Kurdistan News

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kurekmurek
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Joined: 15-11-07
Sep 4 2015 13:37

This news and interview is quite good in my opinion and gives a good picture of kurdish activits and what they face and how they are dealing with it (Especially in civilian side).

https://corporatewatch.org/news/2015/aug/27/imprisoned-singing-kurdish-support-n%C3%BBdem-durak

Flint
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Joined: 17-12-05
Sep 8 2015 02:19
Flint wrote:
"The survivors of Suruc are hopeful that these values will someday find a place in the world. “The general rule here,” Oğuz says slyly, “is that wherever the state attacks, that area or that group gets stronger,” and he boasts that SGDF membership has grown. Asked what outcome he ultimately wishes for, he replies that “in an ideal situation, different peoples in this region would live equally together in peace, where youths and women are free…and where capitalism doesn’t damage the environment.” Sercan says he believes “the Kurdish movement’s ideas will eventually go beyond the Kurdish population,” and notes the uniqueness of a national liberation movement that is also critical of the idea of the nation and the state.
Turkey Is Using ISIS as Cover For Its War Against Kurdish Activists, Nathan Robinson, The Nation, August 26, 2015

One of the people interviewed in this article, Oğuz Yüzgeç, has been arrested for a demonstration he participated in 2013. He is accused of “opposing the law on meetings and demonstrations”.

Flint
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Sep 8 2015 03:12
Quote:
Amnesty International visited two central prisons in Qamishli and Malikiya under the control of the PYD-led administration’s police force, the Asayish in August 2015. At both facilities researchers were able to speak to detainees of their choice and interview them separately without any prison officials present.

There are around 125 prisoners detained in three central prisons in the Jazira canton: Qamishli, Derbasiyah and Malikiya, according to Abeer Mohamad Khaled, the Director of Prisons for the Asayish. Ciwan Ibrahim, Director of the Asayish, told Amnesty International that there up to 400 detainees held by the Asayish across all three cantons under PYD control.

“The PYD-led autonomous administration cannot use their fight against terrorism as an excuse to violate the rights of individuals in areas under their control,” said Lama Fakih, Senior Crisis Advisor at Amnesty International.

“Resorting to such heavy-handed tactics in the name of security such as locking up suspects based on their views or tenuous affiliations without evidence is only likely to backfire and does nothing to improve security. Regardless of the alleged crime, detainees’ basic rights to a fair trial and freedom from arbitrary arrest should be upheld.”

Asayish forces have also used the counter-terrorism law to detain and prosecute Kurdish opposition groups critical of the PYD. The Syrian Democratic Kurdish Party (PDK-S), a Kurdish opposition party, told Amnesty International that 12 members of their party in Afrin, also under the control of the PYD-led administration, have been arbitrarily detained in 2014 and sentenced for committing terrorist acts without any substantiated evidence.

Amnesty International calls on the PYD-led autonomous administration to end arbitrary arrests and release all detainees who are held unlawfully. Arrests should not be conducted without a warrant or to stop crimes in progress. Arbitrary arrests contravene the administration’s own Social Contract, a constitutional document adopted in January 2015, guaranteeing the right to not be arbitrarily detained.

All detainees accused of terrorism interviewed by Amnesty International said that their conditions of confinement in the central prisons were adequate. Researchers observed that prison cells were not overcrowded and were well equipped with beds, adequate lighting, and bathroom facilities. Detainees did not allege that they were ill-treated or tortured in the central prisons visited. They said that they received three meals per day, were allowed to spend at least an hour per day in the prison courtyards, were provided access to medical treatment when needed, and entitled to one family visit per week and one phone call per week.

Despite claims by Ciwan Ibrahim, Director of the Asayish, that detainees are granted access to a lawyer and that their families are notified of their whereabouts after arrest and allowed to visit them once investigations are complete (usually in about a month), many detainees said their request for a lawyer had been ignored and they were deprived from communicating with their families for months. Only one detainee interviewed said that he had a lawyer.

“It is clear that many detainees have faced grossly unjust trials in a serious violation of their rights. Everyone should have the right to defend themselves before fair courts. Instead of trampling all over people’s rights in the name of security and counterterrorism the PYD-led administration should ensure that the rights of detainees are respected,” said Lama Fakih.

Syria: Arbitrary detentions and blatantly unfair trials mar PYD fight against terrorism, Amnesty International, 7 September 2015

The 2014 population estimate of Rojava is 4.6 million. That gives Rojava an incarceration rate of 9 per 100,000. That would make it the lowest of any country in the world. If Rojava's population is only 2 million (due to refugees, lack of territorial control, etc...) then the incarceration rate would be 20 per 100,000.

