Kurdish Politician Assassinated in Syria

21/09/2012 RUDAW –  WLADIMIR van WILGENBURG –  AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands — Kurdish politician Mahmoud Wali (Abu Gandi) was assassinated by two masked men on a motorcycle in Serêkanî (Ras al-Ayn) in front of the local council on Thursday evening.

Wali was a member of the Kurdish Freedom Party (Azadi) which is part of the Kurdish National Council (KNC) and one of the founders of the Kurdish youth group. In a statement on Thursday, the KNC praised Abu Gandi an active leader struggling for his people.

The statement that was released in Arabic on Facebook, read, “We vehemently condemn this crime which is yet another ring in the chain of crimes committed against our people in their peaceful struggle. We ask our people to stay in their fight for democracy no matter what the price.” 

The assassination might lead to new tensions among Syrian Kurds. Kurdish youth groups often play an independent role in organizing demonstrations against the regime of Bashar al-Assad government. Immediately after the assassination, youth groups called demonstrations.  In Dirbêsê, there was a huge demonstration in honour of Wali, and the Kurdish youth groups said the killers must be found and that their group “will not be intimidated.”

Ras al-Ayn is in al-Hasakah province, which is not fully under control of the Kurdish political parties and where Syrian security forces are still present.

On September 18, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Syrian army came to clashes west of Serêkanî.