KURDWATCH NEWSLETTER WESTKURDISTAN – FEB 2014 (III) CRITIC ABOUT PYD
Tall Hamis: Arab tribes call for fight against PKK & YPG
KUDWATCH, February 27, 2014—On February 18, 2014, several thousand members of Arab tribes gathered in Tall Hamis. Two speakers, including a member of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, called for a fight against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as well as against the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG). »We promise to burn down al‑Qamishli over their heads«, one of the speakers said. Both speakers explained that they represented the large Arab Tai and Jabbur tribes.
Al-Qamishli: PYD forces stores to close
KUDWATCH, 27. February 2014—On February 17, 2014, members of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) forced all businessmen in the center of the city of al‑Qamishli to close their stores for several hours.
Al-Qamishli: Kurdish National Council youth group organizes demonstration
KUDWATCH, February 27, 2014—In reaction to the demonstration organized by the Syrian government on February 19, 2014 [further information], the general committee of the Kurdish Youth (a member organization of the Kurdish National Council) organized a rally on February 21 in al‑Qamishli. The approximately two hundred people who took part in the event demanded the fall of the regime.
Al-Qamishli: Regime compels participation in demonstration
KUDWATCH, February 27, 2014—On February 19, 2014, a demonstration by regime supporters took place in al‑Qamishli. Hundreds of students and state employees were forced to take part. Activists expressed their outrage to KurdWatch at the fact that the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) prohibits demonstrations by Kurdish organizations, but did not prevent a rally by the regime, even though the majority of the demonstrators were forced to participate.
ʿAmudah: Asayiş closes radio station
KURDWATCH, February 26, 2014—On February 18, 2014, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), occupied the rooms of the private radio station ARTA FM in ʿAmudah. They demanded that the majority of the employees leave their workplaces, and the offices were subsequently searched. The regular broadcast was taken off air, and only music could be broadcast. On February 20,, the regular programming could be resumed. The Asayiş justified the measures against ARTA FM by claiming that an additional unauthorized radio station, Radio MICT, was broadcasting from the rooms. Although the administration of ARTA FM presented the PYD with a corresponding authorization, the broadcasting of Radio MICT was cut off. Prior to the closure, employees of ARTA FM had accused the director of the station, Sirwan Hajj Husayn, of corruption and self-enrichment. Hajj Husayn denied the accusations.
ʿAfrin: Casualties at YPG‑checkpoint
KUDWATCH, February 26, 2014—On February 6, 2014, several fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) were killed in a car bomb explosion at a YPG‑checkpoint near al-Ghazzawiyah (twenty kilometers south of ʿAfrin).
Al-Qamishli: Dozens dead in attack on Arab village
KUDWATCH, February 24, 2014—On February 16, 2014, after heavy fighting with units of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant as well as units of the Free Syrian Army, fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) captured the Arab town of al‑Jazʿah, located ten kilometers west of al‑Yaʿrubiya (Tel Koçer). According to statements made by the organization, at least thirty-six YPG fighters were killed. There is no reliable information about the actual number of victims on each side.
Al-Qamishli: PYD compels participation in anniversary of Öcalan’s arrest
KUDWATCH, February 24, 2014—On February 15, 2014, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) organized demonstrations in all large cities in the mainly Kurdish regions to mark the anniversary of PKK‑leader Abdullah Öcalan’s arrest. Thousands participated in the demonstrations. In many places, in particular ʿAmudah, al‑Qahtaniyah (Tirbesipî), al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê), and al‑Malikiyah (Dêrik), PYD‑members called on all shop owners via loudspeaker to close their shops. In case of non-compliance, they threatened to »enforce [the closure] with revolutionaries«.
Al-Qahtaniyah: Injuries in car bomb explosion
KUDWATCH, February 21, 2014—On February 14, 2014, at least three people were injured in a car bomb explosion in al‑Qahtaniyah (Tirbesipî). The reason behind the explosion is unknown.
Al-Hasakah: Heavy fighting between regime and FSA
KUDWATCH, February 20, 2014—From February, 13 to February 15, 2014, heavy fighting took place between the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and government troops in the Arab residential district of Ghuwayran in al‑Hasakah. The Syrian army attacked apartment buildings with surface-to-surface missiles. The majority of the civilian population had already left the contested district on the first day of fighting. The district is currently controlled by the FSA; smaller skirmishes continue to take place. Ghuwayran is considered the center of Arab resistance to the regime in the city of al‑Hasakah.