Other rates for comparison:
Turkey: 198 per 100K
Syria: 60 per 100K
Iraq: 139 per 100K
Lebanon: 108 per 100K
Saudi Arabia: 162 per 100K
Jordan: 95 per 100K
Israel: 249 per 100K
Iran: 284 per 100K
Greece: 120 per 100K
Georgia: 219 per 100K
Armenia: 160 per 100K
Azerbaijan: 210 per 100K
England and Wales: 148 per 100K
United States: 707 per 100K

Flint
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Joined: 17-12-05
Sep 10 2015 01:55

Turkish nationalist attacks on HDP and Kurds:
click for google map

Attacks on HDP:

Demirtaş: "More than 400 attacks took place in 2 days.These attacks were initiated & carried out by the hand of State", HDP, September 9, 2015

305 racist attacks targeted HDP across Turkey in two days, ANF, September 9, 2015

Racists on the hunt for Kurds in Turkey. JINHA, September 9, 2015

Turkey's Demirtas warns leaders heading towards civil war, BBC News, September 9, 2015

Quote:
Out of the 93 ppl arrested during the anti-Kurdish pogroms in #Turkey yday, 75 are HDP members who were in the attacked HQ's

Reşo Teyrebaz

CHP office in Ankara attacked

MHP attack pro-AKP Daily Sabah newspaper office in Istanbul

Turkish nationalists beat compatriot after presuming him to be Kurdish, Hurriyet Daily News, September 9, 2015

Turkey sends forces into northern Iraq to battle Kurdish rebels, Suzan Fraser, Reuters, September 8, 2015

Turkish ground forces entering Kurdish autonomous region, AFP, September, 2015

Quote:
The PKK spokesman Zagros Hiwa claims these factors have contributed to a “big increase” in the group’s recruitment of young Kurds from northern Iraq.

Serkeft, a 21-year-old PKK fighter from Kirkuk, was nursing shrapnel wounds to his arms and legs from an Isis attack as he spoke to The Independent at a base south west of Irbil. He said that the new war against Turkey was not a distraction from the fight with Isis; in fact, he said, they are one and the same. “We have enough guerrillas” for both fronts, he said, adding, “the Turkish government is the tree and we are fighting the branches.”

Mr Hiwa of the PKK says that around 100 young Kurds from Iraqi Kurdistan come to its bases in Qandil every month to join the group. The Independent could not verify his claims, but discussion with potential recruits, families of fighters and political organisations linked to the PKK pointed to its growing allure compared with Kurdish political parties...

Security officials in Kirkuk and the town of Halabja said they had no figures on how many residents had joined the PKK. Dr Saed Kakei, senior adviser to the Minister of Peshmerga, said that his ministry had “concerns” about people taking up arms with the PKK, but that “people are free to join any organisation”.

As a member of a PKK-linked youth organisation in Kirkuk she is learning about the ideology of Mr Ocalan. Every day she sees young people arriving to join up. “Most are angry and want to go to Europe but they see they can do something for their country here,” she said. “They’re angry because of politicians [...] I am angry because the parties here have lots of money and a monopoly on power. They don’t provide for the people. When people see PKK fighters without salaries they see that they are good.”

Iraq/KRG: Young Kurds flock to PKK to take up arms against militants after becoming disillusioned with their government, The Independent, September 9, 2015

Quote:
Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) official from Halabja, Farouq AbdulKarim told BasNews that the PUK are in charge in Halabja, and they help the PKK organise their activities in the province. “There are officials from the PUK who openly cooperate with senior PKK officials and facilitate their movements in the area,” Abdulkarim said.

PKK to Establish Military Units in Halabja Province, Hemin Salih, Bas News, September 9, 2015 (Bas News is KDP media)

Overview on the situation in southeast Turkey: Hakkari, Mardin and Sirnak provinces in Turkey's campaign against the PKK, September 7, 2015, ARCHICIVILIANS

Kurdish Gerdi clan declares war on PKK and HDP
Gerdi tribe of 65,000 pledge to stand up against PKK

Flint
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Joined: 17-12-05
Sep 10 2015 16:18

There is really an impressive "freedom march" on the way to Cizre right now.


