee of the news website Welati.net, from his parents’ house. ʿAbdurrahman had reported on the kidnapping of Ibrahim Kurish [further information on the incident]. He was released three days later. According to his own account, he was not tortured.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December‑21,‑2014—On November 27, 2014, fighters for the regime-affiliated Christian Sootoro militia shot seventeen-year-old Hashim ʿAbdussalam Maʿmu at a checkpoint in al‑Qamishli. Maʿmu was hit in the back, but is not in critical condition. The Sootoro militia is a regime-affiliated splinter group of the official Sutoro militia, which is critical of the regime [further information].

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December 20, 2014—On December 7, 2014, fighters for the Christian Sutoro militia attempted to kidnap nine Kurdish men at a checkpoint in al‑Malikiyah. Six of the men were able to flee, the remaining three were turned over to the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) for recruitment. The Sutoro militia cooperates with the YPG and is officially critical of the regime.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December 16, 2014—At the end of November 2014, fighters for the newly-formed Baʿth militias [further information] occupied a driving school near the al‑Qamishli airport and converted it into their headquarters. The building where the driving school is located is privately owned.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December 15, 2014—On December 1, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Ibrahim Kurish, a member of a peshmerga unit for the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S), from his parents’ house in ʿAfrin. A few days prior, Kurish had returned to ʿAfrin from Iraqi-Kurdistan to visit his ailing mother. On December 3, 2014, the Asayiş dispersed a demonstration where several dozen people called for Kurish’s release. On December 4, 2014, his nephew Mahmud Kurish was picked up by the Asayiş after he tried to inquire about his uncle. A relative told KurdWatch: »Ibrahim fled ʿAfrin in 2012 following a PYD knife attack. Now he had come back. He thought that after the Duhok agreement the PYD wouldn’t attack him anymore. Apparently the PYD still sees every peshmerga as a traitor.« Ibrahim Kurish was released at the Syrian-Turkish border on December 8 and was told to leave Syria immediately. Mahmud Kurish remains in custody.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December 12, 2014—On November 22, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped three of the approximately thirty to forty participants at a demonstration in al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê) against poor power supply. Those kidnapped were ʿAdil Khalil (42 years old, married), ʿAli Rammu (42 years old) and Muhammad Muslih (46 years old, married). The kidnapped victims were released the same day.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December 10, 2014—At the end of November, the Syrian regime began forming new Arab militias. They are to cooperate with both the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) and the National Defense Forces. The National Defense Forces are also regime-affiliated militias comprised of Arab tribe members. Some of the new militias are to be trained in Lebanon with Hezbollah fighters.
In early November the Syrian president Bashar al‑Assad received Arab tribal leaders and representatives of Christian groups from al‑Hasakah province in Damascus. They demanded to form their own militias in order to stem the PYD’s power in the Kurdish regions. According to KurdWatch information, the president indicated that the supremacy of the PYD was not up for discussion. At the same time, however, he reportedly approved the formation of new military forces as long as these forces also cooperate with the PYD.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December 8, 2014—In mid-November 2014, the Syrian regime called upon employees of numerous agencies in the Kurdish regions under the age of forty-two to make themselves available as reservists. Those who refuse are threatened with the termination of their employment contract. The regime continues to pay the salaries of all public sector employees in the regions controlled by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) as well as in parts of the country that are not under the regime’s control.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, December 7, 2014—According to KurdWatch information, the customs authorities appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) are imposing duties of up to fourteen percent on goods brought into the canton of Jazirah from other Syrian provinces.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 30, 2014—On November 6, 2014, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) kidnapped fourteen-year-old Kazim ʿAdnan Farman from his parents’ house in al‑Qamishli. A family member told KurdWatch: »Kazim has recently been good friends with several PYD sympathizers. His parents have tried, thus far in vain, to secure the return of their son.« The PYD repeatedly exploits friendships between supporters and other young people in order to recruit minors against the will of their parents.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 30, 2014—On November 5, 2014, twenty-three-year-old Shirin Hajji was kidnapped in al‑Malikiyah (Dêrik) by employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD). A family member told KurdWatch: »We asked the PYD’s Asayiş almost daily if they had our daughter. Initially they denied it. It wasn’t until the fifth day that they admitted that she was under their control. Even so they didn’t tell us why she was kidnapped. We hope that they will not compel Shirin into military service.«

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 30, 2014—On November 4, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Salih Musa (married, four children) in al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê). Musa is a member of the local committee of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S) as well as the Kurdish National Council. He had refused to pay electricity and water fees to employees of the PYD-appointed transitional administration in the canton of Jazirah. Musa was released on November 5, 2014. He was not tortured.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 27, 2014—On November 12, 2014, the Kurdish National Council organized a demonstration in ʿAmudah to mark the fifty-fourth anniversary of the ʿAmudah cinema fire [further information]. About six hundred people took part. No incidents were reported.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 26, 2014—On November 9, 2014, three representatives of the Kurdish National Council arrived in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) to negotiate with the leaders of the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) about possible participation in the fighting against the Islamic State (IS). The YPG tied such participation to the condition that Kurdish National Council fighters would be subordinate to the YPG command.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 26, 2014—On the basis of a decision by the Committee for Internal Affairs in the canton of ʿAfrin, the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), distributed a notice to all operators of event halls in ʿAfrin on November 5, 2014. According to the notice, any event that was not previously been authorized by the Asayiş or one of the PYD’s people’s houses is prohibited. Consequently all future private wedding celebrations in ʿAfrin must be authorized in advance.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 26, 2014—On November 10, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), informed the pupils of several lower and upper secondary schools in al‑Qamishli that in the future they will receive training in handling weapons on holidays and weekends. This also includes girls’ schools.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 26, 2014—Between November 5 and 16 2014, fighting broke out twenty kilometers west of the city of Raʾs al‑ʿAyn (Serê Kaniyê) between the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) and the Islamic State (IS). YPG fighters claim to have killed two dozen IS‑fighters.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 26, 2014—On October 30, 2014, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) released Muhammad Saʿid Muhammad ʿIsu and Rasul Ismaʿil Muhammad, both members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S), after they had been detained for approximately fifteen months. A PYD‑court had sentenced ʿIsu to ten years and Muhammad to seven years in prison [further information on the case]. Both men told KurdWatch that they were tortured while in prison. At least six additional members of the PDK‑S are still being held by the PYD.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 21, 2014—On November 4, 2014, members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) kidnapped the fifteen-year-old pupil Najah Nerwan Ahmad from her school in the village of al‑Kazimiyah, ten kilometers east of al‑Malikiyah (Dêrik). A family member told KurdWatch: »At around 2:00 pm the teacher informed us that our daughter had been kidnapped by Hevals [PKK‑supporters, literally »friends«]. We don’t know exactly where she is.« The family assumes that their daughter has been forcibly recruited.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 21, 2014—On November 6, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), fatally shot twenty-five-year-old Ziyad Salih Oso in ad‑Darbasiyah. Oso was kidnapped by the Asayiş during a large-scale forced recruitment [further information], but was able to flee from a PYD‑prison in Tall Maʿruf. A relative told KurdWatch: »When Asayiş employees stormed his house, Ziyad attempted to flee in his pajamas. They shot him not far from his house.«

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 21, 2014—On November 4, 2014, members of the PYD‑affiliated Revolutionary Youth used force to kidnap fourteen-year-old Chiman Muhammad Sadiq Ahmad from her school in Tall Shaʿir, ten kilometers west of al‑Qataniyah (Tirbesipî). The Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) are refusing to return her to her parents and informed them that she may be brought to Qandil. The family was also threatened with consequences if they continue to speak to the media about the kidnapping of their daughter.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 21, 2014—On November 5, 2014, employees of the transitional administration for the canton of Jazirah, which was appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), distributed voting documents in al‑Qahtaniyah (Tirbesipî). According to the documents, the legislative council and municipal administrations are up for election. More information is not available.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 21, 2014—On November 3, 2014, the Islamic State released more than seventy Kurds from ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) who had been kidnapped in the past twelve months. The Kurds were released in Manbij. More information about the total number of Kurds kidnapped by the IS is not available.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 13, 2014—On October 30, 2014, the Islamic State (IS) released the last twenty-five of the students who were kidnapped on May 29, 2014 from ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). The students were released in Manbij [further information].

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 12, 2014—Between October 30 and November 1, 2014, Iraqi-Kurdish Peshmerga arrived in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) with heavy weapons. According to media reports, there are a total of around two hundred fighters. Free Syrian Army (FSA) units have also reached the city. The arrival of the fighters was accompanied by heavy air attacks by the US‑Air Force on Islamic State (IS) positions. Between November 1 and November 7, 2014, numerous surface-to-surface missles were also fired on IS‑positions in the city of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab. Thus far no successes have been reported.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 12, 2014—On October 24, 2014, the sixty-five-year-old ʿAbdulwahhab Ibrahim Ibrahim was released from an Islamic State (IS) prison in ash‑Shaddadah, fifty kilometers south of al‑Hasakah. Ibrahim was kidnapped by IS‑fighters on October 2, 2014 while he was traveling between al‑Qamishli and al‑Hasakah. He was accused of being a member of the Democratic Union Party (PYD). He was not tortured.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 12, 2014—On October 23, 2014, fighters for the Islamic State (IS) stopped an oil transporter near Hasu Ratlah, five kilometers southeast of al‑Qahtaniyah (Tirbesipî) and brought the driver, Yasir al‑ʿAbbu, and the assistant driver, Turki Zurarah, under its control. Zurarah was able to escape; al‑ʿAbbu was decapitated and the tanker was burned. IS‑fighters indicated that the driver’s cooperation with the Democratic Union Party (PYD) was the reason for the murder. They presumably inferred this suspected cooperation based on the fact that al‑ʿAbbu was in possession of an oil transporter in a region in which the PYD controls the oil fields.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 9, 2014—On October 26, 2014, the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), demanded that Parwar Yusuf, his wife, and his three children vacate the house where they reside in al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê) within three days. The house belongs to the Syrian Ministry of Agriculture, where Yusuf is employed. He is in possession of a valid rental agreement. In addition, the local People’s Court, a PYD‑institution, issued a decision according to which he is allowed to stay in the house.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 9, 2014—On October 28, 2014, unknown persons in al‑Qamishli threw a hand grenade into the house of Yilmaz Saʿid, a leading member of the Kurdish Youth Movement. The grenade did not explode and there was no damage. The background to the attack is unknown. Saʿid lives abroad and his relatives live in the house.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 9, 2014—On October 29, 2014, Anas Fawaz Hajj ʿAbbas, a fighter for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG), fatally shot Muhammad Ibrahim Saʿdun (b. 1992 in al‑Qamishli) at a checkpoint near Khazna, a village located fifteen kilometers southeast of al‑Qamishli. Saʿdun had attempted to pass through the checkpoint without stopping. ʿAbbas is currently on the run out of fear of blood revenge. The YPG has not yet commented on the incident.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 9, 2014—On October 23, 2014, the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped a leading member of the Kurdish Youth Movement. Mahmud Ramadan had attempted to cross the Syrian-Turkish border near al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê) illegally. He was released on October 24, 2014. The Asayiş justified his arrest on the grounds that he did not have an exit permit.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 7, 2014—On October 22, 2014, approximately one hundred supporters of the Kurdish National Council showed their support for the Duhok agreement [further information] with a demonstration in al‑Hasakah.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 7, 2014—From October 14 to 22, 2014, representatives of the Kurdish National Council and the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV‑DEM), a PKK‑institution, held negotiations in the Iraqi-Kurdish city of Duhok regarding possible cooperation. In a press statement released on October 22, 2014, they announced the formation of a »Kurdish Decision-making Body« intended to work out a common strategy and a unified Kurdish political position. The »Supreme Kurdish Committee«, in which the People’s Council of Western Kurdistan, also a PKK‑institution, and the Kurdish National Council both had fifty percent representation, has already failed at this task. Parties that are not members of the Kurdish National Council or TEV‑DEM are to comprise twenty percent of the members of the »Kurdish Decision-making Body«. However, there are disputes between the Kurdish National Council and TEV‑DEM regarding which parties should be included. The statement also announced that the governments appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) are to be joined politically and administratively, and that the Kurdish National Council will take part in the government. Furthermore, the statement reported that both sides have made important decisions regarding the strengthening of their defense forces. Representatives of the Kurdish National Council are said to have called for the formation of a Kurdish Army under the leadership of the new committee. TEV‑DEM reportedly stated that it is not responsible for this issue and would pass the leadership role over to the People’s Defense Units (YPG), the PYD’s militia. The negotiators are said to have agreed that each group has the right to its own defense forces. Thus far the PYD has forcefully prevented other political parties from building up their own forces.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 4, 2014—On October 14 and 15, 2014, the Iraqi‑Kurdish parliament was in session. On the agenda was support for the cantons in Syrian‑Kurdistan. The delegates unanimously resolved the following points:
1. The parliament of Kurdistan supports the will of the people of Western Kurdistan, regardless of the [chosen] form of administration. The government of the Kurdistan region must act on this decision accordingly.
2. The government of the Kurdistan region must support Western Kurdistan in accordance with its financial means.
3. Those in charge must implement these resolutions.
4. No resolutions that run counter to this resolution may be implemented.
5. This parliamentary resolution takes effect as soon as it is published.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 3, 2014—On October 25, 2014, approximately one hundred people stormed a PYD literary event in ʿAfrin. They demanded the release of their relatives, who are all members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S) and were kidnapped by the Democratic Union Party (PYD). They are currently being held in a prison in ʿAfrin. According to KurdWatch’s information, female relatives of the prisoners spontaneously organized the demonstration. The prisoners themselves had started a hunger strike a few days before the demonstration. The PYD ended its event; there were no other known ramifications.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 3, 2014—On October 21, 2014, the Syrian Information Minister, ʿImran ʿAhad az‑Zuʿbi, stated at a press conference that the Syrian army and air force are providing military support to the city of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) in its fight against the Islamic State (IS). The Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) denied this in a press release on October 22, 2014.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, November 3, 2014—Despite the provision of Iraqi-Kurdish weapons to the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) and the US‑Air Force’s ongoing attacks on Islamic State (IS) positions, the Islamic State continued its advance on the last YPG positions in the city of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). After the YPG reported successes in mid-October, the Islamic State began a wave of attacks on the eastern and southern districts of the city between October 22 and 27, 2014. IS‑fighters shelled the YPG-controlled districts with surface-to-surface missiles. They also used car bombs in an attempt to destroy YPG‑positions. On October 22, IS‑fighters were able to recapture Tall Shaʿir, four kilometers west of the city [further information]. The YPG currently controls an area smaller than four square kilometers in and to the west of the city of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab, while fighters for the Islamic State control an area of between eight hundred and one thousand square kilometers. The area in question includes the predominantly Kurdish regions around ʿAyn al‑ʿArab, which until recent weeks were under the control of the PYD. The PYD had established one of a total of three »governments« there. The majority of the Kurdish population was able to flee to Turkey from the regions captured by the IS.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 30, 2014—From October 17 to 19, 2014, delegates of the Kurdish Future Movement in Syria held a party congress in Istanbul. According to the closing statement on October 20, 2014, those present decided by a large majority to create a military wing in order to protect civilians in the Kurdish regions. The statement emphasizes that the military wing is bound by the Geneva Convention and international treaties regarding respect for human rights. Furthermore, those gathered decided to work covertly in Syria in order to avoid persecution by representatives of the Syrian regime and the Democratic Union Party (PYD). The previous European representative, Siamand Hajo, was elected chairman. A leadership council comprised of nine additional people was also elected. The names of four members of the leadership council were kept secret.
A fraction of the Future Movement do not recognize the party congress and this faction elected a new communication office at the same time. A key issue in the dispute between the two wings of the party is the position vis‑à‑vis the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 28, 2014—On October 20, 2014, US Air Force planes provided fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) with weapons, ammunition, and medical aid by air. According to the US Central Command, the deliveries originated with agencies in Iraqi Kurdistan. The office of the Iraqi-Kurdish president confirmed the delivery of twenty-four tons of material. Two of the packages air dropped landed in areas controlled by the Islamic State (IS). The US military stated that it has destroyed one of the packages that landed in the wrong place.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 28, 2014—On October 17, 2014, three dozen women in ʿAmudah protested against the forcible recruitment of their relatives by the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG). There were no known incidents.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 28, 2014—Thirty-two-year-old Nahru Muhammad Saʿid has been held by fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) since October 11, 2014. He was kidnapped in the course of forcible recruitment [further information]. The PYD has thereby violated its own law on recruitment in that only people between the ages of eighteen and thirty are to be recruited.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 27, 2014—Between October 16 and 20, 2014, fighting broke out near al‑Mabrukah, thirty kilometers southwest of Raʾs al‑ʿAyn (Serê Kaniyê), between combatants for the Islamic State (IS) and the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG). The US Air Force also bombed IS positions in al‑Mabrukah. At least four YPG fighters and two dozen IS fighters were killed in the attacks.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 27, 2014—On October 18, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), demanded that the head of the state electric company in Tall Tamr move his agency within a matter of days. The PYD has claimed the building for itself.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 27, 2014—On October 16, 2014, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) publicly displayed the bodies of fighters for the Islamic State (IS) in Raʾs al‑ʿAyn (Serê Kaniyê), ad‑Darbasiyah, and ʿAmudah. The bodies were driven through the city in open vehicles. YPG fighters fired into the air, stood on the dead, and ridiculed them by sticking cigarettes in their mouths. For ethical reasons, KurdWatch will not reproduce the images.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 24, 2014—On October 15, 2014, representatives of the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG), including the YPG’s press spokesman, Redur Khalil, visited the office of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S) in al‑Qamishli. The delegation was received by Mahmud Wadi, a member of the PDK‑S politburo. This was the first time that PYD representatives officially visited a PDK‑S office. Previously the PYD had closed PDK‑S party offices and many PDK‑S members were kidnapped or deported to Iraqi-Kurdistan [further information]. Among the topics of discussion were the negotiations in Dohuk between the Kurdish National Council, the PYD, and the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV‑DEM), a PKK‑institution. A representative of President Masud Barzani also took part in the meeting, where a possible cooperation between the various political actors in the Kurdish regions of Syria in light of the fighting in ʿAyn al‑-ʿArab-(Kobanî) was discussed.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 24, 2014—On October 15, 2014, two dozen women in al‑Qamishli protested against the kidnapping and forcible recruitment of their sons and brothers by the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), [further information]. The rally ended after half an hour. An eyewitness told KurdWatch: »The Asayiş beat a woman. The others then ended the demonstration out of fear.«

