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KURDWATCH, May 22, 2015—On May 17 and 18 2015, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) established a second front against Islamic State (IS) positions ten kilometers southwest of Tall Tamr. According to the YPG, by May 21, 2015, the IS had been expelled from twenty villages, including several Christian villages. The YPG’s advance was accompanied by air attacks by the US‑led alliance.

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KURDWATCH, May 22, 2015—On May 20, 2015, the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) captured the Jabal ʿAbdulʿaziz (Çiyayê Kezwan), approximately thirty-five kilometers southeast of the city of al‑Hasakah, and expelled all Islamic State (IS) fighters. The Jabal ʿAbdulʿaziz is an extension of the Jabal Sinjar in Iraq. Along with some Kurds and Christians, the majority of the inhabitants of the captured regions are members of Arab tribes.

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KURDWATCH, May 22, 2015—On May 15, 2015, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), recruited numerous young men against their will at a weekly market and at a cattle market in ad‑Darbasiyah. The exact numbers are not available.

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KURDWATCH, May 22, 2015—On May 16, 2015, Dijlah Muhammad, the deputy chairman of the defense committee for the transitional administration of the canton of ʿAfrin, which was appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), stated in an interview with the PYD‑affiliated news agency ANHA that on May 7 2015 the canton’s legislative council put forth a new law on compulsory military service. The content is comparable to the law published on July 13, 2014 in the canton of Jazirah [further information]. In accordance with the law, young men in the canton of ʿAfrin between the ages of eighteen and thirty will also soon be forced to complete six months of military service for the PYD’s People’s Defense Units (YPG).

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KURDWATCH, May 20, 2015—On May 9, 2015, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Nazir Mustafa at the Syrian-Iraqi border. Mustafa, who is a member of the local committee of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S) in al‑Malikiyah, had tried to pass through the Faysh Khabur border crossing into Iraqi-Kurdistan. He was released three days later.

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KURDWATCH, May 19, 2015—On May 13 and 14 2015, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), forcibly recruited numerous young men in ʿAmudah, al‑Qamishli, and al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê). The exact numbers are not available.

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KURDWATCH, May 19,  2015—On May 11, 2015, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), put an end to an internal session of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S) at a private house in the village of Bastuta, five kilometers south of ʿAfrin, with the threat of armed force. PDK‑S central committee member Husayn Ibash was among those present at the session. The Asayiş forbade those gathered from holding further sessions.

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KURDWATCH, May 15, 2015 – On May 2, 2015, fifteen armed oppositional groups announced the founding of an alliance against the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) in Aleppo. Among those represented in the alliance, which is called »Labayki ukhtah« (»We will help you, sister«), are the Islamist Jabhat an‑Nusra and the Jabhat ash‑Shamiyah. Prior to this, YPG fighters had insulted a veiled woman at a checkpoint and later asked her to vacate her home. The incident occurred in the Kurdish district of Shaykh Maqsud, which was until then solely under YPG control. On May 4,, the alliance signed a joint declaration with the People’s Defense Units. The latter pledged to surrender those responsible for the attack against the woman to a juridical committee, which is to be based in the office of the Jabhat ash‑Schamiyah. In addition, it was agreed that Shaykh Maqsud will henceforth be treated like all other districts in Aleppo and will not be part of the PYD’s transitional administration. Islamist groups can thus operate freely there. An exchange of prisoners from both sides was also agreed upon.

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KURDWATCH, May 15, 2015—On May 10, 2015, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), dispersed a demonstration in al‑Qamishli organized by the local committee of the Kurdish National Council. The rally was intended to show support for the ongoing protests in the Kurdish regions of Iran. The Asayiş kidnapped five participants in the demonstration, they were released two days later. A demonstrator told KurdWatch: »The Asayiş insulted us. They asked us why we were demonstrating for a slut.« The term »slut« referred to the young woman whose death sparked the unrest in Iran. After being raped, she committed suicide by jumping from the second floor.

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KURDWATCH, May 15, 2015—On May 9, 2015, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), dissolved a rally in al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê). The rally was organized by the Kurdistan Women’s Union, which has close ties to the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S). The Asayiş confiscated numerous cell phones belonging to participants. In addition, two journalists for the Iraqi-Kurdish television station Rûdaw were kidnapped. They were released a few hours later; their cameras were destroyed before being returned to them. The rally was planned as an event in solidarity with the dissident demonstrations in the Kurdish regions of Iran, which have been going on for several days. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is accused of intentionally radicalizing the protests in Iran in order to give the regime an excuse to quickly crush the protests.

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KURDWATCH, May 13, 2015—In early May 2015, employees of the transitional administration for the canton of Jazirah, which was appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), forced all teachers in al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê) to make a donation of five hundred Syrian Lira to rebuild the destroyed city of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). According to information obtained by KurdWatch, the PYD is also planning to compel shop owners and farmers to donate.

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KURDWATCH, May 12, 2015—On May 3, 2015, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), stormed internet cafés and coffee houses in Raʾs al‑ʿAyn (Serê Kaniyê) and forcibly recruited numerous young men. At the same time, other people were picked up off the street. Outraged relatives demanded in vain that the Asayiş release their sons. Based on the number of protesting relatives, it can be concluded that more than thirty people must have been recruited. A similar wave of kidnappings last took place on April 4, 2015 [further information].

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KURDWATCH, May 12, 2015—On May 6, 2015, unknown persons in al‑Hasakah fired several missiles at the predominantly Kurdish districts of al‑Mufti and as‑Salihiya. At least four civilians were killed. The same day a car bomb exploded at a checkpoint belonging to the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG). According to information from the YPG, three of its fighters were killed; other sources estimate up to fifteen victims. On May 7, 2015, the YPG imposed a night-time curfew on both of the aforementioned districts.

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KURDWATCH, May 11, 2015—On May 4, 2015, two bombs exploded in the predominantly Kurdish district of Ruknuddin in Damascus. At least one of the bombs was a car bomb. Three people were killed and numerous others injured. The district is controlled by the Syrian regime.

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