Newsletter - February 05, 2015

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Al-Qamishli: PDK‑S assumes leadership of the Rojava-Peshmerga

KURDWATCH, February 2, 2015—The Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S) has officially assumed leadership of the Rojava-Peshmerga, an armed unit founded in Iraqi-Kurdistan and comprised of Syrian Kurds. Dilovan Robarî, member of the PDK‑S central committee and himself a high-ranking Rojava-Peshmerga, communicated this news on the party’s website. As reported by Robarî, the decision was made in consultation with the political leadership of Iraqi-Kurdistan. According to Robarî’s data, approximately ninety percent of the Rojava-Peshmerga are members of the PDK‑S.

Al-Hasakah: YPG calls upon Kurds to leave the city

KURDWATCH, February 1, 2015—On January 26, 2015, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units  (YPG) called upon residents of the mainly Kurdish districts of al‑Hasakah to leave the city that same day. The measure was justified on the grounds that further conflicts with regime militias are possible.

ʿAyn al‑ʿArab: PYD supporters celebrate recapture of the city

KURDWATCH, February 1, 2015—On January 27, 2015, the transitional administration for the canton of Kobanî, which was appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), and the leaders of the PYD’s People’s Defense Units (YPG) held a press conference in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) to announce the recapture of the city. Celebrations were held in numerous cities in the Kurdish regions, including al‑Qamishli, ʿAmudah, al‑Hasakah, al‑Malikiyah (Dêrik), al‑Qahtaniyah (Tirbesipî), al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê), and Tall Tamr. The majority of the participants were PYD‑supporters.

ʿAyn al‑ʿArab: Islamic State expelled from city

KURDWATCH, January 30, 2015—On January 26, 2015, fighters for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party  (PKK) and the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG), in cooperation with Peshmerga forces and support from the US Air Force, expelled Islamic State fighters (IS) from the last of the streets still under its control in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). The IS is still present in the surrounding areas.

Erbil: Kurdish National Council and TEV‑DEM agree on composition of Kurdish Decision-Making Body

KURDWATCH, January 30, 2015—On January 24, 2015, after several days of negotiations in Erbil, representatives of the Kurdish National Council and the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV‑DEM), which is controlled by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), agreed on the composition of the Kurdish Decision-making Body. The PYD was able to negotiate so that the representatives of the three parties excluded from the Kurdish National Council will remain in the Kurdish Decision-making Body. To this end, three new seats were created, which the PYD plans to fill with these representatives. For its part, the Kurdish National Council is also allowed to fill three newly created seats in addition to the twelve seats that it was previously held. The Kurdish National Council thus has a total of fifteen votes in the Kurdish Decision-making Body. In addition to its original twelve seats, TEV‑DEM controls the three seats belonging to the former representatives of the Kurdish National Council as well as at least five of the six seats whose filling led to the conflicts [further information].

Tall Tamr: House destroyed by missile fire

KURDWATCH, January 30, 2015—On January 24, 2015, three surface-to-surface missiles of an unknown origin hit Tall Tamr and destroyed at least one house. Residents of the city are reporting increased activity by fighters for the Islamic State (IS) southwest of the line from Raʾs al‑ʿAyn (Serê Kaniyê) over Tall Tamr to al‑Hasakah.

Al-Qamishli: Kurdish National Council once again cancels demonstration against forcible recruitment

KURDWATCH, January 30, 2015—On January 19, 2015, the Kurdish National Council’s local committee in al‑Qamishli once again canceled a demonstration due to the conflicts in al‑Hasakah [further information]. The demonstration was to be directed against the forcible recruitment and kidnapping of minors by the Democratic Union Party (PYD). In a statement, the central committee of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî) described the cancellation as unfounded and announced a new demonstration.

Tall Hamis: Numerous fatalities in air attack

KURDWATCH, January 30, 2015—On January 20, 2015, between forty and fifty civilians were killed in a Syrian air force attack on the village of Khansaʾ, a few kilometers south of Tall Hamis. Approximately twice as many people were injured. A so-called barrel bomb (an improvised explosive device) was dropped on a popular market. Tall Hamis and the surrounding region to the south are controlled by the Islamic State (IS).

Al-Hasakah: Writer arrested

KURDWATCH, January 26, 2015—On January 18, 2015, Syrian security forces arrested the writer Ibrahim Farhan al‑Khalil at the home of a relative in al‑Hasakah. The reasons behind the arrest are unknown.

Al-Hasakah: Sharpshooters fatally shoot man

KURDWATCH, January‑25, 2015—On January‑19,‑2015, sharpshooters for regime-affiliated militias in al‑Hasakah wounded Ismaʿil Nuruddin Yusuf (b.‑1995 in al‑Hasakah). He succumbed to his injuries at a hospital a few hours later.

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