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 20, 2014—On October 14, 2014, four female activists brought traffic to a halt on a main road in ʿAmudah. They carried posters demanding the release of young men kidnapped and forcibly recruited by the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), on October 11 2014 [further information].

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 16, 2014—On October 11, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), detained Bahwar Mula Ahmad (b. 1981, married, three children), a member of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî), for an hour in al‑Qamishli. Mula Ahmad, who works as a journalist, had tried to photograph employees of the Asayiş forcibly recruiting young men. Mula Ahmad was not tortured.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 16, 2014—On October 14, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), arbitrarily kidnapped young men between the ages of eighteen and thirty from the streets in all areas under PYD control. The majority of those kidnapped were released by the following day. They first had to sign that they would not leave the country and that they were ready to fight in the PYD’s People’s Defense Units (YPG) at any time. Should they fail to keep this agreement, their family will have to pay 500 000 Syrian Liras. They were also told verbally that a female member of their family would be recruited should their family fail to pay the required sum. Exact information about the number of people released as well as those still being detained is not available. A total of up to three thousand men are allegedly affected, including both Arabs and Christians. The Kurdish National Council condemned the action in a statement: »This unjustifiable measure by the PYD will push the remaining young men to leave the Kurdish regions.«

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 15, 2014—On October 8, 2014, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) held a demonstration in az‑Zahriyah at‑Tahtaniyah, twenty kilometers east of al‑Malikiyah (Dêrik), to protest the Turkish government’s unwillingness to arm the People’s Defense Units (YPG) fighting in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). On October 9, demonstrations took place in ʿAmudah and al‑Qamishli for the same reason, although the demonstration in ʿAmudah also commemorated the 1998 arrest of Abdullah Öcalan, chairman of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Dozens of participants in the demonstration in al‑Qamishli attempted to tear down the border fence to Turkey following the rally, and were assisted by PKK supporters on the Turkish side. Turkish soldiers subsequently shot at the demonstrators. An eight-year‑old boy was killed and three other participants were injured.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 15, 2014—On October 6, 2014, three car bombs exploded in al‑Hasakah—two in front of a barracks of the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) and one in front of a YPG recruitment office. One of the two bombs in front of the barracks was time‑delayed, so that the explosion occurred when YPG fighters were trying to rescue the victims of the previous explosion. At least thirty people were killed and dozens more were injured.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 13, 2014—On October 5, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), stormed the office of the Kurdish National Council in Tall Tamr and kidnapped Qasim Janan, the chairman of the Kurdish National Council’s local committee for Tall Tamr. At the same time the Tall Tamr office of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî) was also stormed and Bahjat Shaikhu, a member of the Central Committee, was beaten and then taken away. Several hours later, the Asayiş also stormed the home of Kamiran Shaikhu, a member of the Yekîtî’s local committee for Tall Tamr. Kamiran Shaikhu and his mother, who happened to be present, were also physically assaulted, and Kamiran Shaiku was kidnapped. Janan was released eight hours later, Bahjat Shaikhu twenty-four hours later, and Shaikhu two days later. There was no interrogation or any concrete allegations made against them.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 13, 2014—According to the most recent information, approximately two thousand persons who only wanted to flee with their possessions (tractors and similar large machinery) to Turkey are now bottled up at the Turkish border. Turkey is only allowing refugees without large baggage into the country. An exception has allegedly been made for roughly one thousand taxis.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 12, 2014—On September 28, 2014, the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) began evacuating the population from areas south of the city of al‑Qamishli in which the Islamic State (IS) is strong. At least the villages of Tall Sharmukh, Tall Abu Khazaf, and Tulul Matlutah, approximately twenty-five kilometers southeast of al‑Qamishli, have already been evacuated.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 10, 2014—There are no civilians left in the city of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî), which has been under siege by the Islamic State (IS) for several weeks [further information]. The majority of the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG), which were still present at the beginning of fighting, have also left the city. The fighters are almost entirely PKK combatants. Refugees from ʿAyn al‑ʿArab, who fled to Suruç in Turkey, are accusing the PKK of engaging in a senseless fight since they claim the city cannot be held. A refugee, who wished to remain anonymous out of fear of repression, told KurdWatch: »We hope that in the end not only the Islamic State will be defeated, but also the PKK and the PYD. The PYD is complicit in the current situation; from the beginning it cooperated with the Syrian regime«.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 9, 2014—On October 4, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), banned and dissolved a demonstration organized by the Kurdish National Council in Tall Tamr. The demonstration was directed against the attack by the Islamic State (IS) on ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). The Asayiş held Qasim Janan, chairman of the Kurdish National Council’s local committee in Tall Tamr, Kamiran Shaikhu, member of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria’s (Yekîtî) local committee in Tall Tamr, Fahd Abu ʿAqid, member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (KDP‑S), as well as Yahya ʿAbdulhadi and Mahmud Sabri, both members of Nasruddin Ibrahim’s Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (el‑Partî) for several hours. They were threatened with expulsion from Syria if they remain politically active.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 9, 2014—On September 20, 2014, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) recruited the thirteen-year-old studentʿAli ʿAbdullah ʿAli in al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê) without his parents’ consent. His family knows the base where he was assigned. Upon his mother’s inquiries, however, the YPG claimed to know nothing of the child’s whereabouts.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 9, 2014—On September 30, 2014, fighters for the Islamic State in Manbij released another seventy-five of the students who were kidnapped from ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) on May 29, 2014 [further information]. One of those released told KurdWatch: »They just released us from the prison and demanded that we leave the city.« In light of the fighting in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab, some of those released headed for Aleppo and others for the Turkish border. During their captivity in a school, the students were tortured and forced to attend instruction in Islam.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 9, 2014—On September 26, 2014, armed conflicts broke out between the Islamic State (IS) on the one side and the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) as well as the al‑Karamah brigade, which is comprised of Arab tribe members who are loyal to the regime, on the other side. The fighting took place at the Syrian-Iraqi border near al‑Yaʿrubiyah. The Islamic State allegedly captured several villages.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 6, 2014—On October 1, 2014, the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), released the activist Muhamad Hasso (b. 1982, married, two children, member of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria) from custody. Hasso was kidnapped on September 5, 2014. He was not tortured.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 6, 2014—In a press conference on September 27, 2014, the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) and the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) Tahir‑brigade announced the foundation of a joint operations center in the city of Raʾs al‑ʿAin (Serê Kaniyê). The YPG had announced a similar collaboration with FSA‑units west of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) on September 10, 2014. Presumably the YPG is seeking ties to the FSA to improve its chances of receiving weapons from the United States. The USA is currently arming the moderate Syrian opposition.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, October 4, 2014—On September 8 and 9, 2014, fighters for the Islamic State (IS) stormed several houses in the village of Manbij, eighty kilometers east of Aleppo. At least ten people were kidnapped, including Masu Barkal, Muru Barkal, Khalil Zaitu, Muhammad Shaikhu, Mahmud Shaikhu, Ahmad Masu ʿAbdi, and Muhammad Hamad. Several members of the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party in Syria were among those kidnapped.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 30, 2014 – On September 26, 2014, several missiles again hit various residential districts in al‑Qamishli. There were no injuries or fatalities. Thus far no group has claimed responsibility for the shelling.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 29, 2014—On September 26, 2014, Turkish border soldiers near ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) opened fire on a group of refugees who were attempting to illegally cross the border between Syria and Turkey. Muhyiddin Saʿid Hibbu and Mazlum Saʿid Hibbu were killed, and five additional people were injured. Those killed had been trying to bring their herd of sheep to safety in Turkey ahead of the attack by the Islamic State (IS) [further information].

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 29, 2014—On September 17, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), closed the office of the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party in Syria on the grounds that the Progressive Party had not applied for authorization with the transitional administration of the canton of ʿAfrin. The parties of the Kurdish National Council, of which the Progressive Party is a member, do not recognize the PYD-appointed transitional administration.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 29, 2014—On September 23, 2014, the Kurdish National Council organized a demonstration in al‑Qamishli against the attack by the Islamic State (IS) on ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). Approximately two thousand people took part in the rally. That same day, approximately two hundred people in al‑Hasakah protested against the Islamic State; the previous day around two hundred people also protested in ad‑Darbasiyah. The Kurdish National Council and various youth movements organized both rallies. On September 24, several hundred people took part in a demonstration in al‑Qahtaniyah (Tirbesipî), which was also organized by the Kurdish National Council. A similar demonstration on September 25 in al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê) with roughly two hundred participants was co-organized by the Kurdish Youth Movement and the Kurdish National Council.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 29, 2014—On September 7, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped a leading member of the Kurdish Youth Movement in ʿAfrin. The Asayiş justified the kidnapping of Jangiz Khalil (b. 1973, married, two children) on the grounds that he »diminished the reputation of the Asayiş«. Khalil was released eight days later.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 27, 2014—In mid September 2014, the transitional administration for the canton of Jazirah, appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), issued a form for applying for a temporary residence permit. The document is intended for Syrians who have fled to the Kurdish regions as the result of the civil war. Among other things, the document requires the name of a sponsor. Already at the end of August, newcomers in the city of al‑Jawadiyah were asked to apply for a residence permit and provide a sponsor [further information]. The measure underscores the PYD’s claim to exercise state power.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 27, 2014—In early September 2014, the management of a bakery in al‑Qamishli controlled by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) released thirty-five bread vendors. The bakery supplies all districts in the eastern part of the city. One of the dismissed vendors told KurdWatch: »Management claimed that the bakery was receiving too little flour and therefore had to dismiss us. But that’s not true. We know that they replaced us with PYD supporters.« Alongside various small bakeries, there are two modern, large-scale bakeries in al‑Qamishli that meet more than half of the demand for the entire city. One is controlled by the PYD, the other by the regime.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 24, 2014—Since September 19, 2014, more than one hundred thousand people from the city of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) and the surrounding villages have fled to Turkey due to the advance of the Islamic State (IS). According to KurdWatch information, by the evening of September 19, the Islamic State had captured and partially destroyed more than one hundred villages in the region. Until September 20, the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) were fighting on only one front in the east of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab. Since the morning of September 22, fighting is reportedly taking place on three fronts: eight kilometers to the west, ten kilometers to the east, and twelve kilometers to the south of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab. Around three hundred fighters for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) reportedly came from Turkey on September 21 and are supporting the YPG. In addition, YPG fighters are said to have been trying since September 21 to reach ʿAyn al‑ʿArab from Raʿs al‑ʿAin (Serê Kaniyê). It is unclear why the IS has not been able to advance into the city of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab. According to eyewitness reports, the YPG had withdrawn from the city so that it would have been easy to capture.
Irritations arose on September 19, shortly after Turkey opened the official border crossing in ʿAyn al‑Arab, YPG‑fighters prevented refugees from crossing the border there. A short time later, however, the Turkish government opened several unofficial border points. The official border crossing was blockaded by the YPG until at least September 21.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 22, 2014—On September 14, and 15, 2014, negotiations took place once again [further information] between armed units of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Islamic State (IS) on one side and the regime and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) on the other. Both sides agreed to end the fighting. Eyewitnesses report that FSA and IS units subsequently withdrew from Ghuwayran. Syrian units were then able to take the district without any resistance.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 22, 2014—According to information from the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG), the YPG has freed nineteen Arab villages between al‑Qamishli and Tall Hamis, located forty kilometers to the south. The villages, which were under the control of the Islamic State, were freed between September 13, and 16,  2014. Four YPG‑fighters were allegedly killed in the fighting. However, Arab activists have accused the YPG of killing several dozen civilians in the attacks. The National Coalition has condemned the YPG attacks.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 22, 2014—On September 9, 2014, employees of the transitional administration in the canton of Jazirah, appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), demanded that residents in al-Maʿbada (Girkê Legê) pay a fixed rate of five hundred Syrian lira per household for the supply of water for the past two months. The water supply is controlled by the PYD.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 21, 2014—Hazim ʿAbdulbaqi Hamdu, Matin Muhammad Ismaʿil, and Jalal Ramadan Hasam have been free since September 8, 2014. They were kidnapped on September 4 by the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) [further information].

