KUDWATCH, 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.
KUDWATCH, 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.
KUDWATCH, 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.
KUDWATCH, 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.
KUDWATCH, 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.
KUDWATCH, 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.
KUDWATCH, 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.
KUDWATCH, 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?«
KUDWATCH, 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.
KUDWATCH, 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.