Newsletter - May 31, 2016

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ʿAmudah: Kurdish National Council demonstrates against PYD policies

KurdWatch, May 31, 2016—On May 25, 2016, the local committee of the Kurdish National Council in ʿAmudah organized a demonstration against the policies of the Democratic Union Party (PYD). Around two hundred people carried posters that said »No to the abduction of minors«, »No to forcible recruitment«, »No to letting people starve« and »No to attacks on residential buildings «.

Bulbul: Residents send accused to the front

KurdWatch, May 30, 2016—On May 26, 2016, the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV‑DEM), which is controlled by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), organized a public assembly in the center of Bulbul, which is located roughly thirty kilometers north of ʿAfrin, to ask the population to publicly sentence two accused by a vote. Two older fathers were accused of insulting the PYD’s People’s Defense Units (YPG). The crowd voted for one of three possible sentences: a six‑month prison sentence, ideological education, or to be sent to the front. According to a statement by the Hawar (ANHA) news agency, which has close ties to the PYD, the town residents gathered voted for the third sentence. The men sentenced are supposed to be sent to the front to see for themselves the bravery of the YPG and the Women’s Defense Units (YPJ). Whether or not they will be expected to fight was not outlined in the statement.

ʿAmudah: A sixteen-year-old probably recruited to the YPG

KurdWatch, May 30, 2016—On May 23, 2016, the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), kidnapped the sixteen‑year‑old Zinar Majdal Qasim from his parents’ house in the village of Karanku, just a few kilometers southwest of ʿAmudah. No reason was given for the boy’s abduction. His relatives suspect that he was recruited to the PYD’s People’s Defense Units (YPG), since on that same day numerous young men were forcibly recruited from villages in the ʿAmudah area, including Karanku, Gir Ziro, Gir Ziyarat, Tabaqa, Jawhara und Tall Habash.

Al-Qamishli: TEV‑DEM demonstrates against attacks on Nusaybin

KurdWatch, May 30, 2016—On May 26, 2016, roughly one thousand supporters of the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV‑DEM), which has close ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), demonstrated near al‑Qamishli on the Turkish-Syrian border. Those gathered were protesting against the attacks by the Turkish army on the Kurdish areas of the Turkish city of Nusaybin.

Al-Qamishli: Three dead after an IS attack on a restaurant

KurdWatch, May 30, 2016—On May 21, 2016, a suicide bomber blew himself up in a restaurant on a street in the city center predominantly inhabited by Christians. The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack and alleged to have killed thirty fighters from the Sotoro militia, which is close to the regime. However, only the death of three civilians has been verified, all Christians. 

ʿAfrin: Explosion in a storage area for gas canisters

KurdWatch, May 27, 2016—On May 20, 2016, there was a series of explosions that lasted two hours in the city of ʿAfrin in a storage area for gas canisters. It is not known what caused the explosions. No deaths or injuries were reported.

Tall Tamr: Seven dead after an attack on an Asayiş checkpoint

KurdWatch, May 27, 2016—On May 21, 2016, two suicide bombers and five employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), died at an Asayiş checkpoint close to the village of al‑ʿAliya near Tall Tamr. Until now the motives of the suicide bombers, who blew up their car at the checkpoint, are not known.

ʿAyn al ʿArab: YPG recruits two primary school students

KurdWatch, May 25, 2016—On March 25, 2016, cousins Samira ʿAbdu Shaikh Bozan (b. 2004) and Amal Mustafa Shaikh Bozan (b. 2003) were recruited for the People’s Defense Units (YPG) of the Democratic Union Party (PYD). The six-graders are from the village of Bira Khat, forty kilometers southeast of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). Their parents only found out two weeks later that their children had been recruited. When Samira’s father demanded her return saying that she was still a child and thus too young to carry a weapon, he was told that she’s old enough to make tea. Samira was allowed to temporarily return home on April 25 on account of illness. Thereafter, her father smuggled her into Turkey. When he returned to Syria on May 9, he was kidnapped by the YPG, who subsequently demanded the return of his underage daughter. »Additionally, the YPG threatened an uncle of Samira’s in Turkey over the phone. Her mother was also intimidated. They even asked her to positively depict her daughter’s recruitment to the media«, a relative told KurdWatch. Amal Mustafa Shaikh Bozan is still with the YPG.

Al-Malikiyah: Asayiş abduct activist

KurdWatch, May 23, 2016—On May 11, 2016, the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), prevented Amira Tammu from exiting Syria at the Faish Khabur border crossing. Tammu is a leading member of the Kurdistan Women Union – Syria. She wanted to go to Iraqi‑Kurdistan with her four minor children. Whereas the children were allowed to cross the border, Tammu was detained by the Asayiş and abducted.

Al-Hasakah: Progressive Party demonstrates against attacks in Aleppo and Nusaybin

KurdWatch, May 19, 2016—On May 7, 2016, around forty supporters of the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party in Syria, including a number of students, held a demonstration in front of their party office in al‑Hasakah. Those gathered protested against the attacks by the Syrian opposition on the mainly Kurdish residents of the Aleppo neighborhood of Shaikh Maqsud as well as the attacks by the Turkish government on the city of Nusaybin, located in the Kurdish area of Turkey.

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