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 20, 2014—On September 14 and 16, a total of two dozen missiles hit several residential districts in al‑Qamishli. At least two adults and two children were killed. Until now no one has claimed responsibility for the shelling.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 20, 2014—On September 7, 2014, Khadij Mustafa Najar (b. 1959 in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab [Kobanî]) was shot and killed by fighters for the Islamic State (IS) while trying to avoid an IS checkpoint near Jarablus (thirty kilometers west of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab [Kobanî]). Najar and her husband had been trying to cross the Euphrates in a boat.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 20, 2014—At the end of August 2014, employees of the city hall of the transitional administration in the canton of Jazirah, appointed by the Democratic Union Party, called upon all shop owners to renew their business registration. The fee is up to two thousand Syrian liras.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, 20. September 2014—On August 19, 2014, armed fighters for the Islamic State kidnapped the Dr. Azad Khashman from the Ibn Sina Hospital in Manbij (eighty kilometers east of Aleppo). Khashman is a member of the Kurdish National Council’s local committee in Manbij, which is controlled by the Islamic State.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 18, 2014—On August 29, 2014, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) released Jigar Jaʿfar Hammu. Fighters for the PYD’s People’s Defense Units (YPG) kidnapped the member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S) on September 7, 2013 in ʿAfrin [further information]. Shortly after his release, the Asayiş, the PYD’s security service, informed his family that Hammu had to leave the country otherwise he would be »detained« again. Hammu complied with the demand a few days later. An acquaintance told KurdWatch: »Hammu was severely tortured while in captivity.«

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 18, 2014—On August 29. 2014, the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), banned the sale and re-letting of apartment buildings and lots in al‑Jawadiyah (Çil Axa). The ban was announced in a flyer distributed throughout the city. Anyone who moved to al‑Jawadiyah after the beginning of the unrest is requested to apply for a residence permit at the PYD’s People’s House by September 1, 2014. In addition, newcomers must produce a sponsor who was a resident of the city prior to March 2011.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 16, 2014—On August 28, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped the twenty-one-year-old student Parishan Taha Haj Mustafa from her parents’ home in ʿAmudah. A family member told KurdWatch: »Parishan’s parents were not home when employees of the Asayiş kidnapped her. There are several eyewitnesses that saw the Asayiş’s vehicle. However, when we asked, the Asayiş stated that it knew nothing about Parishan’s whereabouts«. The reason behind the kidnapping is unknown.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 13, 2014—On August 31, 2014, the Syrian Army fired upon the Arab district of Ghuwayran in al‑Hasakah with surface-to-surface missiles. Prior to this, negotiations lasting several weeks took place between armed units of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Islamic State located in the district and the regime and the Democratic Union Party (PYD). These negotiations are now considered a failure. [Further information on the situation in Ghuwayran].

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 13, 2014—On September 3, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), invaded several houses in the village of Dugir, seven kilometers west of al‑Qahtaniyah (Tirbesipî), and kidnapped a total of five people. Those in question are Ahmad Gharbi ʿAbbas, Siamand ʿAbdulhamid ʿAbbas, Kawa Muhyiddin ʿAbbas, Sulayman ʿAli Salih, and Jufayn Hasan Saʿdu. The kidnapped victims have close ties to the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S).

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 13, 2014—On September 4, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), stormed the house of ʿAbdulʿaziz Tijo in the village of Tall ʿAdas (Gir Zîro), ten kilometers east of al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê). The Asayiş searched the home of the member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S) and prohibited the continuation of a PDK‑S political seminar that takes place there.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 13, 2014—On September 4, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), stormed several houses of members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S) in the village of al‑Mustafawiyah, eight kilometers north of al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê). Hazim ʿAbdulbaqi Hamdu, Matin Muhammad Ismaʿil, and Jalal Ramadan Hasam were kidnapped when they refused to turn their family registers over to the Asayiş.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 9, 2014—On August 13, 2014 employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party  (PYD), kidnapped ʿUthman Mahmud Mustafa from his house in Bendar. The 60 year-old is the mayor of a village close to Shuyukh Tahtani, around 30 km south of ʿAin al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). After his eyes were bound, several people took turns beating him up. In the early morning of August 14 he was released onto a country road. ʿUthman Mahmud Mustafa is affiliated with the PYD, but he has tried several times to voice his own opinion, for example, he spoke out against the conversion of a village school into a barracks for the People’s Defense Units (YPG) and took a position against the levying of fees on the water supply by the PYD.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 6, 2014—On August  and August 27 2014 in ʿAmuda and the surrounding area employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), tried to collect family registers in order to use to them as a basis to compile recruitment lists for persons between eighteen and thirty years of age. A number of families refused to hand over their family registers. The Asayiş also tried to get access to the registers in al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê). A father from Rumaylan, about one and a half kilometers southwest of al‑Maʿbada told KurdWatch: »Employees of the Asayiş tried to dupe me. They said they needed the family register to help find jobs for the unemployed.«

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 6, 2014—On August 23, 2014 employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), searched the house of Muhammad Billi (married, eight children) in the village of Muzayrib (Şerek), around fifteen kilometers southeast of al‑Malikiyah (Dêrik). They confiscated a firearm they found in the house and detained Muhammad Billi for several hours. Billi is a member of the Kurdish Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S). Likewise, the houses of Hasan Ahmad Shawish (married, six children) and his brother Husayn Ahmad Shawish were also raided. The Asayiş confiscated two firearms and kidnapped the two men. Hasan was released on August 24, Husayn on August 25. According to information from KurdWatch, the PYD is attempting to disarm people who are not members of the PYD.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 3, 2014—Muslim Muhammad und ʿUthman Zaitu, members of the Kurdish Democratic Party Syria – (PDK‑S), were set free on August 7, 2014. They were kidnapped on August 4, 2014 fifteen kilometers south of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) close to Kaifun by fighters for the People’s Defense Units (YPG) of the Democratic Union Party  (PYD).

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 3, 2014—Bahzad Husayn Yaʿqub [more information] was set free on August 9, 2014. He was kidnapped by the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), in al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê) on August 6.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 2, 2014—Employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), demanded on August 26, 2014 that the members of the Kurdish Unity Party in Syria (Yekîtî) in al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê) apply to the PYD's interim administration for the canton of Jazira for a permit for their party office. A Yekîtî member told KurdWatch: »Our party members informed the Asayiş that they wouldn't apply for a permit at an office that has no legitimacy«.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH September 2, 2014—On August 25, 2014 employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), raided the house of Mamduh Tikhubi in Sanjaq Dawud (Sinceq Xelîl), eight kilometers south of ʿAmudah, in search of him. This member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syrien (PDK‑S) was not at home. Fighters for the People's Defence Units (YPG), the PYD militia, told his family that Tikhubi should leave Syria in the next four days.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, September 2, 2014—On August 25, 2014 employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), raided several houses in ʿAmudah. The activists Tayisir and Yasir Hattu were kidnapped, both are members of the Cooperation of the Youth of ʿAmudah. Yasir Hattu was soon released, but his brother remained in custody. Yasir Hattu told KurdWatch: »The Asayiş accused me of working together with Turkey. My family was asked to leave the country.«

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 31, 2014—With Circular Letter No. 145, dated August 23, 2014, the Executive Council of the Autonomous Kurdish Administration of the Canton of Jazirah, appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), asked the Asayiş, the PYD’s security service, not to issue exit permits for people between eighteen and thirty years of age. Exceptions are made for people who can present a letter of approval from the defense committee’s recruitment office. Kanʿan Barakat, chairman of the Committee on Internal Affairs, signed the circular letter.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 28, 2014—On August 23, 2014, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) stormed the village of Munasaf, ten kilometers east of Tall Tamr, and searched all residents, including the women. ʿAbdurrazzaq Haso (married, five children) was detained for several hours. An activist told KurdWatch: »The background to this harassment is that village residents refuse to let their young men be recruited by the YPG.«

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 25, 2014—Since August 12, 2014 militiamen for the People’s Defense Units (YPG) of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) have taken control of several university buildings in al‑Hasakah to safeguard against attacks by Islamists and/or the Free Syrian Army. The university administration still remains under the control of the Syrian government.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 25, 2014—On August 20, 2014 Husayn Ibash, a member of the central committee of the Kurdistan Democratic Party  – Syria (PDK‑S) was released. On May 12, 2014, the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party  (PYD) took Ibash captive in ʿAfrin and detained him since then.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 24, 2014—On August 12, 2014, fighters for the Free Syrian Army (FSA) kidnapped Khashman Ramadan, a militiaman for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG), in the Arab district of Ghuwayran in al‑Hasakah. That same day, a video was made public in which the prisoner calls on the YPG to stop shelling the district. Arab activists report that the PYD has kidnapped several Arab men in the regime-controlled city center of al‑Hasakah in order to exchange these men for Ramadan.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 24, 2014—On August 12, 2014 the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) began a major offensive in al‑Hasakah to capture the Arab district of Ghuwayran. The district was attacked with tanks and shelled with surface-to-surface missiles. Several people were killed. The PYD has declared that it is advancing on fighters for the Islamic State. In contrast, Kurdish and Arab activists reported that primarily poorly armed fighters for Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) Ahrar-Ghuwayran-Battalion are present in the district. However, it is thought that supporters of the Islamic State may have recently increased their presence.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 24, 2014—On August 10, 2014, a vehicle belonging to the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) advanced into the Arab district of Ghuwayran in al‑Hasakah and was shelled. Seven YPG militiamen were killed. It is unclear whether the vehicle was attacked by fighters for the Free Syrian Army or by Islamists. Ghuwayran is considered a stronghold of the Syrian opposition. The Syrian regime has not had control of the district since 2012.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 20, 2014—On July 25, 2014, Saʿdun as‑Sinnu (b. 1980 in ad‑Darbasiyah), an activist and journalist for the oppositional Syrian television station Orient, was kidnapped and held for several hours by employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD). He was kidnapped again on August 7, 2014. The background to the kidnappings is the Asayiş demand that all journalists apply for separate authorization for each individual investigation. As‑Sinnu told KurdWatch: »They took away my camera. During the investigation, they treated me roughly, but they did not beat me. I had to spend the first six hours in a solitary cell with a size of three square meters.« The journalist was released on the night of August 9.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 19, 2014—On August 6, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Nuri Jabr from his shop in ʿAfrin. Jabr is a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S).

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 19, 2014—On August 13, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), ended a Kurdish National Council demonstration in al‑Qamishli shortly after it began since the demonstration had not been authorized prior to its start. Approximately eight hundred people had wanted to protest against attacks by the Islamic State on the Kurdish regions of Syria and Iraq. The chairman of the Kurdish National Council’s local committee in al‑Qamishli, Wajdi Darwish, and his deputy, Iyad ʿAbdulkarim, were kidnapped by the Asayiş.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 19, 2014—On August 6, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), ordered that Yaʿqub Dawud’s wedding celebration in al‑Malikiyah be shut down. Bangin Dawud, the brother of the groom, told KurdWatch: »They didn’t give us a reason. After the Asayiş left, the wedding continued but without a music system«. Yaʿqub Dawud’s family has ties to the Kurdish Democratic Party – Syria.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 16, 2014—Between August 3 and August 8, 2014, more than 15 000 refugees belonging to the Yazidi religion arrived in Syria’s Kurdish regions from Sinjar in Iraq. Most of the refugees, who fled attacks by the Islamic State, continued toward Iraqi-Kurdistan after a brief break. On August 5, members of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), attempted to prevent representatives of the Kurdish National Council in al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê) from supplying the refugees with relief supplies. On August 8,, a similar incident occurred when employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the PYD, and militiamen for the PYD’s People’s Defense Units (YPG) prohibited the distribution of relief supplies to Yazidi refugees at a Kurdish National Council office and fired into the air. PYD‑affiliated media present the PYD and its militia as the sole »saviors« of the Yazidi.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 15, 2014—On August 6, 2014, a car bomb exploded in al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê). One person was injured. The reason behind the explosion is unknown.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 15, 2014—On August 6, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Bahzad Husayn Yaʿqub (b. 1980, married, two children) in al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê). Yaʿqub had asked the PYD’s People’s Defense Units (YPG) militiamen to re-park one of their vehicles because it was blocking the entrance to his warehouse.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 14, 2014—On August 8, 2014, the local committee of the Kurdish National Council organized a demonstration in ʿAmudah against attacks by the Islamic State on Yazidi villages in Iraq. Approximately three hundred people took part in the event.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 14, 2014—On August 8, 2014, the legislative council of the transitional government for the canton of Kobanî (ʿAyn al‑ʿArab), which was appointed by the Democratic Union Party  (PYD), decided that the offices of all parties and organizations that had not been authorized by August 14, 2014 [further information] would be closed. Thus far the Kurdish National Council has not recognized the transitional governments of the three cantons; none of its member parties has applied for authorization in accordance with the new law governing parties.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 13, 2014—On August 5, 2014, the forty-five-year-old Jumʿa Bilal Khashman (married, five children) was shot by Turkish border guards while attempting to illegally cross the border from Syria into Turkey. A few hours later, Khashman succumbed to his injuries at a hospital in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî).

