Newsletter - April 14, 2015

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Tall Tamr: Renewed fighting between IS and YPG

KURDWATCH, April 14, 2015—On April 8, 2015, fighters for the Islamic State (IS) once again began an offensive to the south and west of Tall Tamr. They set fire to oil tankers so that the resulting billows of smoke would complicate a potential intervention by the US‑Air Force. Fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) were able to stop the attack. The IS is still only two kilometers from Tall Tamr; however, the Khabur considerably complicates an advance on the city.

Tall Birak: Recruit killed by IS sharpshooters

KURDWATCH, April 13, 2015—On March 27, 2015, the Syrian Army informed the family of the recruit Usama Husayn Ismaʿil (b. 1993 in al‑Qamishli, married) of his death. He was allegedly killed by an Islamic State (IS) sharpshooter near Tall Birak. Ismaʿil was drafted by the Syrian Army about six months ago after he was deported from Iraqi-Kurdistan. According to information obtained by KurdWatch, he was refused residence there because he could not prove his identity.

ʿAyn al‑ʿArab: PYD recruits another minor against parents’ will

KURDWATCH, April 13, 2015—On April 3, 2015, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), recruited sixteen-year-old Dilbar Ahmad Haji (b. 1999 in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab) in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). The girl’s father told KurdWatch: »When we demanded her return from the Asayiş, my wife was beaten, called an honorless traitor, and then thrown out«. According to the Asayiş, Dilbar Haji decided on her own to perform military service and is staying at a camp run by the PYD’s Women’s Defense Units (YPJ).

Aleppo: Jabhat an‑Nusra detains bus passengers for hours

KURDWATCH, April 11, 2015—On April 6, 2015, Jabhat an‑Nusra fighters stopped several buses near the village of Taqad, twenty kilometers west of Aleppo. All Kurdish male passengers were detained for hours.

Al-Malikiyah: PYD prevents leading members of the Kurdish National Council from leaving the country

KURDWATCH, April 11, 2015—On April 8, 2015, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), prevented the chairman of the Kurdish National Council, Tahir Sifuk, and his deputy, Niʿmat Dawud, from crossing into Iraqi-Kurdistan at the Faysh Khabur border crossing, east of al‑Malikiyah (Dêrik).

Raʾs al-ʿAyn: PYD forcibly recruits young men at internet cafés

KURDWATCH, April 10, 2015—On April 4, 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. Outraged relatives demanded in vain that the Asayiş release their sons. Exact information about the number of people kidnapped is not available.

ʿAfrin: Mahmud Kurish and Lazgin Barakat released

KURDWATCH, April 9, 2015—On March 26, 2015, the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), released Mahmud Hanan Kurish in ʿAfrin. He had been kidnapped on December 4, 2014 after he inquired about the fate of his uncle, Ibrahim Kurish, who had also been kidnapped [further information]. On March 30, 2014, Lazgin Barakat (b. 1989 in ʿAfrin) was also released. He had likewise been detained by the Asayiş since December 4, 2014. Barakat is a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S). He had reported Ibrahim Kurish’s arrest on Facebook and helped to organize a demonstration. Both Kurish and Barakat were tortured while imprisoned.i

ʿAfrin: PYD kidnaps PDK‑S member

KURDWATCH, April 7, 2015—On April 3, 2015, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped ʿIdan Jamil ʿAmr, a member of the local committee of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S), from his home in the village of Kimar, ten kilometers south of ʿAfrin. ʿAmr was released on April 4, following mediation efforts by the Iraqi-Kurdish Kurdistan Democratic Party.

ʿAfrin: PYD occupies homes of PDK‑S members

KURDWATCH, April 5, 2015—At the end of March 2015, members of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) changed the locks on at least four residences in the village of Sinnarah, twenty kilometers west of ʿAfrin. The legal owners of the homes are members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S) currently living in Turkey. In recent years, the PYD has announced several times that it will occupy the homes of those who have left the country.

Idlib: Jabhat an‑Nusra kidnaps six Kurds

KURDWATCH, April 4, 2015—On March 31, 2015, Jabhat an‑Nusra fighters kidnapped six Kurds at a checkpoint in Jarshinar near Idlib. Among the victims are ʿAbdu ʿAbdulqadir and Hasan Hassu. The background to the kidnapping and the fate of those kidnapped are not yet known. On March 29, 2015, the al‑Qaʿida-affiliated Jabhat an‑Nusra cooperated with other oppositional groups to expel the Syrian Army from the strategically important city of Idlib.

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