Women from Silopi and Sirnex walking towards the besieged city of Cizre

Defying Erdogan, pro-Kurdish MPs march towards Turkish curfew town

Turkey Kurds: Kurdish MPs in new attempt to march to Cizre

HDP: Urgent call for international action

CHP urges lifting curfew in Cizre, demands government explanation

Tens of people killed in southeastern Turkish town under curfew


YDG-H in Cizre (photos)

More on reddit

Twitter trends:
#cizre
#CizreUnderAttack
CizreFreedomMarch

Flint
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Joined: 17-12-05
Sep 13 2015 03:46

Popular resistance lifts blockade on Cizre,, Jinha, September 12, 2015

Flint
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Oct 6 2015 16:34

Bashur(Iraq)


Demonstrators close Koya-Taq Taq road to oil tankers, as KRG MNR fails to secure salaries, 6 Oct 2015


Demonstrations across Kurdistan Region against Gov failure to pay wages, 6 Oct 2015

Peshmerga launched the offensive from 3 fronts west of Kirkuk, included about 3500 Peshmerga. Peshmerga have regained control of 12 villages with 140 square km cleared., September 30, 2015

Barzani still acts as president of KRG past his 2 year extension in spite of opposition by the majority of parliament (particularly the Gorran-PUK bloc).

Forget the UN! Meet the Self-Determining Refugees in Kurdistan, Dilar Dirik, October 5, 2015

Rojava(Syria)

September 20th, al-Nusra and its allies began attacking the YPG defended neighborhood of Şêxmeqsûd in Aleppo.


26 September 2015, Sheikh Maqsoud | Ongoing clashes between #YPG/J and al-Nusra.


Kurds, Arabs, Syriacs & Turkmen march against IS and Al Nusra in neighbourhood Şêxmeqsûd, Aleppo, 24 Sep 2015


YPG/YPJ counter-attacked al-Nusra. Aleppo situation at Sheikh Maqsood after YPG seized part of Castello Rd, 27 Sep 2015

YPG Commander: Turkey behind the attacks on Sheikh Maqsoud, September 27, 2015


Aleppo: Residents in Sheikh Maqsoud protest against recent attacks by Al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham on the district, 29 Sep 2015


Demonstration in Al-Sukkari Aleppo "We call on rebel groups to suppress PKK (YPG), 30 Sep 2015

YPG take control of a transition route used by Al-Nusra in Aleppo, October 5, 2015

YPG Commander: Turkish officers conduct the attacks on Şêxmeqsûd, October 5, 2015


Teachers in the district Sheikh Maqsoud call on international organisations to break the siege, October 6, 2015

Video: Demonstrations against PKK/YPG in Aleppo denouncing them as against the people, October 6, 2015

U.S. Says YPG is not a terrorist organization, September 22, 2015

Plans for direct U.S. weapons shipments, overland from Iraq, to Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters, October 2, 2015, Washington Post

Turkey's Erdogan Says Kurdish PYD Fighting Islamic State Is Terror Group, October 5, 2015

Salih Muslim: "No Peshmerga in Rojava", October 6, 2015

YPG fighting ISIS in Hasakah, October 5, 2015

YPG fighting ISIS south of Kobane, September 11, 2015

YPG fighting ISIS in Sarrin, September 20, 2015


ISIS destroys Yezidi temple in Sinjar, October 5, 2015

Arabic tribe Bagara is ready to join YPG with 2000 fighters, August 30, 2015

An indepth description of the organization of the Rojava communes:

Quote:
In order to discover the nature and function of communes and other institutions in Rojava, I attended sessions of the communes, Mala Gels (People’s Houses), courts, Assayish (local security/police) and 22 ministries of the three cantons.

Communes are the smallest and the most active units of the communal society. They are the places where people gather to discuss and resolve routine problems concerning all aspects of life...

Each commune has six committees dealing with specific issues. These are the social, youth, womens’, peace, self-defense and economic committees. The Mala Zhen (Women’s House) deals with women’s education and investigating women’s status in the areas covered by each commune.

Communes are managed in a co-leadership manner (with a male and female leader) and commune members must be at least 16 years of age. The communes hold weekly sessions and discuss and record monthly reports...

Individuals usually join the commune that covers the area in which they live. The co-leaders and committees are selected by direct elections involving all the commune members. The timing of these election is not set in law but depends on the needs of the situation. The communes rent houses to work from, which are called ‘Komungah’.

Several communes in a given region gather together in another place called the People’s House (Mala Gel). The bigger decisions are made in the People’s Houses, which are also responsible for supervising the communes.

In Qamishli City, there are 7 People’s Houses and 97 communes. Each commune covers about 350 families. The aim is to create more communes because sub-dividing the society into smaller units can enhance the quality and efficiency of the communes’ performance...

AA talks about why there is no political committee in the communes, saying this is part of an effort to avoid any tensions between the parties in the communes because, in his opinion, all the parties can take part in the communes.