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 13, 2014—On August 6, 2014, approximately thirty supporters of the Syrian regime demonstrated in the center of al‑Qamishli. They chanted slogans against the attacks by the Islamic State and in support of the Syrian president. Syrian security forces protected the demonstration.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 11, 2014—Shadi Hawass Muhammad (b. 1990 in al‑Qamishli), disappeared on August 12, 2012 during his military service. He had been drafted only a few months prior, on April 26, 2012. There are no clues as to his whereabouts.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 10, 2014—On August 1, 2014, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) imposed a curfew for the predominantly Kurdish districts of the city of al‑Hasakah from 11 pm until 12 noon the following day. In addition, all shop owners were requested to close their shops at 10 pm. The continuing attacks by the Islamic State are the background to this measure. The curfew was only observed until the early morning hours of August 2.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 8, 2014—On August 4, 2014, fighters for the Islamic State released eight more of the students who were kidnapped on May 29, 2014 [further information]. They were apparently released for health reasons.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 7, 2014—On August 4, 2014, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) stormed the village of Kayfun, fifteen kilometers south of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî), with approximately fifteen vehicles. Members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S) had organized a political seminar there. Those present at the seminar were brutally beaten. Fifteen participants were kidnapped and Kurdish flags and banners were confiscated and burned. A few hours later, thirteen people were released. Those released reported that they had been beaten again while being detained. The two PDK‑S-members Muslim Muhammad and ʿUthman Zaytu are still being held.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 7, 2014—On July 29 and July 30, 2014, heavily armed fighting again broke out thirty-five kilometers west of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî), between fighters for the Islamic State and the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG). At least fifteen YPG fighters subsequently received an official burial.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 7, 2014—On July 27, 2014, after three days of heavy fighting ten kilometers south of the city of al‑Hasakah, fighters for the Islamic State captured an important military base that belongs to the Syrian regime near the Tall adh‑Dhahab hill. The same day a meeting took place between representatives of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the regime. In the days that followed, dozens of vehicles belonging to the PYD’s People’s Defense Units arrived in al‑Hasakah. Since then the YPG has shown a strong presence in all districts, including Arab districts. Reports that the PYD has complete control of the city of al‑Hasakah cannot be confirmed. The regime continues to control all the important state agencies as well as the military and intelligence service infrastructure. Several civilians were killed when the Islamic State bombarded the city with surface-to-surface missiles.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 5, 2014—On July 26, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Matin Sufi (b. 1993 in al‑Malikiyah [Dêrik]), from Turkey, when he tried to avoid PYD checkpoints while crossing the border near ʿAyn Diwar. Sufi was released on July 27.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 4, 2014—On July 23, 2014, Muhammad al‑Qadiri, chairman of the Committee for Religious Affairs for the transitional administration of the canton of Jazirah, appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), delivered a decision, according to which all restaurants and shops that sell alcohol must remain closed on 24. July 2014, the so-called Laylat al‑Qadr (»Night of Decree«). Laylat al‑Qadr refers to the night in the fasting month of Ramadan in which the Quran is said to have been revealed for the first time. Despite the decision, alcohol was served on July 24. There have been no known consequences.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 3, 2014—On June 24, 2014, Salih ʿAbdu at‑Tammu (b. 1960 in al‑Hasakah) was released from the central prison in al‑Hasakah. At‑Tammu was arrested on May 17, 1996 and later sentenced to twenty-one years in prison pursuant to Article 306 of the Criminal Code. On June 1, 2011, he was transferred from the Saydnayah prison, approximately thirty kilometers north of Damascus, to ar‑Raqqah, and on July 1, 2011, he was transferred to al‑Hasakah. His early release is based on a presidential amnesty dated from June 9, 2014.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 2, 2014—On July 24, 2014, both governors of the canton of Jazirah, which was established by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), enacted a decree, according to which all people imprisoned before July 24, 2014 are to be released. Prisoners charged with terrorism, trafficking of women, murdering women, drug trafficking, theft of and trafficking in antiquities, or the misappropriation of public funds are excluded.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 2, 2014—On July 16, 2014, two dozen relatives of the students kidnapped by the Islamic State [further information] held a rally in front of a building that belongs to the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). They accused the PYD of responsibility for the failure to make an exchange for the kidnapped students. The Asayiş used force to break up the rally and brought six demonstrators under its control. Those in question are Jalal Muhammad Salih, Mustafa Muhammad, Muhammad Haji ʿAbdurrazzaq, Khalid Muhammad, Khalid ʿIsa Tirko, and Sadruddin Kino. All six were released on a bail of 25,000 Syrian Liras on July 28.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, August 1, 2014—On July 8, 2014, two dozen attorneys in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) demonstrated against attacks by the Islamic State on ʿAyn al‑ʿArab. The rally was led by Anwar Muslim, attorney and chairman of the local administration of the canton of Kobanî, which was appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD). Those gathered accused the Syrian National Council and the National Coalition of supporting the Islamic State. A few days later, the National Coalition condemned the attacks on ʿAyn al‑ʿArab.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 31, 2014—On July 25, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Saʿdun as‑Sinnu, a journalist for the opposition Syrian television station Orient. He was released a few hours later.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 31, 2014—On July 26 and July 27, 2014, members of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) called upon residents of the mainly Arab village of Tall Tamr to join the PYD’s People’s Defense Units (YPG). Residents are to be deployed at checkpoints and on patrols. An activist told KurdWatch: »Otherwise they threatened to stop the supply of water or bread.«

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 29, 2014—On June 23, 2014, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) kidnapped Muhammad Ashraf Nayif (married, seven children) at a checkpoint southeast of Tall Tamr and held him for two days. A few days prior, the YPD had attempted to recruit fighters in the village of Munasaf, ten kilometers east of Tall Tamr. In connection with this, Nayif allegedly said that there were only students and pupils in the village, but no more fighters.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 28, 2014—On July 9, 2014, the rest of the students from ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) who were kidnapped in late May 2014 by the Islamic State [further information] were to be exchanged for Islamic State fighters being held by the Democratic Union Party (PYD). A committee negotiating on behalf of the relatives as well as a delegation of the People’s Defense Units (YPG) were at the agreed upon site approximately thirty kilometers south of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab when representatives for the Islamic State said they wanted to postpone the exchange until after afternoon prayers. An eyewitness told KurdWatch: »The YPG assumed it could be a trap. Therefore they withdrew to ʿAyn al‑ʿArab«.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 26, 2014—On July 13, 2014, the PKK‑affiliated Democratic Society Movement in Western Kurdistan (TEV‑DEM) organized a car and motorcycle procession in Raʾs al‑ʿAyn (Serê Kaniyê). Several dozen vehicles took part in the procession to demonstrate against attacks by the Islamic State on ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî).

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 26, 2014—On July 9, 2014, approximately one hundred residents of the western district of al‑Qamishli, predominantly women and children, demonstrated against the current electricity shortage. The demonstration proceeded without incident. The following day a similar demonstration took place in the district of Qudurbak when about thirty women made their way toward the electricity authorities. This demonstration also proceeded without incident. The head of the electricity authorities reportedly promised the demonstrators that the supply of electricity would improve.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 26, 2014—On July 13, 2014, the legislative council of the transitional administration for the canton of Jazirah, which was appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), released to the public a new law on the »duty of self defense«. All men between the ages of eighteen and thirty years are required to serve six months in the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG). Exceptions are made for the disabled, an only child, and for »family members of martyrs of the People’s Protection Committee, the Asayiş and the Kurdistan Freedom Movement«. Shamdin Nabi, leading member of the Kurdish National Council, told KurdWatch: »The Kurdish National Council opposes this law. We will call on the People’s Council of Western Kurdistan but also on the parliament and the president of Iraqi-Kurdistan to help us stop this law.«

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 24, 2014—On July 16, 2014, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) has exiled Badran Misto, member of the Central Committee of the Kurdish Union Party (Yekîtî), from Syria. Misto was kidnapped from his home in Raʾs al‑ʿAyn on June 27 [further information on the incident]. According to a statement by the Yekîtî, his exile is based on a ruling by a PYD court.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 24, 2014—In an interview with the Hawar news agency, which has ties to the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Kanʿan Barakat, chairman of the Committee on Internal Affairs for the PYD‑appointed transitional administration in the canton of Jazirah, announced that all parties, institutions, and associations must apply for authorization by no later than August 17, 2014. Organizations that fail to comply with this requirement will be shut down.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 20, 2014—On July 11, 2014, the General Committee of Kurdish Youth (member of the Kurdish National Council) organized a demonstration in al‑Qamishli against attacks by the Islamic State on ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). Approximately twenty people took part in the demonstration.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 20, 2014—On July 13, 2014, the Military Intelligence Service released Haitham Farhan Haso (b. 1980) from custody in Damascus. The student and journalist, who is also involved in the SAWA‑coalition, had been arrested on January 16, 2013 in ar‑Raqqah after returning from Turkey.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 20, 2014—On July 15, 2014, four people, including a nine-year-old boy, were killed in a car bomb explosion in Tall Tamr, which is controlled by the Democratic Union Party  (PYD). All of the victims are Arab civilians. The reason behind the explosion is unknown.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 19, 2014—On July 5, 2014, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) surrounded the village of Naf Kur, five kilometers west of al‑Qamishli, and called upon village residents to surrender two people who had fled from PYD‑custody. They discovered the escapees and brought them back under their control. Afterwards the YPG withdrew from the village. The YPG maintains its largest military establishment in nearby Himu.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 17, 2014—On June 27, 2014, relatives of the student Sherwan Abdullah Barakat (b. 1993 in ʿAmudah), who had been imprisoned since August 20, 2013, received a death certificate from the Military Intelligence Service, according to which Barakat died on February 16, 2014. The cause of death is listed as cardiac and respiratory arrest following circulatory collapse. Barakat was arrested at the University of Homs and transferred to the Palestine department of the Military Intelligence Service in Damascus. The relatives were neither allowed to bury nor view Barakat’s body.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 17, 2014—On July 9, 2014, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in ʿAmudah organized a demonstration against attacks by the Islamic State on ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). Approximately three hundred people participated.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 16, 2014—On July 7, 2014, several dozen residents of the majority Arab village of Himu, five kilometers west of al‑Qamishli, demonstrated against the current electricity shortage. They blocked the road from al‑Qamishli to ʿAmudah for several hours until the rally was dispersed by the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD). The residents of Himu accuse the PYD-appointed transitional government of the canton of Jazirah of diverting electricity from Himu to al‑Qamishli. The transitional administration in turn is accusing the village residents of obtaining electricity illegally.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 15, 2014—On July 7 2014, heavily armed conflicts broke out again between fighters for the Islamic State and the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) west of the city of Tall Abyad. Exact information on the number of victims is not available.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 15, 2014—On July 7, 2014, the Democratic Society Movement in Western Kurdistan (TEV‑DEM) organized a demonstration in al‑Malikiyah against attacks by the Islamic State on ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). Approximately one thousand people took part in the demonstration.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 12, 2014—On July 4, 2014, Kim Sayfuddin Ibrahim (b. 1997) was severely injured in a landmine explosion while attempting to cross the Syrian-Turkish border near ad‑Darbasiyah.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 12, 2014—On June 9, 2014, the leadership of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), released a statement asking all refugees in the city of ʿAfrin to leave the area. Homeowners were asked not to sign any more rental agreements with refugees, regardless of ethnicity. All refugees who have a valid rental agreement may stay in ʿAfrin until that agreement expires. Refugees employing at least five residents of ʿAfrin in their own business may also stay.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 12, 2014—The »People’s House«, an institution controlled by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), in the district of al‑Hilaliyah in al‑Qamishli has demanded that the operator of an electric generator pay it monthly fees. The person in question told KurdWatch: »When I requested authorization to operate an electric generator, a monthly fee of twenty thousand Syrian lira was stipulated.« The reasons given for the fee were that the PYD supplies the people with diesel and provides »protection«. Privately operated generators supply residents with electricity for a fee when the regular electricity supply fails.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 10, 2014—On July 6, 2014, Jiwan Ibrahim, general chairman of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), published a circular letter from June 21, 2014 on his Facebook page. According to the letter, anyone who insults an Asayiş employee at a checkpoint will be detained for at least forty-eight hours. Ignoring a checkpoint or »lowering its prestige« is punished in the same manner, as are any discussions in this regard.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 10, 2014—On July 7, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), denied entry to Ibrahim Biro, the secretary general of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî), at the Iraqi-Syrian border near al‑Malikiyah. »I asked the employees of the Asayiş to allow me to enter the country, even if they then had to arrest me. However, they did not allow me to enter Syria. I know that this is a political decision«, Biro told KurdWatch.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 10, 2014—On June 27, 2014, the PYD‑affiliated women’s organization Yekîtiya Star organized a meeting of residents in the Arab-Kurdish district of at‑Tadamun in Tall Tamr. A resident of the district told KurdWatch, »Aside from a dozen members of the Yekîtiya Star, no one came to the meeting, which really upset the PYD.« A leading member of the Democratic Society Movement in Western Kurdistan (TEV‑DEM), another PYD‑affiliated organization, subsequently threatened residents that no bread would be sold in the district for the first five days of Ramadan. The threat was not carried out.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 10, 2014—On June 19, 2014, the legislative council of the transitional administration for the canton of Jazirah, which was appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), set a ten-day period in which candidates could put themselves forward for the office of the governor. According to the PYD‑affiliated news agency Hawar, Hadiyah Yusuf, a leading member of the PYD‑affiliated women’s organization Yekîtiya Star and Humaydi Daham al‑Jarba, leader of the Arab Shammar tribe are running. On July 10, 02014, both were elected by the members of the legislative council.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 10, 2014—On June 27, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), surrounded the office of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî) in al‑Malikiyah (Dêrik) and demanded the cancellation of an event to remember the so-called »Arab Belt« since it did not have appropriate authorization. When those present failed to comply with the Asayiş’s demand, the Yekîtî members Samir Shakir (b. 1983, unmarried) and Mustafa Haji (b.  1994, unmarried) were kidnapped. The event did not take place. Shakir and Haji were released the following day; they were not tortured.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 8, 2014—From July 2 to July 4, 2014, fighters for the Islamic State attacked the Kurdish village of Zawr Maghar, thirty-five kilometers west of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). The village is controlled by the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG). At least twenty YPG fighters were officially buried following the clashes. The exact number of victims on both sides is unknown.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 5, 2014—On June 27, 2014, approximately three hundred supporters of the Kurdish National Council gathered at the ʿAmudah cemetery to remember the victims of an attack by the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) on a demonstration on June 27, 2013 [further information]. Leading members of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî) and the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party in Syria were also present. In the days leading up to the anniversary, members of the Asayiş, the PYD’s security service, had a strong presence in the city. Eyewitnesses reported that more than fifty PYD vehicles arrived in the city on June 25. The directorate-general of the Asayiş had warned against unauthorized demonstrations. Shortly before the gathering, members of the Asayiş fired into the air for several minutes. The gathering itself proceeded without incident, but was videotaped by the PYD.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, July 5 2014—On June 27, 2014, fighters for the Islamic State released two of the students kidnapped on May 29, 2014 [further information]. Fifteen more students were released on June 28. Relatives continue to negotiate with the Islamic State for the release of the remaining students.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 30, 2013—On June 25, 2014, the Syrian air force bombed an area ten kilometers east of al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê) near the oil fields of Tall ʿAdas (Gir Zîro). No damage occurred. The oil fields are operated by the Syrian government and have been protected by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) since January 2013. The background to the bombing is unclear. It may point to differences between the two groups and could be understood as a warning for the PYD from the regime.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 30, 2014—On June 25, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), surrounded the office of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî) in Raʾs al‑ʿAyn with about twenty vehicles and demanded the cancellation of an event commemorating the so-called »Arab Belt«. The Syrian government’s »Arab Belt« project planned to deport a total of 140 000 Kurds from 332 villages within a ten to fifteen kilometer-wide zone along the Turkish and Iraqi borders and replace them with Arab settlers. The implementation of the plan, which was passed in 1965, began in 1973. Until 1976 a total of around 25 000 Arab families were settled in the province of al‑Hasakah. The forceful expulsion of the Kurdish population, which resisted the plan, did not take place. The Asayiş explained that the event was banned because the organizers did not have appropriate authorization. When Yekitî members refused to cancel the event, employees of the Asayiş removed the party’s nameplate from the building and closed the office. Badran Misto, a member of the Yekîtî central committee, told KurdWatch: »The Asayiş demanded that I leave the city within twenty-four hours.« Misto did not comply with the demand and was kidnapped from his home in Raʾs al‑ʿAyn on June 27.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 30, 2014—On June 21, 2014, fighters for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant hijacked a coach bus belonging to the Perwan travel company. The bus was hijacked between al‑Qamishli and al‑Hasakah. There is no information about the fate of the driver or of the two passengers, who are allegedly officers of government troops. All other passengers were released the same day near Tall Birak, forty kilometers south of al‑Qamishli.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 30, 2014—On June 26, 2014, numerous members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria gathered in Tall Tamr to inaugurate a new office. Employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), dispersed the gathering in front of the office building on the grounds that the celebration had not been authorized. ʿAbdurrahman ʿAbtan, a member of the local committee of the PDK‑S in Tall Tamr, was detained for several hours.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 30, 2014—On June 19, 2014, employees of the State Security Service in al‑Qamishli arrested Hozan Shaykhmus and Basil Husayn, both teachers. The two had previously visited the education authorities in al‑Qamishli in order to clarify why they had not been paid in three months. They were told that they must report to the State Security Service. When they complied with this request, they were arrested. Both were subject to torture while in custody. Husayn was released two days later; Shaykhmus remains in custody. The teachers are supporters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S)

