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KURDWATCH, August 2, 2015—On July 26, 2015 armed people kidnapped Kurdish National Council member Mahmud ʿUje (b. 1955, married, seven children) from his workplace at a broker’s office in al‑Hasakah. A niece was an eyewitness to the kidnapping. His nephew Walat ʿUje told KurdWatch: »They were employees of the Asayiş. My uncle refused to go with them, so they threatened him with their weapons and took him with them«. The Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), informed the family that it knew nothing about the whereabouts of Mahmud ʿUje.

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KURDWATCH, July 31, 2015—Seventy-year-old Khadijah Kale has been released. She was kidnapped on July 20, 2015 by members of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) [further information]. After four days under the control of the Asayiş, she was released after she developed health problems due to a lack of sleep.

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KURDWATCH, July 31, 2015—On July 27, 2015, the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) were able to capture the village of Sarrin, thirty-five kilometers south of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). The village was previously under the control of the Islamic State (IS) and had been contested since early July [further information].

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KURDWATCH, July 31, 2015—On July 27, 2015, a civilian was killed when a bomb exploded in the district of al‑Kurnish in al‑Qamishli. Two people were injured by the blast. Another explosion occurred at the cattle market in the district of Jumʿayah, injuring another four people. Reliable information about the background to the explosions and the perpetrators is not available.

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New interview:
Roniyar Hadjji, activist: »His exact words to me were that if I were arrested again, I would disappear forever«

KURDWATCH, July 31, 2015—Roniyar Hajji was born in 1981 in Halincê, a village near ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). His family later moved to Aleppo, where Hajji went to school. His father, who is also known as a poet under the pen name Dilsoz, was one of the first people in Aleppo to join the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). When he began to criticize the politics of the PKK and Abdullah Öcalan, whom he knew personally, the PKK planned his assassination. Moreover, his son Roniyar was supposed to be kidnapped, but the PKK accidentally picked up a classmate instead. The family subsequently left Aleppo for Damascus in 2000. Roniyar Hajji tells of the beginnings of the revolution in the Syrian capital and his problems with the PKK.

[Read more] 

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KURDWATCH, July 29, 2015—On July 25, 2015, the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) were able to expel Islamic State (IS) fighters from the relatively large district of an‑Nashwah in al‑Hasakah. On the same day, smaller skirmishes between YPG fighters and Syrian army soldiers took place in the center of the city. The army had asked the YPG‑fighters to turn over a hospital building. Yet, they did not comply with this request.

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KURDWATCH, July 29, 2015—On July 21, 2015, the Commission on Party Affairs for the transitional administration in the canton of ʿAfrin, appointed by the Democratic Union Party, approved an application submitted by Muhyiddin Shaykh Ali’s Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria (Democratic Yekîtî). The party is considered to have close ties to the PYD and had applied for authorization from the Commission in accordance with the Law on Political Parties enacted by the transitional administration [further information]. In contrast, the member parties of the Kurdish National Council have refused to apply for authorization from the transitional administration since this would recognize its legitimacy. Among the members of the National Council is a splinter party of the Democratic Yekîtî with the same name, led by Kamiran Haj ʿAbdu. It split from its parent party due to disagreements about the relationship to the PYD among other issues [further information].

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KURDWATCH, July 26, 2015—On July 18, 2015, the minor ʿUdula Muhammad Ahmad (b. 2001) joined the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) against her parents’ will. On July 19, 2015, Rohlat Mustafa Jamo (female, b. 1999) and Nizar Ibrahim Jamo (male, b. 1998) also joined the YPG against their parents’ will. All three are from the village of ʿAyn al‑Batt, twenty kilometers southeast of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). On July 19, relatives of the teenagers confronted PYD members living in the same village and blamed them for the recruitment. Since then tensions in the village have been running high.

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KURDWATCH, July 26, 2015—On July 22, 2015, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped twelve-year-old Mahmud Muhammad Schaikho (b. on 2. January 2003) from a soccer field in ad‑Darbasiyah. When the boy’s parents demanded his release at an Asayiş station, they were promised that this would happen the following day. The promise was not kept.

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KURDWATCH, July 26, 2015—On July 21, 2015, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Muhammad Hasan Shuwaysh, a member of the Kurdish National Council, in front of his home in ʿAmudah. The exact reason for the kidnapping is not known. The Kurdish National Council condemned the kidnapping in a statement.

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KURDWATCH, July 26, 2015—On July 21, 2015, a serious explosion occurred at a site in Rumaylan, one that the Syrian government previously used for military purposes. It is believed that the explosion involved an ammunition depot belonging to the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG). At least four YPG fighters were killed and others were injured. There is no information available regarding the cause of the explosion.

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