KURDWATCH NEWSLETTER JULY 2013 ʿAmudah: YPG / PYD kidnaps nurse

KURDWATCH, July 9, 2013—On June 28, 2013, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) kidnapped Hisham Shaikhu (b. in ʿAmudah, married, two children) on his way home from work. Shaikhu is a nurse at the Dari hospital and a member of the Union of Cooperation of Kurdish Youth in Syria. He had treated several demonstrators who were injured in a YPG attack on a demonstration in ʿAmudah on June 27, 2013 [further information]. Hisham Shaikhu was released on July 2.

ʿAmudah: PYDsupporters attack hospital

KURDWATCH, July 9, 2013—On July 1, 2013, armed supporters of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) attacked the Dari hospital in ʿAmudah. Several doctors and nurses were beaten, including the doctor Ahmad Hammu Dari. Several of the demonstrators who were injured in an attack by the PYD’s People’s Defense Units (YPG) at a demonstration in ʿAmudah on June 27, 2013 [further information] had been treated at this hospital.

ʿAmudah: Yekîtî and local committees of the Kurdish National Council leave the Supreme Kurdish Committee

KURDWATCH, July 7, 2013—In reaction to repeated Democratic Union Party (PYD) attacks on activists and politicians, the local committees of the Kurdish National Council from ʿAmudah, ʿAyn alʿArab (Kobanî), alHasakah, Raʾs alʿAyn (Serê Kaniyê), alQahtaniyah (Tirbesipî), and alMaʿbada (Girkê Legê), as well as three local committees from alQamishli, have left the Supreme Kurdish Committee. In addition, the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî), as well as three leading members of the Kurdish National Council, Ismaʿil Hami (Yekîtî), Bashar Amin (Kurdish Freedom Party in Syria [Azadî]), and Siʿud Mala (ʿAbdulhakim Bashar’s Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria [elPartî]) have frozen their membership.

Al-Qamishli: PYD attacks youth group demonstrations

KURDWATCH, July 5, 2013—Ongoing fighting between the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and government troops in the week from June 22 to June 28, 2013 ended once more with numerous dead and injured. On June 28, demonstrators throughout the country once again demanded the fall of the regime. They gathered under the common slogan »The revolution smolders, the opposition does not«. In alQamishli, two demonstrations were organized against the PYD; they called for the condemnation of those responsible for the deaths in ʿAmudah on June 27 [further information on the case]. The demonstration in the district of alʿAntariyah (organized by various youth groups) was attackd by dozens of armed PYDsupporters; they shot into the air and destroyed the loudspeakers and the stereo equipment. They also took control of the vehicle that was transporting the equipment. The following day, the totaled vehicle was returned to its owner. The demonstration ended following the attack. The second demonstration in Munir Habib (organized by the Kurdish National Council) was peaceful. Due to the tense situation, there were no demonstrations in other Kurdish cities.

Damascus: Military Intelligence Service arrests two minors

KURDWATCH, July 5, 2013—On June 5, 2013, employees of the Military Intelligence Service arrested Muhammad Sadiq ʿUthman and Rakan Musa, both sixteen years old, in ʿUthman’s family’s home in Damascus. There is no information available about the whereabouts of the two youth arrested.

Al-Qamishli: PYD attacks civic institutions and elPartî offices

KURDWATCH, July 5, 2013—In addition to the rooms of the Ronî women’s association and the youth center Zelal [further information], on June 28, 2013 the PYD in alQamishli also burned down the Academy for Languages and the Azadî advisory service, as well as two offices belonging to ʿAbdulhakim Bashar’s Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (elPartî). Since June 27, the PYD targeting its attacks at institutions and people that it perceives to be critics and rivals.

ʿAmudah: YPG storms villages and kidnaps Yekîtî members

KURDWATCH, July 4, 2013—On June 28, 2013, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) stormed the villages of Jawhariyah and Jirnik west of ʿAmudah and searched numerous homes. At least fifteen people, primarily supporters of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî), were kidnapped. Since June 27 [further information] activists and politicians have been abducted in ʿAmudah and the surrounding villages. The exact number is not known. Moreover hundreds of activists and politicians have gone into hiding in order to escape the attacks of the PYD and its militia.

ʿAmudah: Situation escalates following YPG attack on demonstration

KURDWATCH, July 3, 2013—On June 27, 2013, massive conflicts occurred in ʿAmudah between fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) and demonstrators demanding, among other things, the release of three kidnapped activists [further information on the case]. When YPG vehicles attempted to drive through the demonstration, they were pelted with stones and called Shabbiha (the regime’s militia). Shortly thereafter, YPG fighters shot into the crowd killing at least six people. Those in question are Nadir Mahmud Khalo (15 years old), Saʿid ʿAbdulbaqi Sayda (15 years), Barzan Qarnu (18 years), Shaykhmus Muhammad ʿAli (66 years), ʿAli Randa (33 years) and Shaykhah Alika. Shaykhah Alika was an eight-year old child who was run over by an YPG vehicle. YPG fighters erected checkpoints in the city, conducted raids, and several dozen people were kidnapped. KurdWatch was informed by several sources that the YPG additionally blocked off the city and prevented doctors from alQamishli from treating the injured in ʿAmudah. In addition a curfew was imposed. Aras Ahmad Bango (36 years), an armed guard for the party office of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî), was killed by a gunshot to the head on the roof of the office. YPG fighters stormed the party office and brought all those present under their control. At that time, between fifty and seventy people were in the office, primarily party members. Several members of the party leadership, for example Muhammad Khayr Bango (member of the politburo and uncle of the slain Aras Ahmad Bango) were also among the kidnapped. All of the office equipment was destroyed. In addition, the party office of Mustafa Jʿuma’s Kurdish Freedom Party in Syria (Azadî) and the tent of the hunger strikers in the center of ʿAmudah [further information] were burned down. In order to prevent funeral marches for those killed from becoming mass demonstrations against the PYD, the relatives of the dead were forced to bury them with only the immediate family present.

Al-Qamishli: PYD burns down independent youth center

KURDWATCH, July 3, 2013—In the early morning of June 28, 2013, the independent youth center Zelal in alQamishli was burned down. According to an eyewitness, supporters of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) broke into the center and started the fire. The witness told KurdWatch: »If I had attempted to stop them, they would have killed me«. According to statements by activists for the youth center who had rushed to the crime scene to extinguish the fire, a YPG vehicle drove past them without helping. »Rodi, you’re a dead man« was scrawled on one wall of the center. Rodi Ibrahim (b. 1977, married, three children) is the director of the center. The rooms of the Ronî women’s center in alQamishli, where Ibrahims wife is active, were also set on fire on the morning of June 28.

Al-Qamishli: Yekîtî leaves Political Union

KURDWATCH, July 2, 2013—On June 24, 2013, the Central Committee of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî) declared the failure of the Kurdish Democratic Political Union—Syria. A statement claimed that some of the participants in the Political Union, in particular the representatives of ʿAbdulhakim Bashar’s Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (elPartî), did not really stand behind the project.