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 29, 2014—Contrary to earlier statements [further information], the presidential elections on June 3, 2014 did not take place in mostly Kurdish regions under Democratic Union Party (PYD) control. Polling places were predominantly located in the districts of al‑Hasakah and al‑Qamishli that are controlled by the government. However residents of other cities such as ad‑Darbasiyah and ʿAmudah also voted there. According to KurdWatch’s information, the government was able to register voters in ad‑Darbasiyah without being hindered by the PYD. There were reportedly a total of two polling places in ʿAfrin. It is unclear whether voting took place there. There were no polling places in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). According to unconfirmed information, the PYD closed twenty-six polling places in the city of al‑Hasakah and prevented voting from taking place there. Although the Syrian government controls less than half of Syrian state territory, approximately eleven million (sixty percent) of all eligible voters are said to have cast a ballot. Of those 88.7 percent reportedly voted for Bashar al‑Assad.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 26, 2014—ʿAlaʾuddin Husayn Khalaf (b. 1995 in al‑Qahtaniyah [Tirbesipî]) was drafted into military service on January 1, 2010. In March 2013, he was arrested and imprisoned at the Saydnayah prison approximately thirty kilometers north of Damascus. After an inquiry by his relatives, the prison administration disclosed a few days ago that Khalaf is not in its custody. His relatives received no further information about his whereabouts.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 24, 2014—On June 11, 2014, several Kurdish Youth Movement activists demonstrated in al‑Qamishli against the advance of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in Iraq. The event took place without incident.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 24, 2014—On June 14, 2014, thirteen civilians were killed when a car bomb exploded in front of a gas station in al‑Qahtaniyah (Tirbesipî). The reason behind the explosion is not known.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 23, 2014—On June 14, 2014, various parties of the Kurdish National Council organized separate festivities to mark the 57th anniversary of the founding of the first Kurdish party in Syria. In al‑Qamishli, approximately four hundred supporters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S) took part in a public rally. The Kurdish Democratic Advancement Party in Syria organized a similar celebration in a hall; about two hundred fifty people took part. In ʿAfrin, the Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria (Democratic Yekîtî) organized a celebration that was attended by approximately three hundred people. The events took place without incident. Employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), had prohibited similar rallies in al‑Malikiyah (Dêrik) [further information] and ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) [further information].

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 23, 2014—On June 12, 2014, approximately one thousand to one thousand five hundred people took part in a Democratic Union Party (PYD) rally in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) and demonstrated for the unity of all Kurdish parties in the fight against attacks by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. On June 17, a similar demonstration took place in ʿAfrin; approximately one thousand PYD supporters took part.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 23, 2014—On June 19, 2014, approximately two thousand supporters of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) demonstrated in al‑Qamishli and demanded the release of Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 23, 2014—On June 14, 2014, approximately seven hundred supporters of the Kurdish National Council gathered to mark the 57th anniversary of the founding of the first Kurdish party in Syria. Employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), dispersed the gathering by shooting into the air. The Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party in Syria also organized a rally in al‑Malikiyah to mark the same occasion. Employees of the Asayiş demanded the party apply for authorization. After a two-hour delay, the event was allowed to proceed.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 23, 2014—On June 14, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), surrounded the office of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S) in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) and removed the name plate from above the entrance. The Asayiş explained that the party was not permitted to carry out any political activities. The PDK‑S had planned an event to mark the 57th anniversary of the founding of the first Kurdish party in Syria. The celebration could not take place.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 23, 2014—On May 29, 2014, fighters for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant kidnapped a group of more than two hundred Kurdish students. The students had just completed their ninth grade final exams in Aleppo and were on their way home to ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). While the girls were released the same day, the fate of the approximately one hundred fifty boys remains unclear. The year before, some ninth grade students from ʿAyn al‑ʿArab had passed their exams in Aleppo, but as the reports were issued by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), they were not accepted by the state.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 22, 2014—On May 28, 2014, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) prohibited farmers in the village of Tall ʿAbid, fifteen kilometers south of al‑Qamishli, from bringing in their barley and wheat harvest. The YPG laid claim to the harvest on the grounds that it had protected the village and the fields from Islamist attacks when village residents had fled [further information]. Tall ʿAbid is on the front line between al‑Qamishli and the region around Tall Hamis, which is held by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 22, 2014—On May 23, 2014, fighters for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant detained Muhammad Muhammad (b. 1988 in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab) at a checkpoint in Jubb al‑Faraj, thirty kilometers west of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). They beheaded him shortly thereafter. Muhammad was on his way to Turkey with three relatives. His companions were also initially detained; they have since been released.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 21, 2014—On June 8, 2014, sharpshooters for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant fired at a vehicle near Khurus, approximately twenty kilometers south of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). The forty-six-year-old ʿAbdulqadir Shaikh Muhammad (b. in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab) was fatally wounded. His eighteen-year-old daughter was also injured. Fighters for the Islamic State control Khurus.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 15, 2014—On June 7, 2014, at least one civilian was killed in an attack by the Syrian air force in the predominantly Kurdish district of Shaykh Maqsud in Aleppo. Additional people were injured. Other districts are bombed almost daily.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 15, 2014—On June 7, 2014, armed conflicts broke out about thirty kilometers southeast of the city of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) between fighters for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG). Reliable information about the number of victims is not available.

ShareThis

KUDWATCH, June 15, 2014—Shop owners in al‑Qamishli told KurdWatch that employees of the transitional administration for the canton of Jazirah, which was appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), have called upon them to register their businesses at the PYD’s city hall. If they don’t do so, their shops will be closed. Registering a business reportedly costs up to twenty-five thousand Syrian lira and is required in addition to registration with the Syrian authorities.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 13, 2014—On June 5, 2014, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) beat up the journalist Ibrahim ʿIsa in al‑Qamishli. The reporter for the Iraqi-Kurdish television station Waar TV was doing local research into the circumstances surrounding the death of Abdullah Haji Khalaf Qartamini [further information on the incident]. The YPG’s press spokesman, Redur Khalil, condemned the attack on the journalist in an statement on June 7. According to his statement, the perpetrators were arrested and will be punished.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 13, 2014—On June 5, 2014, Abdullah Haji Khalaf Qartamini was killed in a bomb attack in al‑Qamishli. The explosive was attached to his car. Qartamini was a member of the People’s Council of the district of Kurnish, a council appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD). The reason behind the attack is not yet known.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 9, 2014—On June 3, 2014, approximately a thousand people in ʿAmudah took part in a demonstration organized by activists and protested against the presidential elections that took place the same day. Approximately a thousand people also demonstrated in al‑Malikiyah (Dêrik) for the same reason. The Kurdish Youth Movement organized the protest. In al‑Qamishli nearly eighty people took to the streets. Youth groups with ties to the Kurdish National Council organized the demonstration.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 9, 2014—On June 22, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), refused to let several members of the Kurdish National Council depart for Turkey at the border crossing in the city of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). Those in question are Hevaron Sharif, Muhammad ʿAli ʿIsa, Ahmad Rashad, ʿAntar Ismaʿil, and Mustafa Misto.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 8, 2014—On May 28, 2014, heavy fighting occurred southwest of the city of Raʾs al‑ʿAyn (Serê Kaniyê) between fighters for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG). Among other things, the Islamists were attempting to capture the villages of Tall Bilal, Khirbat Furaysah, Tall Tulayliyah, and al‑Qundshaq. In the predominantly Arab village of Tall Tulayliyah, at least fifteen civilians, including small children and women, were killed by the Islamists before they left the village. Numerous combatants were also reportedly killed in the fighting. The YPG spoke of eighty deaths on the side of the Islamic State, however no reliable information about the exact number of victims is available. Islamic groups currently control all of the regions bordering the majority Kurdish areas of al‑Hasakah province as well as those bordering ʿAyn al‑Arab (Kobanî).

ShareThis

KUDWATCH, June 8, 2014—On May 14, 2014, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) forcibly recruited at least four residents of Khirbat Jammu, a Kurdish village ten kilometers west of Tall Tamr. Those in question are Sulayman ʿAli, Shukri ʿAzzu, ʿAbid Usi, and Mazlum ʿAzzu.

ShareThis

KUDWATCH, June 4, 2014—On May 24, 2014, PYD-affiliated organizations and members of Salih Gado’s Kurdish Democratic Left Party in Syria organized a demonstration in al‑Qamishli. They protested against the construction of a seventeen-kilometer-long trench along the Syrian-Iraqi border. The trench, which is being built by the regional government of Iraqi-Kurdistan, is intended to stem smuggling across the border as well as illegal entry and exit [further information].

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, June 2, 2014—In an interview with the Syrian TV-station Sama, Akram Hiso, chairman of the executive council of the transitional administration in the canton of Jazirah which was appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), indicated that presidential elections will also take place in PYD-controlled regions: »All Syrians have the right to exercise these activities [to vote]. We had hoped that all sides would be in agreement before elections take place.« Speaking to the same TV-station, his deputy, Husayn Aʿzam, described the presidential elections as a democratic act; every citizen had »the right to exercise his right to vote«. By contrast on May 25, 2014, the chairman of the PYD, Salih Muslim, stated to the Arab newspaper al‑Hayat that there would be no polling places in the Kurdish regions. According to Muslim, the regime has no presence there and there would be no one who could protect the polling places. At best, he said, it would be possible for the regime to set up polling places in the city of al‑Hasakah and in several of the government-controlled Arab districts in al‑Qamishli as well as at the airport there.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, May 31, 2014—On May 20, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Husayn Shahada, a member of the Kurdish National Council’s local committee, in ʿAmudah. He was released the next day. He was not given a reason for his »arrest«.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, May 31, 2014—On May 22, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), stormed the homes of numerous activists in ʿAmudah. Luqman Husayn, the deputy chairman of the Kurdish National Council’s local committee in ʿAmudah, as well as the activists Yasir Shingali, Yasir Hittu, and Ibrahim ʿAli were kidnapped in the process. They were released on May 23.

ShareThis

KUDWATCH, May 30, 2014 – On April 29, 2014, the People’s Court in ʿAfrin, an institution of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), sentenced a number of politicians to long prison terms. Bayazid Muhammad Mamo, Siamand Ibrahim Barim, and Muhammad Saʿid Muhammad ʿIsu were sentenced to ten years in prison. They are accused of committing a bomb attack on the PYD‑affiliated Center for the Union of Free Media on September 4, 2013 in ʿAfrin.
Muhiyuddin Shaikh Sidi and Muhammad Hasan Husayn were sentenced in absentia to twenty years in prison. They were charged with committing a bomb attack on a building belonging to the PYD‑affiliated organization Institutions of Civil Society [further information] on August 22, 2013 in ʿAfrin. Agid Musa Mustafa, Rasul Ismaʿil Muhammad, and Adham Anwar Khalil were sentenced to seven years in prison for a bomb attack committed on November 27, 2012 in ʿAfrin. Hanan Aslan Maʿmu, Rezan Rasul Muhammad, and Hamid Jamal were sentenced in absentia to fifteen years in prison on the same grounds. Hasan Mustafa Shandi was sentenced in absentia to twenty years in prison, Jiwan ʿAdnan Shaikhu to seven years. They are charged with a bomb attack against a PYD-affiliated women’s organization in ʿAfrin on July 4, 2012. All those convicted are members or supporters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S). They must serve their sentences in the ʿAfrin prison, which is controlled by the PYD.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, May 27, 2014—On May 9, 2014, a bomb exploded in a private house in al‑Qahtaniyah. The clay house was entirely destroyed. Ramadan Muhammad Hasan, a supporter of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), was killed in the explosion. Jasim Saʿid Hajji, also a PYD supporter, as well as another person were severely injured and were pulled from the rubble by the Asayiş, the security service of the PYD. It is unclear why the three people were in the house at the time of the explosion. The owner of the house is Lawand Husayn, a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party—Syria (PDK‑S), who currently lives in the Federal Republic of Germany. The current renters, Bashir ʿAbdulmajid Sabri and his wife Mehvana ʿAbdi, are also members of the PDK‑S. Following the incident, the Asayiş then kidnapped the two renters and their cousin ʿAli Ibrahim Musa, whom they were visiting at the time of the explosion. Mehvana ʿAbdi suffered a miscarriage under torture.
In a press conference, Kanʿan Barakat, the chairman of the Committee of Internal Affairs for the PYD-appointed transitional administration in the canton of Jazirah, accused the PDK‑S of having planned the bomb attacks on the destroyed house. According to Barakat, the intention was to attack high-ranking PYD functionaries as well as the Arab families the Syrian government had settled in the Kurdish regions. The purpose of these attacks was allegedly to provoke conflicts between Arab tribes and the PYD. According to a »confession« made by Bashir ʿAbdulmajid Sabri on Ronahî‑TV, a station of the the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), leading figures in the Iraqi-Kurdish Kurdistan Democratic Party were involved in the planning of these attacks. Activists without ties to the PYD assume that the PYD tried to make it look as if the PDK‑S is involved in terrorist activities and that the explosion occurred in an attempt to plant a bomb in the home of PDK‑S supporters. Lawand Husayn told KurdWatch: »The PYD’s accusations are unfounded. I demand an investigation of the incident by an impartial commission«.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, May 27, 2014—Between May 20 and 22 2014, fighting occurred in several districts in al‑Hasakah between the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) and militiamen from the regime-affiliated National Defense Army. Both sides defended and tried to expand their positions. On May 23, the Syrian government brokered a ceasefire. At least three fighters died on the YPG side. The exact number of victims is not known.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, May 26, 2014—On May 20, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Husayn Shahadah, a member of the Kurdish National Council’s local committee, in Amudah.

