KURDWATCH, October 9, 2015—On September 28, 2015, the fifty‑five‑year‑old Arab activist Ayman al‑Humaydi at‑Tahari died at a hospital in the city of Tall Abyad, which is controlled by the Democratic Union Party (PYD). On September 23, fighters for the PYD’s People’s Defense Units (YPG) kidnapped at‑Tahari and his fifty‑year‑old nephew ʿAdil al‑Balikh at‑Tahari from his home in the village of Huwayjat al‑ʿAbd, eight kilometers south of Tall Abyad. Another of at‑Tahari’s nephews, Subhi Sukir, told KurdWatch: »They were both held in solitary cells. Ayman is diabetic, but in order to put pressure on him, the YPG did not give him his medication. He became very ill and when he lost consciousness, they brought him to the hospital on the night of September 27. He died there a few hours later on September 28.« According to information from the family, the body showed signs of torture on the neck and the left shoulder. ʿAdil al‑Balikh at‑Tahari was released on September 28.
Ayman al‑Humaydi at‑Tahari was the founder and commander of a battalion of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The battalion was financed by at‑Tahari and stationed in Huwayjat al‑ʿAbd to protect the population of his home village. Relations with the local Kurdish population were good. Conflicts with the YPG arose because the YPG rejected the battalion’s presence in territory under its control. The YPG’s stance on military units that challenge its absolute rule is well known in the Kurdish regions, where the YPG has attacked numerous Kurdish units of the FSA as well as military units of other Kurdish parties [download report].