Syrian Kurds, US, Russian Positions Overview Statements

    On 26 June, Russian Deputy FM Bogdanov met with Salih Muslim in Geneva and Salih said that Russia recognizes the Supreme Kurdish Council as sole representative of Syria’s Kurds.

    Lavrov: We performed painstaking work with Damascus. As a result, the Syrian Government consented to take part in the conference and put together a negotiating team led by W. Muallem, minister of foreign affairs and deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers.

    With the opposition everything is more complicated. On the one hand certain forces are attempting to portray the situation such that only representatives of the Syrian Opposition Coalition [SOC; National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces] may sit opposite the government delegation. Yet the majority in the “internal opposition” do not share its approaches, they would like to attend the conference independently of the SOC. We were asked to assist this participation by the National Coordination Committee and the Supreme Council of Kurds of Syria.

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, Moscow, in Russian 0000 gmt 18 Jun 13 BBC Monitoring

    US on PYD: The United States condemns the Kurdish Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) deadly response to peaceful demonstrations in the city of Amuda, where PYD authorities have killed six people, wounded dozens, and detained 90 activists during several days of clashes. There is no justification for these attacks or the PYD’s attempts to repress freedoms of expression and assembly by silencing those who peacefully advocate for democracy and human rights. We are appalled by reports of the PYD torturing detainees and demand that it immediately and unconditionally release all detained activists.

    The PYD must abandon its brutal tactics and respect the human rights and dignity of all Syrians. This violent suppression only serves the regime’s efforts to escalate tensions and divide the Syrian people.

    PYD Press Release: On statement of U.S. Department of State regarding situation in Amuda, Syria. What happened in Amuda was a conspiracy ambush set up by mercenaries affiliated to Jabhat Al-Nusra of brigade 313, while the Kurdish forces Popular Protection Units (YPG)were on their way to Qamishli. The entrap was set up in public and those mercenaries armed group started firing and shooting on the Kurdish forces which is related to Supreme Kurdish Council, resulting in one of the Kurdish force member has been killed and four others have been wounded .The Kurdish forces had to defend themselves and four members of armed group have been killed and two civilians were killed as the clashes occurred in inhabited area. The Kurdish security forces (Asayish) arrested the suspicious individuals and later released all except those involved. These precaution measurements were taken by Kurdish security forces to prevent further chaos and to restore the security and stability in the city. However the U.S. Department of State stated on 1 July 2013 that some detainees have been tortured, was based on incorrect information. The Kurdish established institutions are respecting and complying with the International Human Rights act and open for any investigation.

    We, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) are a political party and we do not have guards or armed people, while Popular Protection Units (YPG) and security forces (Asayish) are the two Kurdish national foundations forces to protect the Kurdish regions against the Salafist, Jihadist armed groups affiliated to Jabaht al-Nusra and as well as against brutal regime’s forces. These national institutions aimed to run the Kurdish area democratically and peacefully and provide the security and stability to region’s people. Executive Committee of Democratic Union Party (PYD)

    1 July 2013

    The significance of such an escalation in the authoritarian approach of the PYD stretches far beyond this episode in Amuda, striking a blow against anyone else willing to represent the Syrian Kurds before the international community. On June 25, Robert Ford, former US ambassador to Syria, chose Abdul-Basit Saida from the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) as sole legitimate representative of the Syrian Kurds at the Geneva II peace talks, despite Moscow’s opposition which tends to prefer the PYD-dominated Kurdish Supreme Commission (KSC). After last week’s violence in Amuda, numerous local councils of the Kurdish National Council (KNC) — a body formed by 16 Kurdish parties — withdrew from the KSC in a sign of protest. Only time will tell if the KNC will consider joining the SNC to marginalize the PYD, or whether it will pursue reconciliation with the followers of Abdullah Ocalan, one of the founding members of the PKK.

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    As-Safir newspaper said that the United States of America expressed its rejection of the participation of representatives of the Kurdish Supreme Body at the Geneva Conference. This came, during a session of the consultations held in the Swiss capital on Tuesday in the presence of Ambassador Robert Ford and Mikhail Bogdanov.

    The newspaper also said that the U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert Ford refused the participation of a Kurdish delegation from the Kurdish Supreme Body , as the National Coalition opposition, includes Kurdish members able to speak on behalf of the Syrian Kurdish opposition, pointing out that the United States Do not want multiple delegations of the opposition, but want a delegation from the coalition including military men, and that the coalition must ensure the presence of a harmonious and strong delegation.

    The newspaper pointed out that Russia responded to the American proposal and said that the proposal Abdul Basit Sida to be a representative of the Kurds in the delegation of the opposition, is not realistic, and he represents only himself.