ShareThis

KUDWATCH, May 26, 2014—According to eyewitness reports, on May 5, 2014, four unknown persons kidnapped the student Azad Sherzad Dawud (b. 1984 in al‑Malikiyah) in al‑Malikiyah. Until now nothing is known about the reason behind the kidnapping. While family members are said to have ties to the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî), Dawud himself was reportedly not politically active.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, May 22, 2014—On May 10, 2014, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) recruited twelve-year-old Fatima Salim ʿAli for military service. A family member told KurdWatch: »The girl simply disappeared. Her parents are PYD supporters. However they weren’t asked if they wanted to send the girl to the military. The YPG claims that the girl decided by her own free will. Her parents are not even allowed to accompany their daughter. They were promised that after a two week training, Fatima would be allowed to return if she wants.« According to unconfirmed reports, other minors were recruited along with Fatima.

ShareThis

KUDWATCH, May 22,  2014—On May 14, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), stormed the house of Bashar Amin, a member of the politburo of the Kurdistan Democratic Party—Syria (PDK‑S), in al‑Hasakah. Wearing only pajamas, Amin was kidnapped and taken across the border to Iraqi-Kurdistan the next day.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, May 22, 2014—In early May 2014, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) forcibly recruited thirteen-year-old Rosin Muhammad Husayn. On May 14 and 15, relatives demonstrated in front of the People’s House, an institution of the People’s Council of Western Kurdistan, in ad‑Darbasiyah and demanded the girl’s return. Employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), used force to disperse the demonstration.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, May 21, 2014—On April 28, 2014, members of several Democratic Union Party (PYD) local people’s councils filed a class action in the People’s Court in al‑Qamishli, a PYD institution, against politicians, activists, and journalists who have ties to the Kurdish National Council. Among the defendants are Saʿud al‑Mullah, secretary general of the Kurdistan Democratic Party—Syria, ʿAbdulhakim Bashar and Mustafa Jumʿa, politburo members of the same party, Salah Badruddin, the former secretary of the Kurdish People’s Union Party in Syria, ʿAdila Yusuf, an employee of Zagros‑TV, as well as Dildar Midi and Dilbikhwin Dara, employees of Rûdaw‑TV. They are accused of »attacking the achievements of the people in Western Kurdistan and spreading lies«.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, May 21, 2014—On April 29, 2014, members of the Islamic Front killed Jariyan Shahin ʿUthman (b. 1998 in al‑Qahtaniyah [Tirbesipî]) in al‑Mushairifa, twenty kilometers south of al‑Qahtaniyah. ʿUthman was kidnapped on April 26. The sixteen-year-old was accused of being a high-ranking official of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) or the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, May 21, 2014—On May 9, 2014, Turkish border police brutally beat Dara Abdullah as he attempted to illegally cross the Syrian-Turkish border near al‑Malikiyah. He was subsequently sent back to Syria.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, 18, May 2014—On May 3, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Hanan Khalil Hamdush (b. 1978 in ʿAfrin, married) after a dispute with a driver in the city center of ʿAfrin. Hamdush was involved in an accident as a motorcyclist, and according to eyewitness reports he was abducted when he resisted Asayiş involvement and insulted the PYD as well as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its chairman Abdullah Öcalan. After Hamdush’s parents had unsuccessfully attempted to have him freed from Asayiş control, the body of their son was turned over to them on May 4, 2014. In a statement, the head office of the Asayiş denied accusations that it was responsible for Hamdush’s death. According to the Asayiş, Hamdush had held up several shops, shot wildly with a Kalashnikov, attacked pedestrians and demanded large sums of money from them. Moreover, he was allegedly drunk and had taken drugs. In his cell, Hamdush allegedly hit his head against the iron door and the walls until he dropped dead. According to the statement, employees of the Asayiş had tried to calm down him by offering him water, juice, and cigarettes.
KurdWatch has a photograph of the deceased in which serious facial injuries are recognizable, though not around the forehead. This contradicts the statement that he committed suicide by hitting his head against the wall. Along with facial injuries, the deceased also had very severe injuries to his hands. In addition, soil was allegedly found in his mouth. KurdWatch assumes that Hamdush’s torturers »stuffed« his mouth so that he would never again criticize the PYD/PKK or Abdullah Öcalan.
Hamdush had gotten married just one day before his arrest.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, May 17, 2014—On April 12, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Dildar Hammu, an employee of ARK‑TV (Azadiya Rojavayê Kurdistan = »Freedom for Western Kurdistan«). Hammu is a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party—Syria; the station is also affiliated with the party. For several weeks, journalists not affiliated with the PYD and members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party—Syria have been persecuted by the PYD. Hammu is still in custody.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, May 14, 2014—On May 9, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), denied Saʿud al‑Mullah, the secretary general of the Kurdistan Democratic Party—Syria, and two of his relatives entry into Syria at the Turkish-Syrian border near ad‑Darbasiyah.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, May 14, 2014—On the night of May 5, 2014, unknown persons set fire to the office of the Kurdistan Democratic Party—Syria in al‑Jawadiyah (Çil Axa). Writing was found on the outside walls, including: »We will bury you in your trench«. This refers to the trench that the regional government of Iraqi-Kurdistan is currently digging in order to better control the border between Iraq and Syria. The trench has been heavily criticized by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) [further information].

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, May 13, 2014—On April 18, 2014, several armed persons attacked and attempted to abduct Rakan ʿAbdi, a member of the local committee of the Kurdish National Council, on a public street in Raʾs al‑ʿAyn (Serê Kaniyê). A scuffle ensued. When passersby noticed what was happening, the attackers fled.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, May 10, 2014— On April 27, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Muhammad ʿUsama Muhammad Salih Ahmad and Muhammad Salim Faris Sulayman, both members of a youth group SAWA‑Coalition in ad‑Darbasiyah.ʿUsama leads the Mandela House in al‑Qamishli, a meeting place for activists. According to unconfirmed sources, the two wanted to meet Bariʾ ʿAbdullatif, an activist from Aleppo. ʿAbdullatif had been detained by the PYD’s People’s Defense Units (YPG) a few days earlier when attempting to enter Syria from Turkey. All three were released on May 3, 2014.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, May 7, 2014—On April 26, 2014, shots were fired at a state security service vehicle in the center of al‑Qamishli. Employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), rushed to the crime scene from a nearby Asayiş building. They cordoned off the crime scene for several hours. The reason behind the act is unknown. At the same time, there was a break in at a technical college for industrial occupations about five hundred meters away. Eyewitnesses reported that the burglars loaded rotary cutters, saws, and other valuable technical equipment into a truck. It is unclear whether there is a connection between the two events.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, May 7, 2014—On April 29, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), once again detained four members of the newly founded Kurdistan Democratic Party—Syria [further information] at the Iraqi-Syrian border near al–Malikiyah. The politicians were returning from the party’s founding congress in Iraqi-Kurdistan. Those detained were Janda ʿAbdulhamid Bashar, Samira Hajo Hami, Ahin Muhammad Bashar, and Muhammad Bashar. They had tried to cross the border by bypassing the PYD border post and were forced to return to Iraqi-Kurdistan. Employees of the Asayiş physically assaulted Janda ʿAbdulhamid Bashar.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, May 7, 2014—On April 24, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), stormed the home of Jomard Hamdush, a journalist for the Iraqi-Kurdish television channel Rûdaw and a founding member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party—Syria, in ʿAfrin. They did not, however, find Hamdush at home. Only a few days earlier, two additional journalists were abducted to Iraqi-Kurdistan by a PYD‑affiliated organization [further information]. In a telephone conversation with KurdWatch, Hamdush said that: »I had to leave the country. I had received information that the PYD had decided to drive out all Rûdaw journalists from the country«.

ShareThis

KUDWATCH, May 6, 2014—Between May 20 and May 25  2014, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) carried out raids in numerous homes in ʿAmudah. Saʿdun Masʿud Saʿid Zali, Hatim Amki, Tariq und ʿAmir ʿAzu, Muhammad Faysal Jamal, Ibrahim Fawaz Husayn, sixteen-year-old Muhammad ʿAbdulghani Mustafa and others were kidnapped. The kidnapped are former YPG‑fighters who decided to leave the YPG.

ShareThis

KUDWATCH, May 2, 2014—On April 23, 2014, about two hundred people took part in a memorial demonstration to mark the anniversary of the massacre of Assyrians, Armenians, and other Christian minorities in the Ottoman Empire in 1915. The Assyrian Democratic Organization organized the demonstration. Supporters of the Kurdish National Council and the People’s Council of Western Kurdistan also took part in the memorial event.

ShareThis

KUDWATCH, May 1, 2014—From April 16 to April 19,  2014, hundreds of supporters of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) crossed the border to Iraqi-Kurdistan to protest against the construction of a seventeen kilometer long trench. The regional administration of Iraqi-Kurdistan is digging the trench to curtail smuggling and illegal travel into and out of the country.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, April 30, 2014—On April 21, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), detained fourteen members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party—Syria [further information] at the Iraqi-Kurdish border near al‑Malikiyah. The politicians were returning from the party’s founding congress [further information] in Iraqi-Kurdistan. They had tried to cross the border while trying to avoid the PYD’s border post. The central committee member Salih Jamil was among those detained. He and six additional people were forced to return to Iraqi-Kurdistan. The Asayiş had already arbitrarily denied entry to founding members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party—Syria on April 15, 2014 [further information].

ShareThis

KUDWATCH, April 30, 2014—On April 17, 2014, several people were wounded when a bomb exploded near a building of the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) in al‑Hasakah. The bomb was attached to a motorcycle. At this point nothing is known about the reasons behind the attack.

ShareThis

KUDWATCH, April 30, 2014—On April 24, 2014, several people were killed when two car bombs exploded in Raʾs al‑ʿAyn (Serê Kaniyê). The first explosion took place in the city center, the second near a building of the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG). The reasons behind the attacks are unknown.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, April 30, 2014—On 23. April 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Muhammad Mahmud Bashar, a journalist for the Iraqi-Kurdish television station Rûdaw. Only a few days earlier, members of a PYD‑affiliated organization had abducted two other journalists to Iraqi-Kurdistan [further information]. Bashar was released on April 28, 2014.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, April 29, 2014—On April 14, 2014, several armed persons shot Faisal Hasan Muhammad (married, four children) in Khirbat as‑Sam near al‑Qahtaniyah (Tirbesipî). A few hours later he succumbed to his injuries. Before his death Muhammad is said to have provided detailed information about his perpetrators. They are allegedly from a neighboring village and are members of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. Muhammad himself was politically close to the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, April 28, 2014—On April 21, 2014, unknown persons set fire to the house of Mahmud ʿAziz, member of the newly founded Kurdistan Democratic Party—Syria, in the village of Zarkawtak, forty kilometers west of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). Large parts of the house were destroyed. No one was injured since the ʿAziz family was at a wedding celebration at the time of the attack.

ShareThis

KUDWATCH, April 27, 2014—On April 19, 2014, members of the PYD-affiliated Institution for Families of Martyrs kidnapped Muhammad Bashar Bahlawi alias Peshawa Bahlawi (b. 1988 in al‑Qamishli), a journalist for the Iraqi-Kurdish television station Rûdaw, and Rodî Ibrahim, a journalist for the oppositional Syrian television station, Orient. The two journalists were kidnapped in al‑Qamishli. Nine hours later they were both released in Iraqi-Kurdistan. Bashar Bahlawi, a relative of the journalist for Rûdaw told KurdWatch: »The two were kidnapped by six people. There were death threats should they return from Iraqi-Kurdistan.«

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, April 27, 2014—On April 15, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), detained seventeen members of the newly founded Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria [further information] upon their return from the founding congress in Iraqi-Kurdistan. The politicians had attempted to cross the border beyond the PYD-controlled checkpoints. Seven of those detained were refused entry and they were immediately forced to return to Iraqi-Kurdistan. Ten additional party members, including central committee member Haji Kalo, had been initially kidnapped. Three days later they were also forced to return to Iraqi-Kurdistan. All of those expelled are Syrian citizens.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, April 25, 2014—On April 6, 2014, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) instructed employees of the Justice of the Peace Court in al‑Qahtaniyah (Tirbesipî) to leave the building. On 9. April the building was turned over to the PYD. It has yet to be determined whether another building in al‑Qahtaniyah will be converted into a Justice of the Peace Court.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, April 24, 2014—On April 8, 2014, fifteen-year-old Hanan Farhad Haj Yunis left the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG). Four days later, the mother of the former fighter, Jamilah ʿAli Kikiya, was held for several hours by the YPG. After her release, Hanan’s father, Farhad Haj Yunis, and her brother, Rashad Haj Yunis, were kidnapped by YPG fighters. According to residents of the village, the YPG is demanding either the daughter’s return to the YPG or the recruitment of any other family member.

