PYD Kills Syrian Soldiers in Revenge Attack

10/09/2012 RUDAW –  By WLADIMIR van WILGENBURG – AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands — The armed units of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) known as the (YPG) killed 3 Syrian soldiers, wounded two, and seized 50 weapons on Saturday, in what they called a revenge attack. The attack came two days after Syrian forces killed 21 Kurdish civilians and wounded many others in the Aleppo neighborhood of Sheikh Maksud. YPG leaders claimed on Friday that they had driven regime forces out of Kobane city.

A video footage posted on Youtube showed civilian Kurds and members of the YPG overrunning security buildings in Efrin. According to PYD’s Foreign Representative Alan Semo, the YPG captured soldiers, disarmed them and drove them out of Efrin. Furthermore, in the city of Derik, a few kilometers from the Turkish border, the YPG captured 5 Syrian soldiers and freed them after taking away their weapons.

The YPG had earlier warned the Syrian regime to stop ‘provoking and targeting Kurds to drag the country into a civil war’. Although state troops had mostly withdrawn from Kurdish areas controlled by the PYD, a security facility had remained in Efrin with a few personnel who stayed indoors most of the time. A 50-year- old man, told Now Lebanon that the security men called the PYD’s checkpoint whenever they needed bread or water. An activist told Rudaw that the security forces remaining inside the building created rumors that the PYD was allowing the Syrian regime representatives to stay in the city. But the PYD seems to have taken a hostile attitude towards Syrian security forces after their controlled-area of Sheikh Maksud in Aleppo came under devastating fire on Thursday.

In its demonstrations, the PYD has called on Kurds and Arabs to join the YPG instead of fleeing to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq or Turkey. Separately, the Union of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK), which enjoys close ties with the PYD, condemned the attack in a statement published, saying, “Kurds should respond to this provocation by self-defense.” Thursday’s attack raised questions among Kurds as to why the regime attacked the PYD-controlled district, given PYD’s alleged association with the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

PYD’s official Semo told Rudaw, “the brutal regime forces target the relatively quiet Kurdish area to provoke and drag them into the violence and destabilize the peaceful harmony where thousands of civilians (Arab) refugees who live with Kurds in the Kurdish controlled and safe area.”The Kurdish news website Welati reported that fighting had occurred between the YPG and Assad’s forces in Sheikh Maqsood neighborhood of Aleppo on Friday where the 3 Syrian soldiers were killed.

In an earlier report Welati claimed that the regime is trying to “provoke tensions and anxiety in Kurdish areas by incursions of security forces and taking young Kurds to compulsory military service in order to create tensions and violence.”

Despite the YPG attacks Syrian security forces and the Shabiha militia are still present in the largest Kurdish city of Qamishli. Meanwhile, there are reports of the Assad regime arming several Arab tribes outside Qamishli to confront the Kurds in case of an emergency.