Kur­dish Wor­ries of Mount­ing Attacks by Assad Forces

ARA News

Recently, forces loyal to the Syr­ian régime launched a bloody crack­down against areas mainly pop­u­lated by Kurds in Aleppo, Qamishli and the vil­lage of Hadded north-​east Syria. Sev­eral airstrikes tar­geted civil­ians in these areas, allegedly per­su­ing rebels from the Free Syr­ian Army (FSA) — the main armed wing of the opposition.

How­ever, many observers insist that the régime of Pres­i­dent Bashar al-​Assad started its actual war against the Kur­dish peo­ple in Syria after a rel­a­tive sta­bil­ity the Kur­dish areas saw over the two-​year-​old war. This view is sup­ported by the claim that the Assad air­force tar­geted regions that have never wit­nessed pres­ence of FSA rebel.

 

The crack­down fol­lowed a coop­er­a­tion between Kur­dish fight­ers of the Pop­u­lar Pro­tec­tion Units (YPG)– forces loyal to the Kur­dish Demo­c­ra­tic Union Party (PYD)– and brigades from the FSA to fight together against the régime’s forces.

Accord­ing to Saleh Mus­lim, leader of the PYD –an affil­i­a­tion of the Kur­dis­tan Work­ers Party (PKK), the attacks of the Syr­ian army came after a “non-​aggression pacts reached between Kurds and some mod­er­ate fac­tions in the rebel forces”.

Saleh also ref­ered to Assad’s fear of Turkey, espe­cially after the peace talks between the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment and the leader of the PKK Abdul­lah Ocalan, as another pos­si­ble rea­son for the recent attacks against the Kurds in Syria.

“Maybe the (Syr­ian) gov­ern­ment was both­ered about these agree­ments. We also had such agree­ments with some small groups in Aleppo, and so because of that they bombed our areas,” Mus­lim told Reuters.“Maybe the Syr­ian gov­ern­ment thinks that we are get­ting some help from Turkey, but this is not true.”

On Sun­day, Syr­ian rights activists reported that the gov­ern­ment forces launched an airstrike on the Kur­dish vil­lage of Had­dad, in the sub­urb of Qamishli city, result­ing in 16 casu­al­ties among civil­ians. This attack is deemed one of the blood­i­est by the Assad forces against the Kur­dish peo­ple since the start of the ongo­ing pop­u­lar upris­ing against Assad, March 2011.

More­over, the Kur­dish dis­trict of Sheikh Mak­sud, north­ern Aleppo, also saw sev­eral airstrikes by the régime air­force over the last two weeks, killing 47 civil­lians, accord­ing to reports.

“From the begin­ning we decided not to be a part of this blind fight­ing going ahead between Dam­as­cus and oth­ers,” Mus­lim added. “Our pol­icy has been self-​defense, the right to pro­tect our­selves, pro­tect our Kur­dish areas.”

The cur­rent insta­bil­ity in sev­eral Kur­dish areas north and north-​east Syria led many fam­i­lies to flee their homs and resort to other areas, inclu­din­ing the Iraqi Kur­dis­tan which hosts more than 80.000 Syr­ian refugees, accord­ing to offi­cial records by the Kur­dis­tan Regional Gov­ern­ment KRG.

Source: ARA News

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