ShareThis

KUDWATCH, April 20, 2014—In recent weeks, the transitional government appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) has deployed its own traffic police in al‑Qamishli and other Kurdish cities. They have forced the owners of motorcycles to install new license plates or face fines. The new plates bear the abbreviation, RKSYR: RK stands for Rojava Kurdistan (»Western Kurdistan«), the PYD’s designation for Syria’s Kurdish regions. At the same time, the Syrian government’s traffic police continue to perform their duties, particularly in the center of al‑Qamishli. The new license plates are tolerated.

ShareThis

KUDWATCH, April 17, 2014—On April 8, 2014, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) imposed a curfew in al‑Qahtaniyah (Tirbesipî). The curfew was announced over the loudspeakers at mosques and was accompanied by sirens. At the same time, raids began in the mainly Arab districts. Arab activists have published a list of approximately seventy names of people who were allegedly kidnapped by the PYD.

ShareThis

KUDWATCH, April 15, 2014—On April 7, 2014, approximately three hundred supporters of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) took part in an anti-regime demonstration in al‑Qamishli on the day that marked the founding of the Baʿth party on April 7, 1947. At the demonstration, protestors labeled the Baʿth party as synonymous for oppression and as an enemy of the rights of the Kurds. Given the PYD’s means of mobilizing supporters, the number of demonstrators was small.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, April 14, 2014—Four members of the newly elected central committee of the Kurdistan Democratic Party—Syria, which is comprised of a total of fifty-one people, are women. A fifth woman, Najah Afandi, a former member of Mustafa Jumʿa’s Kurdish Freedom Party in Syria (Azadî), also received enough votes. She was rejected on the grounds that the maximum number of women on the central committee had been reached at four.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, April 14, 2014—Between April 3 and April 5, 2014, approximately 650 delegates of ʿAbdulhakim Bashar’s Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (el‑Partî), Mustafa Jumʿa’s Kurdish Freedom Party in Syria (Azadî), Mustafa Oso’s Kurdish Freedom Party in Syria (Azadî), and the Kurdistani Union Party in Syria held a conference in Erbil and formed a new party. The four parties were dissolved and then merged as the Kurdistan Democratic Party — Syria. During the conference a central committee of thirty elected and twenty-one appointed members was formed. In its first session on April 6, the central committee elected Saʿud al‑Mulla, a former member of el‑Partî, as the new secretary general. A seventeen-member politburo was also elected.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, April 13, 2014—On April 2, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Bahjat Shaikho, a member of the Central Committee of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî), as well as his cousin Kamiran Shaikho, a member of the Yekîtî’s local committee in Tall Tamr. The kidnapped victims were released on April 3. Employees of the PYD-led city hall of Tall Tamr had requested that Kamiran Shaiko pay a »business tax«. He initially complied with this request, but asked for his money back after he was told at the city hall run by the Baʿth government that he must also pay taxes there. In cities with a mix of Kurdish and Arab residents, such as Tall Tamr, al‑Qamishli, and al‑Hasakah, Baʿth government institutions exist parallel to PYD institutions. In contrast, in predominantly Kurdish cities, there are only PYD structures.

ShareThis

KUDWATCH, April 11, 2014—On April 6, 2014, a demonstration took place in al‑Qamishli to mark the founding of the Baʿath party on April 7, 1947. Along with party members, hundreds of school students and state workers were once again required to participate.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, April 11, 2014—Employees of the transitional administration in the canton of Jazirah, which was appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), regularly compel donations. A bakery owner told KurdWatch: »For nearly six months I’ve had to pay thousand and five hundred Syrian lira each month. If I don’t pay, I won’t receive any flour or diesel. I would then have to close my shop.« The distribution of flour and diesel in al‑Qamishli is currently administered by the Democratic Union Party (PYD). Donation receipts from the Directorate for Services issued specifically for bakeries were published on the Internet. However, these do not make clear to whom the donations were paid.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, April 10, 2014—Between March 22 and March 26 2014, serious armed conflict broke out west of the city of Tall Abyad between fighters for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant on the one side and fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) and the Kurdish Front Brigade on the other. At least eight YPG‑fighters were killed; however, exact information on the total number of victims is not available.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, April 10, 2014—At the end of March 2014, fighters for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant called on Kurdish families in Tall Abyad to leave their homes. Several dozen families subsequently fled to Turkey. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant controls the city of Tall Abyad.

ShareThis

KUDWATCH, April 7, 2014—On March 26, 2014, two fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) were killed by a car bomb at a YPG checkpoint south of the city of al‑Qahtaniyah (Tirbesipî). Many more were injured.

ShareThis

KUDWATCH, April 6, 2014—On March 27, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), broke up a demonstration by the Kurdish National Council in ad‑Darbasiyah and confiscated the public address system. The justification for this was that allegedly no authorization for the demonstration had been obtained from the Asayiş. The demonstration was directed at attacks by Islamist groups on ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî).

ShareThis

KUDWATCH, April 5, 2014—On March 26, 2014, another solidarity rally for the Syrian government took place in al-Qamishli. Along with members of the ruling Baʿth party, hundreds of school students and state workers were required to participate.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, March 31, 2014—On March 16, 2014, supporters of the Kurdish National Council organized a rally in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) to mark the third anniversary of the Syrian revolution. The demonstrators (estimated between 1,000 and 1,500) demanded the fall of the regime.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, March 31, 2014—Since March 17, 2014, heavy fighting is taking place south and west of the city ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) between fighters for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, and fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) together with Free Syrian Army (FSA)fighters. There is said to be numerous dead and injured on both sides.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, March 31,  2014—On March 17, 2014, members of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Fauzi Majno, the director of the Amir-Ghobari-School, his son, five female students between the ages of thirteen and sixteen, as well as the brother of one of the students. The director and the students had taken part in a rally in ʿAfrin on March 16, 2014 to commemorate the victims of the poison gas attack on Halabja (Iraqi-Kurdistan) twenty-five years ago. The students were accused of possessing marijuana. On March 18, those kidnapped were released. During the kidnapping, Fauzi Majno was tortured.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, March 26, 2014—On March 14, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped the secretary of the Democratic and Kurdistani Union of Students and Youth, Hajar Hasan, as well as the Union member Hozan Shalal in al‑Jawadiyah. On March 15, both were released. They were accused of having organized an event to mark the birthday of Mustafa Barzani without first applying for authorization from the Asayiş.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, March 26, 2014—On March 19, 2014, several masked persons kidnapped Rahman ʿAbdussalam Haso (b. 1993 in ʿAmudah), employee of the Iraqi-Kurdish television station Zagros and member of the Cooperation of the Youth of ʿAmudah. Haso’s eyes were bound and he was tortured. Nine hours later he was released. Haso told KurdWatch: »The kidnappers spoke Kurdish. They interrogated me because of my activities with the Cooperation of the Youth. I’m not exactly sure who they were.« The kidnapping is consistent with the manner in which the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its security service, Asayiş, treat activists in order to intimidate them.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, March 25, 2014—On March 14, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), prohibited members of ʿAbdulhakim Bashar’s Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (el‑Partî) from building a stage in a public square in al‑Qamishli. A commemoration ceremony was to be held there to mark the birthday of the Iraqi-Kurdish leader Mustafa Barzani. The reason given for banning the event was that the organizers did not apply for the appropriate authorization from the Asayiş. The PYD claims to exercise legitimate state authority, however, this is not recognized by the parties of the Kurdish National Council.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, March 21, 2014—On February 28, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Sidu Sidu, a member of the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party in Syria’s local committee in ʿAfrin. Sidu was released a day later.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, March 21, 2014—On March 4, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Ayman Mustafa Daqori (b. 1968 in ʿAmudah, married, four children). Daqori is an activist and works at the ʿAmudah Youth Center for Culture and Art. He had prevented employees of the Asayiş from raising the flag of a PYD‑affiliated organization at his residence. Daqori was released on March 5. He told KurdWatch: »My arrest has a political context. What is at issue is that I do youth work. That I refused to raise the flag at my house was only a pretext.«

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, March 20, 2014—On March 12, 2014, Kurdish organizations in all large cities in the mainly Kurdish-settled regions commemorated the 2004 al‑Qamishli uprising [download report]. Tens of thousands participated in the peaceful demonstrations. In ʿAmudah, supporters of the Kurdish National Council organized a rally. It was the first demonstration in the city since June 2013, when the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) gunned down demonstrators there [further information].

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, March 20, 2014—On March 11, 2014, unknown armed persons shot at coach buses belonging to a Kurdish bus company. The attacks occurred about one hundred kilometers west of the city of ar‑Raqqah. The buses in question belonged to the three firms Jiwan, Iman, and Dijlah, which have their central office in al‑Qamishli. At least two people were killed in the attacks and dozens were injured.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, March 16, 2014—On March 8, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), stopped an event for International Women’s Day in ad‑Darbasiyah. The Asayiş had not authorized the event, which had been organized by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria (Democratic Yekîtî).

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, March 12, 2014—On March 6, 2014, unknown persons in ʿAmudah burned down the office of the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party in Syria. Prior to the attack, the leadership of the Progressive Party, which had thus far maintained good relations with the PYD, had repeatedly criticized PYD politics, particularly during the failed peace talks in Geneva.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, March 12, 2014—In late February and early March, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) prevented dozens of members of the parties of the Kurdish Democratic Political Union—Syria [further information] from passing through the Faysh Khabur border crossing to Iraqi-Kurdistan. The delegates wanted to take part in the founding conference of a new party, which is to be formed from the four member parties of the Political Union. The conference, scheduled for March 3, was postponed.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, March 7, 2014—On February 25, 2014, unknown persons in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) tore down the Kurdish flag and the flag of the Syrian revolution, which had been raised on the roof of the office of Nasruddin Ibrahim’s Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (el‑Partî), and burned them. In addition, insults were scrawled on building walls and the members of the party were declared traitors.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, March 6, 2014—On February 26, 2014, the General Leadership of the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) announced that the YPG is ceasing all of its military operations. The decision was reportedly made by the order of the transitional administration and its defense committee. According to the statement, the YPG is to be restructured and geared exclusively toward defense.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, March 6, 2014—On February 28, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), asked the Kurdish National Council’s local committee in ad‑Darbasiyah to obtain authorization from them for the planned ceremonies to mark the anniversary of the death of Iraqi-Kurdish leader Mustafa Barzani on March 1, 2014. If this were not done those responsible for the event were to be held accountable. The Kurdish National Council’s committee rejected the request. The ceremonies took place on March 1 under the strong presence of the Asayiş, but without any clashes. The Kurdish National Council also commemorated the anniversary of Barzani’s death in other large cities in the predominantly Kurdish regions.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, March 3, 2014—On March 1, 2014, mosques in the Arab districts of al‑Hasakah called for a fight against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party  (PKK) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) via loudspeaker. The call was in reaction to the capture of the Arab city of Tall Birak by fighters for the PYD’s People’s Defense Units (YPG) [further information]. The YPG established numerous checkpoints around the Kurdish districts under its control. No incidents were reported.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, March 3, 2014—On February 21, 2014, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) started a major offensive in Tall Birak (fifty kilometers south of al‑Qamishli) against units of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. The YPG was able to capture the city that same day. The exact information about the number of those killed in combat is not available. Reports of the YPG slaughtering civilians could not be confirmed.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, March 1, 2014—On February 6, 2014, the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), detained Farhad Hame (employee of the Iraqi-Kurdish television station Rûdaw) and Faruq Tikhubi (employee of the Syrian television station Orient) for an hour in ʿAmudah, because neither of the journalists had obtained accreditation from the PYD. Both men wanted to report on a newly established children’s aid organization.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, February 27, 2014—On February 18, 2014, several thousand members of Arab tribes gathered in Tall Hamis. Two speakers, including a member of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, called for a fight against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as well as against the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG). »We promise to burn down al‑Qamishli over their heads«, one of the speakers said. Both speakers explained that they represented the large Arab Tai and Jabbur tribes.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, 27. February 2014—On February 17, 2014, members of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) forced all businessmen in the center of the city of al‑Qamishli to close their stores for several hours. The reason given was the burial of the fighters for the PYD’s People’s Defense Units (YPG) who were killed the previous day in al‑Dschazʿa [further information]. A storeowner told KurdWatch: »The funeral march didn’t even pass through our street. The closure cost us a lot of money. No one dares to go against the PYD’s demands; our livelihoods are at stake. Who will help me if my shop is destroyed, looted or even burned to the ground over night?«

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, February 27, 2014—In reaction to the demonstration organized by the Syrian government on February 19, 2014 [further information], the general committee of the Kurdish Youth (a member organization of the Kurdish National Council) organized a rally on February 21 in al‑Qamishli. The approximately two hundred people who took part in the event demanded the fall of the regime.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, February 27, 2014—On February 19, 2014, a demonstration by regime supporters took place in al‑Qamishli. Hundreds of students and state employees were forced to take part. Activists expressed their outrage to KurdWatch at the fact that the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) prohibits demonstrations by Kurdish organizations, but did not prevent a rally by the regime, even though the majority of the demonstrators were forced to participate.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, February 26, 2014—On February 18, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), occupied the rooms of the private radio station ARTA FM in ʿAmudah. They demanded that the majority of the employees leave their workplaces, and the offices were subsequently searched. The regular broadcast was taken off air, and only music could be broadcast. On February 20, the regular programming could be resumed. The Asayiş justified the measures against ARTA FM by claiming that an additional unauthorized radio station, Radio MICT, was broadcasting from the rooms. Although the administration of ARTA FM presented the PYD with a corresponding authorization, the broadcasting of Radio MICT was cut off. Prior to the closure, employees of ARTA FM had accused the director of the station, Sirwan Hajj Husayn, of corruption and self-enrichment. Hajj Husayn denied the accusations.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, February 26, 2014—On February 6, 2014, several fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) were killed in a car bomb explosion at a YPG‑checkpoint near al-Ghazzawiyah (twenty kilometers south of ʿAfrin).