However, Omar Amr, the chief of staff of the Democratic Party of Syrian Kurdistan (KDP-S) in Darbasi city, meets me briefly and argues that there is systematic marginalisation and exclusion of members of his party and other opposition parties within the communal structure, to the benefit of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the majority party in Rojava.

I attended commune sessions in Serikani city, where the young and old gathered, and I witnessed their elections. The sessions started with reports on previous sessions and then they asked for the people’s ideas on some local issues. At one meeting there was a discussion about how the Kobane refugees were being accommodated in Serikani and, after two hours, the attendees reached some agreements. It was also decided to determine some things later on, such as the location for temporary accommodation, and how to provide food and other essentials.

AA says: "The value of the commune’s signature is greater than that the ministry’s signature, because the minister cannot do anything if the communes do not approve it”. This chief official, an Iranian Kurd, adds: “Formerly, they said ‘What clan are you from?’ Now everyone should ask, ‘Which commune do you belong to?’”

He speaks of a more fundamental issue: “We are against the system which is from top to base. We want to have a system that acts from base to top.” I ask him if this means that no one from the top can pressurize the base and impose his ideas, and he answers: “The chiefs of the commune can apply pressure by providing the correct education and this does not mean a negative pressure or imposition; that degree of authority is an inevitable part of having the leading role and does not lead to domination”. I ask him what prevents domination, and he replies: “Ethics, not law."...

In the talks I had with local people, I sensed a kind of general misunderstanding about the role of the communes. For instance, when I asked a rather rich shopkeeper about them, he says, “Thank God, I don’t need the commune, let it be for the poor.” Since at the moment, in the current hard economic situation, one of the main roles carried out by the communes has been collecting, exchanging and delivering food, some people think of them as a type of charity.

Delsouz the journalist, who lives in Tel Tamer, 100 kilometers south of Qamishli, recalls the early days of administering the communes and the persistent impact of the thinking and practices of officials from the old regime: “In Tel Tamer, 110 communes were founded. At first, people were not familiar with communes. I remember that there were briberies in the communes.”

AA does not deny this and, while accepting the impact of the suppositions of the past, talks about the necessity of constant reformations: “It was just some weeks ago, that we changed the commune chiefs of 9 communes, as they lacked the necessary capacities. The clan chiefs do not tolerate lack of authority and so they can hardly bear to be in communes, equal to other people.”

This administrator of the TEV-DEM regards the “long-lasting presuppositions of the former regimes” as the main obstacle to the process of institutionalizing the communes in Rojava, and thinks the social revolution is more intellectual than material; he believes the process of revolution is a constant, rising one which will take time.

To undertand the intellectual basis of the communes we must understand the differerence between individualism and collectivism. AA points to the negative consequences of individualism: “That form of individualism that capitalism is developing, is the main cause of the many spiritual and psychological diseases of a society and we want to put an end to this by creating communes!”

I ask him, “If anyone, for any reason, does not intend to participate in the communes, what is your reaction?” He replies: “That person will continue his normal life. However, the communes will not help him anymore, as he is not a part of the commune.” He added with certainty that such cases are rare...

Here, AA’s tone becomes sharp and serious: “We are openly against the individualist concept. Individualism is like a mischievous rat who chews on the society. If am full and needless, then it is a must that my neighbor should be full and not hungry. If I am hungry, then my neighbor should care for me”.

He cites the primitive village communes to confirm his argument, and says they want to apply and institutionalize that primitive society model in modern form. In a simple example, he emphasises equal and just distribution: “The lands belong to the Democratic Autonomous System. We want to give the lands to the villagers, and anyone who wants to can register. The effort and strain will be the villagers’ and the autonomous system will provide the tools and needs of the farms. Ultimately, a small percentage of the earnings will go the autonomous system’s pocket while most will belong to those who have done the work“.

In his belief, creating cooperatives prevents the situation where one person gets most of the workers’ wages.

In this regard, AA thinks that, although the creation of cities had positive results, they also made profit and capital paramount and, by enshrining individualism as the main principle, the spiritual and psychological health of humankind was disturbed...

“The individual-citizen of the democratic nation, besides being free, must inevitably be communal as well. The counterfeit and fake ‘free individual’ of the capitalist individualism which is infused against the society, essentially suffers from a sort of bondage. However, according to the picture or image that the liberal ideology presents, it seems as if the individual has infinite freedom. On the contrary, the reality proves to be the opposite …”

Introduction to the Political and Social Structures of Democratic Autonomy in Rojava, Zanyar Omrani, Paswean, September 30, 2015
Zanyar Omrani is a documentary filmmaker and freelance journalist, born in Iranian Kurdistan/Rojhelat, and currently working on a new film project about Syrian Kurdistan/Rojava. Given the level of detail of this article on the communes, Omrani's documentary will definitely be something to watch.

