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KURDWATCH, August 28, 2014—On August 23, 2014, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) stormed the village of Munasaf, ten kilometers east of Tall Tamr, and searched all residents, including the women. ʿAbdurrazzaq Haso (married, five children) was detained for several hours. An activist told KurdWatch: »The background to this harassment is that village residents refuse to let their young men be recruited by the YPG.«

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KURDWATCH, August 25, 2014—Since August 12, 2014 militiamen for the People’s Defense Units (YPG) of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) have taken control of several university buildings in al‑Hasakah to safeguard against attacks by Islamists and/or the Free Syrian Army. The university administration still remains under the control of the Syrian government.

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KURDWATCH, August 25, 2014—On August 20, 2014 Husayn Ibash, a member of the central committee of the Kurdistan Democratic Party  – Syria (PDK‑S) was released. On May 12, 2014, the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party  (PYD) took Ibash captive in ʿAfrin and detained him since then.

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KURDWATCH, August 24, 2014—On August 12, 2014, fighters for the Free Syrian Army (FSA) kidnapped Khashman Ramadan, a militiaman for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG), in the Arab district of Ghuwayran in al‑Hasakah. That same day, a video was made public in which the prisoner calls on the YPG to stop shelling the district. Arab activists report that the PYD has kidnapped several Arab men in the regime-controlled city center of al‑Hasakah in order to exchange these men for Ramadan.

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KURDWATCH, August 24, 2014—On August 12, 2014 the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) began a major offensive in al‑Hasakah to capture the Arab district of Ghuwayran. The district was attacked with tanks and shelled with surface-to-surface missiles. Several people were killed. The PYD has declared that it is advancing on fighters for the Islamic State. In contrast, Kurdish and Arab activists reported that primarily poorly armed fighters for Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) Ahrar-Ghuwayran-Battalion are present in the district. However, it is thought that supporters of the Islamic State may have recently increased their presence.

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KURDWATCH, August 24, 2014—On August 10, 2014, a vehicle belonging to the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) advanced into the Arab district of Ghuwayran in al‑Hasakah and was shelled. Seven YPG militiamen were killed. It is unclear whether the vehicle was attacked by fighters for the Free Syrian Army or by Islamists. Ghuwayran is considered a stronghold of the Syrian opposition. The Syrian regime has not had control of the district since 2012.

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KURDWATCH, August 20, 2014—On July 25, 2014, Saʿdun as‑Sinnu (b. 1980 in ad‑Darbasiyah), an activist and journalist for the oppositional Syrian television station Orient, was kidnapped and held for several hours by employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD). He was kidnapped again on August 7, 2014. The background to the kidnappings is the Asayiş demand that all journalists apply for separate authorization for each individual investigation. As‑Sinnu told KurdWatch: »They took away my camera. During the investigation, they treated me roughly, but they did not beat me. I had to spend the first six hours in a solitary cell with a size of three square meters.« The journalist was released on the night of August 9.

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KURDWATCH, August 19, 2014—On August 6, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped Nuri Jabr from his shop in ʿAfrin. Jabr is a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S).

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KURDWATCH, August 19, 2014—On August 13, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), ended a Kurdish National Council demonstration in al‑Qamishli shortly after it began since the demonstration had not been authorized prior to its start. Approximately eight hundred people had wanted to protest against attacks by the Islamic State on the Kurdish regions of Syria and Iraq. The chairman of the Kurdish National Council’s local committee in al‑Qamishli, Wajdi Darwish, and his deputy, Iyad ʿAbdulkarim, were kidnapped by the Asayiş.

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KURDWATCH, August 19, 2014—On August 6, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), ordered that Yaʿqub Dawud’s wedding celebration in al‑Malikiyah be shut down. Bangin Dawud, the brother of the groom, told KurdWatch: »They didn’t give us a reason. After the Asayiş left, the wedding continued but without a music system«. Yaʿqub Dawud’s family has ties to the Kurdish Democratic Party – Syria.

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KURDWATCH, August 16, 2014—Between August 3 and August 8, 2014, more than 15 000 refugees belonging to the Yazidi religion arrived in Syria’s Kurdish regions from Sinjar in Iraq. Most of the refugees, who fled attacks by the Islamic State, continued toward Iraqi-Kurdistan after a brief break. On August 5, members of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), attempted to prevent representatives of the Kurdish National Council in al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê) from supplying the refugees with relief supplies. On August 8,, a similar incident occurred when employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the PYD, and militiamen for the PYD’s People’s Defense Units (YPG) prohibited the distribution of relief supplies to Yazidi refugees at a Kurdish National Council office and fired into the air. PYD‑affiliated media present the PYD and its militia as the sole »saviors« of the Yazidi.

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