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New Report:
Ethnic Cleansing in Tall Abyad? Characteristics of YPG and PYD rule in the areas captured from the IS

KurdWatch, March 18, 2016—In June 2015, the People’s Defense Units (YPG) of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), with help from the US Air Force, was successful in capturing the city of Tall Abyad and the surrounding areas from the Islamic State (IS). In this context, the PYD and its People’s Defense Units were accused of carrying out grave human rights violations, including the charge of ethnic cleansing. This report addresses the question of how the PYD and the YPG operate in an area that differs significantly from regions such as Jazirah, ʿAfrin and ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî), all under PYD administration since 2012, in that it is primarily Arab. The newly captured areas around the city is only ten percent Kurdish. A further fifteen percent is Turkmen. What methods and instruments does the PYD use to govern this region? What does the human rights record in this area look like? Were there large-scale ethnically motivated expulsions from the region?  [download PDF]

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