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, February 24, 2014—On February 16, 2014, after heavy fighting with units of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant as well as units of the Free Syrian Army, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) captured the Arab town of al‑Jazʿah, located ten kilometers west of al‑Yaʿrubiya (Tel Koçer). According to statements made by the organization, at least thirty-six YPG fighters were killed. There is no reliable information about the actual number of victims on each side.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, February 24, 2014—On February 15, 2014, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) organized demonstrations in all large cities in the mainly Kurdish regions to mark the anniversary of PKK‑leader Abdullah Öcalan’s arrest. Thousands participated in the demonstrations. In many places, in particular ʿAmudah, al‑Qahtaniyah (Tirbesipî), al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê), and al‑Malikiyah (Dêrik), PYD‑members called on all shop owners via loudspeaker to close their shops. In case of non-compliance, they threatened to »enforce [the closure] with revolutionaries«.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, February 21, 2014—On February 14, 2014, at least three people were injured in a car bomb explosion in al‑Qahtaniyah (Tirbesipî). The reason behind the explosion is unknown.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, February 20, 2014—From February, 13 to February 15, 2014, heavy fighting took place between the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and government troops in the Arab residential district of Ghuwayran in al‑Hasakah. The Syrian army attacked apartment buildings with surface-to-surface missiles. The majority of the civilian population had already left the contested district on the first day of fighting. The district is currently controlled by the FSA; smaller skirmishes continue to take place. Ghuwayran is considered the center of Arab resistance to the regime in the city of al‑Hasakah.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, February 20, 2014—On February 9, 2014, the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) transitional government released an official statement via the city hall of ad‑Darbasiyah that makes any unauthorized building activity a punishable offense. The PYD issues building licenses for a fee.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, February 20, 2014—On January 30, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Muhammad ʿArif Jamo, Salah Hamid Jamo, Sarbast ʿAbdu Jamo, and Khabat Muhammad Jamo in ʿUmarli (Omera), thirty kilometers north of ʿAfrin. Ahmad Horik Dschamo was able to flee to Turkey. The five men are cousins and are members of ʿAbdulhakim Bashar’s Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (el‑Partî).

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, February 19, 2014—On February 11, 2014, members of the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) transitional government in ad‑Darbasiyah summoned all shop owners by court order to license their shops at the city hall of ad‑Darbasiyah within one day in accordance with the Law of Rojava (»West«, meaning Syrian-Kurdistan). It is unclear what is meant by the »Law of Rojava«. Presumably it concerns the »Constitution of Western Kurdistan«, which was formulated by the PYD and has not yet been published.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, February 13, 2014—On February 8, 2014, a driver was killed when an explosive device placed at a roadside in al‑Qamishli detonated. The reason behind the explosion is not yet known.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, February 13, 2014—On February 7, 2014, several hundred supporters of the Kurdish National Council demonstrated in al‑Qamishli. Most notably, among the participants in the demonstration were members of the youth groups associated with the National Council. The demonstrators called for the resolution of the Kurdish question within the framework of the Geneva peace talks and pledged their support to the Kurdish National Council’s representatives.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, February 11, 2014—On January 27 and 28 as well as on February 2, 2014, fighting occurred west of the city of Tall Abyad (Girê Sipî) between fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) and units of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. The Islamic State controls the city of Tall Abyad, while the YPG is dominant in several Kurdish villages west of the city. There are several dead and injured. The exact number is not known.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, February 10, 2014—On January 22, 2014, several dozen supporters of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî) took part in a rally in Tall Tamr. The participants called for »Federalism for Syrian-Kurdistan« and declared their support for the representatives of the Kurdish National Council at the peace talks in Geneva.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, February 9, 2014—On January 22, 23 and 24, the Kurdish Youth Movement organized demonstrations in al‑Qahtaniyah (Tirbesipî), al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê), al‑Jawadiyah (Çil Axa), al‑Malikiyah (Dêrik), and ʿAfrin. Hundreds of its supporters took part in the rallies, during which support was pledged for representatives of the Kurdish National Council at the peace talks and calls were made for the »recognition of the rights of the Kurds in Geneva«.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, February 9, 2014—On February 2, 2014, the General Secretariat of the Kurdish National Council expelled those of its members who are participating in the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) transitional administration. Those affected are Muhammad Musa Muhammad’s Kurdish Left Party in Syria (formerly Kurdish Left Party in Syria [Congress]), Salih Gado’s Kurdish Democratic Left Party in Syria (formerly the Kurdish Left Party in Syria [Central Committee]), as well as the independent member Akram Hiso.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, February 8, 2014—On January 24, 2014, employees of the State Security Service arrested Ahmad Muhammad ʿAbbas (b. in ʿAyn alȁʿArab [Kobanî]) in a hotel in al‑Qamishli. ʿAbbas had been working in Iraqi-Kurdistan and was heading home toward ʿAyn al‑ʿArab. The reasons behind his arrest are not yet known.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, February 4, 2014—On January 29, 2014, members of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Mamduh Muhammad Khalil (b. 1966 in ʿAmudah, married, six children) in ʿAmudah. Khalil is a member of ʿAbdulhakim Bashar’s Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (el-Partî).

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, February 4, 2014—On January 23, 2014, three passersby were killed in a car bomb explosion in al‑Malikiyah (Dêrik). Additional people were injured. The reason behind the attack is unknown.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, February 3, 2014—On January 15, 2014, as part of the mass burial for the fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (PYD) who were killed in Tall Hamis and Tall Birak [further information], fifteen-year-old Dalil Riyad Qasim Khalil (b. in al‑Qamishli) was also laid to rest. His official burial by the PYD confirms that the YPG is also recruiting child soldiers.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, January 28, 2014—On January 21, 2014, unidentified people in al‑Malikiyah (Dêrik) fired at the office of ʿAbdulhakim Bashar’s Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (el‑Partî).

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, January 28, 2014—In the night from January 23to the night of January 24,  2014, unidentified people set on fire and destroyed the Kurdish National Council office in al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê). The local committee of the Kurdish National Council condemned the attack in a statement.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, January 26, 2014—On January 20, 2014, several dozen supporters of the Kurdish National Council took part in a rally in ad‑Darbasiyah. The participants called for »Federalism for Syrian-Kurdistan« and declared their support for the representatives of the Kurdish National Council in the peace talks in Geneva.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, January 25, 2014—On January 15, 2014, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) organized a funeral procession for thirty-nine fighters in its People’s Defense Units (YPG) who were killed in Tall Hamis und Tall Birak. About a dozen additional fighters had already been laid to rest at other locations. The YPG has not yet commented on the total number of its fighters killed in Tall Hamis and Tall Birak [further information]. In the speeches held during the funeral procession, the parties of the Kurdish National Council were described as »traitors«. They were accused of not taking a clear enough stance against the Islamists in Tall Birak and Tall Hamis and thus being complicit in the deaths of the YPG‑fighters.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, January 23, 2014—On January 17, 2014, the National Organization of Kurdish Youth called for people to take to the streets in al‑Qamishli to protest for the release of their member Amir Hamid Ahmad, who was kidnapped by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) [further information], as well as for the release of all Kurdish prisoners in the regime’s prisons. Instead, that same day, it organized a joint protest with a PYD‑affiliated youth organization, in which several dozen activists took part. Although the organizers had agreed not to carry flags, numerous PYD‑flags were visible. Also on January 17, two demonstrations by the Kurdish Youth Movement took place in al‑Qamishli and al‑Malikiyah (Dêrik). Several thousand activists participated in al‑Qamishli. The participants in both demonstrations called for the release of Kurdish prisoners from regime prisons.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, January 23, 2014—On January 12, 2014, the al‑Qamishli airport was shelled with surface-to-surface missiles that were presumably fired from several Arab villages under Islamist control south of the city. At least three missiles struck nearby residential districts. A house was destroyed and one man suffered minor injuries.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, January 22, 2014—After the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) had to withdraw from Tall Hamis and Tall Birak [further information], Islamist units unsuccessfully tried to capture several villages between Tall Birak and al‑Qamishli on January 7, 2014. The villages in question include the Arab and Kurdish-inhabited villages of Tall ʿAmir and Tall Dahab (approximately twenty-five kilometers south of al‑Qamishli).

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, January 21, 2014—On December 31, 2013, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) broke up a rally in ʿAfrin shortly after it began. Between forty and fifty activists had gathered and shouted slogans that were critical of the regime. The Cooperation of Students from ʿAfrin, the Azadî Cooperation from ʿAfrin, and the Youth Cooperation from ʿAfrin called for the demonstration. According to unconfirmed rumors, there were kidnappings by the Asayiş, the security service of the PYD.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, January 19, 2014—On January 12, 2014, the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Amir Hamid Ahmad (b. 1976, married, five children), a member of the National Organization of Kurdish Youth.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, January 16, 2014—On December 31, 2013, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), occupied an event hall in al‑Malikiyah. Prior to this they had repeatedly called upon the tenant to pay nine hundred fifty thousand Syrian liras in rent to the Asayiş. The tenant Ismail Mustafa Haji, a member of 'Abdulhakim Bashar's Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (el-Partî), told KurdWatch: »The rental hall costs three hundred fifty thousand Syrian liras per year. Since I have invested a lot in renovations, city hall has thus far dispensed with the rent. The PYD did not even want to give me a receipt.«

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, January 16, 2014—On January 13, 2014, employees of the State Security Service arrested Muhammad Bashar Bahlawi, alias Peshawa Bahlawi (b. 1988 in al‑Qamishli), a journalist for the Iraqi-Kurdish television station Rudaw, in al‑Qamishli. The Democratic Union Party (PYD) stated that it wanted to take a stand for his release – thus far without success. Rudaw regularly reports from a critical perspective on the PYD’s activities.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, January 16, 2014—On January 7, 2014, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) re-opened the Faysh Khabur (Sê Malka) border crossing east of al‑Malikiyah (Dêrik). People appointed by the People’s Council of Western Kurdistan as well as by the Kurdish National Council are acting as border officials.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, January 11, 2014—On January 7, 2014, the General Leadership of the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) gave a statement declaring an end to the offensive in Tall Hamis and Tall Birak. According to the statement, the goal of the offensive was not the capture and liberation of the two cities, but rather the weakening and deterrence of radical forces. According to several sources, several dozen YPG fighters were killed in the clashes. The already relatively weak units of the National Defense Army (a regime militia) had already withdrawn from the hostilities a few days after the beginning of the operation. Moreover, the regime did not carry out air attacks as planned. It is presumed that this was in order to avoid large numbers of victims among the region’s Arab tribes, which are allies of the regime. An activist told KurdWatch: »We do not believe that the PYD fought in Tall Hamis and Tall Birak to weaken the Islamists. Tall Hamis and Tall Birak are predominantly Arab regions and not of interest to the PYD. The PYD typically fights against the Islamists if they challenge its claim to power in the Kurdish regions. They fought there because the regime summoned them.« Not only fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant fought against the YPG in Tall Hamis, but also units with close ties to Free Syrian Army, such as the Ahrar al‑Sham. In contrast, in cities like Aleppo, Idlib, and ar‑Raqqah, FSA-affiliated units fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, January 10, 2014—On January 1, 2014 the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party  (PYD), in »Executive Decision No. 2« provided its branches with written instructions to call on the various political parties, especially the PYD, to turn over the state‑owned buildings under their control to the Asayiş. When the Syrian regime withdrew from the Kurdish regions in mid‑2012, the PYD as well as most of the parties of the Kurdish National Council took over state-owned buildings, which they have been using ever since.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, January 10, 2014—On January 1, 2014, the General Leadership of the Asayiş in Western Kurdistan applied »Executive Decision No. 1« to order its checkpoints to stop the distribution of relief supplies if the responsible organizations do not have authorization from the Supreme Kurdish Committee. The Supreme Kurdish Committee, a coalition of the Kurdish National Council and the People’s Council of Western Kurdistan, has been inactive for almost a year. The decision is being justified with the fact that numerous relief supplies have fallen into the hands of Islamist groups.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, January 9, 2014—On December 31, 2013, the General Leadership of the Asayiş in Western Kurdistan signed an amnesty decree in ʿAmudah, according to which hundreds of people detained by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) are to be released. Christmas, New Year, and the Yazidi Îda Êzî‑Festival are allegedly the reasons for the decree. Ciwan Ibrahim, chairman of the Asayiş, told a PYD‑affiliated news agency that more than 300 prisoners were released. After the Erbil agreement with the Kurdish National Council, all PYD political prisoners were supposed to be released. Shortly after the conclusion of the agreement, however, several PYD politicians claimed that only criminals were held in the prisons of the Asayiş, not political prisoners.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, January 7, 2014—On December 28,  2013, units of the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG), the National Defense Army (a regime militia), and the Syrian Army started a major military offensive against Islamist units near Tall Hamis (forty kilometers south of al‑Qamishli) and Tall Birak (thirty kilometers west of Tall Hamis). In the days that followed, they captured several villages in the area. Although Syrian state television broadcast video recordings the fights, the YPG denies any cooperation with the regime. According to unconfirmed information, there are said to be dozens of casualties on both sides. The affected region is primarily inhabited by Arab tribes.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, January 5, 2014—On December 23, 2013, clashes took place between Islamist units and units of the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) near Khirbat al-Banat (twenty-five kilometers west of Raʾs al‑ʿAyn [Serê Kaniyê]). At least two YPG fighters were killed in the clashes. Further information on the number of casualties is not available.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, January 2, 2014—On December 28, 2013, Khalid Tamo, assistant to the chairman of the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Committee, was injured when an explosive device placed underneath his car exploded in the district of Qudurbak in al‑Qamishli. The reasons behind the attack are unknown.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, January 2, 2014—On December 25, 2013, about a dozen people were injured when a car bomb exploded at the ʿAfrin bus station. The reasons behind the explosion are unknown.

ShareThis

KURDWATCH, January 1, 2014—On December 24, 2013, representatives of the Kurdish National Council and the People’s Council of Western Kurdistan concluded their seven day talks without finding concrete solutions for most pending problems. They agreed upon a partial opening of the Faysh Khabur border crossing, the release of all political prisoners by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), and the formation of an eleven-member committee of jurists to investigate, among other things, the incidents in ʿAmudah [further information]. Furthermore, it was agreed that all parties should be guaranteed the right to free activity. It remained unclear how these demands will be implemented, given the fact that the People’s Council of Western Kurdistan has thus far failed to observe any of the agreements made in Erbil [further information]. According to Mustafa Jumʿa, secretary of the Kurdish Freedom Party in Syria (Azadî), the People’s Council of Western Kurdistan was seeking, for one, the unconditional recognition of its transitional administration by the Kurdish National Council and additionally the reactivation of the Supreme Kurdish Committee, which is comprised of representatives from the Kurdish National Council and the People’s Council, and the participation of the committee’s representatives in the upcoming peace conference in Geneva. In reality, all that was agreed upon was the following formulation: »If the entire Syrian opposition is to be at odds while participating in Geneva, then both of the Kurdish councils also have the right to participate. If a united opposition alliance should negotiate with the regime, however, the PYD must join the opposition. If it either cannot or will not do this, the Kurdish National Council may also speak on behalf of the People’s Council in Geneva.« Ultimately, the People’s Council in Western Kurdistan was able to prevail in Erbil insofar as the Kurdish National Council fundamentally supports its participation in Geneva. Otherwise, the Faysh Khabur border crossing has not yet been reopened, nor have political prisoners been released. An activist stated to KurdWatch: »The PYD will claim that there are no political prisoners, rather just criminals in custody. Or it will release the people only to arrest them again the next day. There is no relying on the PYD«.

ShareThis

www.kurdwatch.org -  © 2009 - 2015 [ E-Mail: info@kurdwatch.org ]