MESOPOTAMIA NEWS WEEKLY REPORT : KURDISTAN/IRAN & IRAQ & SYRIA

Iran  16 Sept 2020

  • The Iranian regime’s crackdown on the Kurdish region continues to escalate as more people have been detained while prison sentences continue against political prisoners. In Urmia, the Revolutionary Court sentenced a Kurdish man named Shaker Behrozi to death for membership of a Kurdish opposition party and “carrying arm” against the state. Behrozie allegedly was a member of the Komala party who participated in an attack against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Also in Urmia also two people were taken to prison after being held by the Iranian intelligence office (Ettela’at) for more than a month. The two Kurds, Farshad Jahash and Ismael Parwary are accused of being members of a Sunni Salafist group. In Sarvabad (Salawla) the security forces detained a Kurdish man named Hewa Azizpour on Thursday. According to the Kurdistan Human Rights Association (KMMK) Azizour is accused of “membership of a Kurdish opposition party.” In Khorramabad (Khurmawa) the court sentenced a Kurdish man named Wali Qarabashi to three years and three months in prison for “propaganda” against the regime after he was arrested during a major protest held in Iran last November. Lastly, the fate of a young Kurd named Farid Pazhohi who was arrested in Minivan since August of 2018 remains unknown.
  • The border porters known as (Kolbars) continue to be targeted with deadly shootings by both Iranian and Turkish border guards. Near Chaldoran the Turkish border guards killed a Kolbar named Shahram Mohammadi and wounded another named Jafar Rahbai on Saturday. Several rights groups reported a third Kolbar missing during the same attack by the Turkish guards. Near Kermansha’s Nowsud district, a Kolbar was injured after falling off a cliff during a chase by the Iranian border guards on Saturday. The Kolbar named Fateh Mahmudi has broken his legs. Near the same area, a 14-year old Kolbar named Mani Hashimi was injured on Sunday after also falling off a cliff while carrying goods.

Iraq

  • The Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi visited the Kurdistan region heading a senior delegation of his cabinet on Thursday. Kadhimi held a series of meetings with the Kurdish leaders and officials after visiting all the three provinces in Kurdistan within two days. His visit comes as both Erbil and Baghdad have agreed on the federal budget and Kurdistan’s return of 50% of the federal customs and the sales of 250,000 barrels of oil a day. Kadhimi vowed to deal with the Kurdistan region based on the constitution while he stressed: “the opportunity is now available to enhance joint action.” The Kurdish officials also discussed with him the joint security mechanism between the federal forces and the Peshmerga.
  • The Turkish attacks on the Kurdish region continued under the pretext of fighting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Near Zakho’s Batifa sub-district, fires devoured the forests. Meanwhile, both Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani agreed to fight the PKK and Iranian Kurdish parties jointly last Tuesday. On Wednesday the Iranian regime launched artillery bombardment near the Bradost region. Previously the Iranian regime announced plans to deploy more drones and troops alongside the borders with the Kurdistan region.
  • More than 500 armed Arab tribes members attacked the Kurdish village of Palkana northwest of Kirkuk on Sunday. The Iraqi army stationed nearby interviewed to avoid clashes. The Kurdish farmers in the area accused the “brought-up” Arabs of trying to reoccupy their lands after they abandoned during the fall of the Saddam regime in 2003. The Kurds accuse the Iraqi government of the continuation of the “Arabization” policy in the region especially after October 16, 2017, when the Iraqi forces removed the Kurdish Peshmerga as an aftermath of the independence referendum held by the Kurds.
  • On Sunday night, a group of terrorists believed to be ISIS (Da’esh) attacked several guards of an oil refinery north of Kirkuk. As a result, five guards were injured. Meanwhile, the federal security forces conducted an airstrike near Kirkuk targeting Da’esh terrorists. In the city of Kirkuk, an attached IED exploded on the vehicle of the deputy dean of a Sunni college known as Imam al Ahdam.

Syria 

  • New waves of terror attacks by Dae’sh using motorcycle bombers have hit the Kurdish-led Autonomous Region of North and East of Syria (ANNES). In Diban town in Deir Ez Zor, a motorcycle explosion killed one civilian and injured two more on Monday. In Ain Essa, a child was killed and his father was injured after a mine explosion on Monday. On Tuesday, the security forces of al Hasakah defused a motorcycle bomber. Meanwhile, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continued raids on Da’esh sleeper cells with US support in eastern Deir Ez Zor where the terror group remains a serious threat.
  • The Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) organized its second Public symposium in the participation of 150 public and political figures of the region under the AANES. Representatives of the State Department had also participated in the forum which concluded calling for reforms in the education, agriculture and to hold talks on the Syrian regime “immediately without interference from outside parties.” Previously Russia initiated a new meditation between the AANES and the Syrian regime.
  • A truck bomb caused the death of 11 civilians including children in the Turkish occupied Kurdish city of Afrin. The massive explosion hit a crowded area which also resulted in more than 20 injuries. The explosion comes as Afrin has been in security chaos since the Turkish occupation in march of 2018. The Kurdish population of Afrin has decreased to more than it has after Turkey’s-backed proxies started looting, extorting, kidnapping, and terrorizing the Kurds since 2018.