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KURDWATCH, May 25, 2015—On May 20, 2015, the communal administration of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) requested in writing that all shop owners in al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê) replace their shop signs at their own expense. The new signs must be trilingual—Kurdish Arabic, and Aramaic.

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KURDWATCH, May 24, 2015—For some time, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has been conducting regular political training for young Kurds in numerous cities in the predominantly Kurdish settled areas of Turkey. In private apartments, groups of up to thirty people receive one to two weeks of instruction. Outside contacts are strictly forbidden. Upon completion of the training, participants are asked to decide whether they want to do political work in Turkey or fight in Syria. As an activist told KurdWatch, »Many decide to fight in Syria«.

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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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