Quote:
Most of Syria has broken up along ethnic lines. But in Rojava, members of the Arab and Assyrian minorities are deliberately included.

This struck me when I met the leadership of one canton. Unthinkingly, I addressed the oldest, most senior-looking sheikh, a leader of a local Arab tribe. Without speaking, he turned to the young Kurdish woman beside him, and she spoke to him in Arabic — as a courtesy to him and other Arab participants.

Self-government in Rojava means that, as much as possible, decisions are made at the local, communal level. In one village, women and men sat separately, reflecting local tradition. Like most political meetings, it was lengthy and sometimes boring, with the usual long-winded speeches (but not all from men). But anyone could speak, without distinction, and young and old alike stood up to debate jobs, medical services, even the menace of kids riding their bikes too fast around the village.

For a former diplomat like me, I found it confusing: I kept looking for a hierarchy, the singular leader, or signs of a government line, when, in fact, there was none; there were just groups. There was none of that stifling obedience to the party, or the obsequious deference to the “big man” — a form of government all too evident just across the borders, in Turkey to the north, and the Kurdish regional government of Iraq to the south. The confident assertiveness of young people was striking...

heir democratic system is a work in progress and not without flaws. Some human rights organizations have alleged political intimidation and, in a few cases, the expulsion of Arabs suspected of collaboration with the Islamic State. A few young people I met complained about being conscripted into the Y.P.G.

The Kurds’ Democratic Experiment, CARNE ROSS, SEPT. 30, 2015. Carne Ross, a former British diplomat and the author of “The Leaderless Revolution: How Ordinary People Will Take Power and Change Politics in the 21st Century,” is working on a forthcoming documentary film, “The Accidental Anarchist.”

Video: Nissy Koye & Hanna Bohman in "Women Warriors of Kurdistan" seminar organized by Kurdish House of Vancouver and sponsored by Simon Fraser University filmed and edited by Aras Ali. Hanna Bohman was a Canadian volunteer to the YPJ.

I organized a speaking event at Red Emmas, Video: The Revolution in Rojava with Ruken Işık (Gender and Women’s Studie, UMBC), Omer Pacal, (HDP, People's Democratic Party member) and Golala Arya (Washington, DC area Kurdish activist). I also speak a bit in introducting the talk to the audience.

CJ Swann, Irish volunteer that spent some time in a PKK transit camp, he didn't manage to make it across to Rojava

Aid not reaching Kobane, despite outrage over Alan Kurdi’s death 138468257#sthash.iiwagQft.dpuf]Aid not reaching Kobane, despite outrage over Alan Kurdi’s death, 22 September, 2015

A Global Day of Action to open a humanitarian cooridor for Kobane has been called for November 1st (This call was previously posted to libcom.org but been removed, whats up mods?)


Map of Syria with location of Russian Air Strikes and Russian Ground Troops, October 4, 2015

Sputnik News: YPG chief Sipan Hemo told Sputnik Türkiye that his fighting force wants Russian assistance., October 1st, 2015

YPG: Words of our commander, Sipan Hamo have been manipulated, we never made such statement on this matter (as decribed by Sputnik), 2 Oct 2015

Quote:
Salih Muslim: "Russia sided with the regime from the very start. This is a separate matter. But as far as Assad remaining in power, we think differently. Assad cannot remain in power as before. He may stay on during a transition period, during a period of dialogue between the conflicting parties, but in the long term it seems inconceivable that the majority of the Syrian people would accept his leadership anymore."

PYD leader: Russia will stop Turkey from intervening in Syria, October 1

Bakur(Turkey)


Cizre is mourning their martyrs: body of 35-days-old Muhammed Yaramis, 13 Sep 2015, "21 civilians killed during the one week siege on Kurdish city of Cizre"

Kurds demand answers after battles in Cizre, September 18, 2015

Quote:
discussion of self-governance from various aspects in the provinces of Siirt, Batman, Mardin, Amed, Urfa, Dersim, Şırnak, Hakkari, Van, Bitlis, Ağrı, Iğdır, Kars, Muş and Erzurum.

According to the information released by DBP Headquarters, the meetings will discuss self-rule, democratic autonomy in all their dimensions to be realized in conformity with the social dynamics of the settlements, embracing various communities, faith groups, civil society organisations, local administrations and people’s assemblies; the future of the cities and the roles to be played by social dynamics during the building process of self-rule.

DBP to discuss self-rule and autonomy in 15 cities, September 30, 2015

Quote:
Pointing to people's commitment and dedication to the self-rule model, Tunç added the followings; “We will start to build cooperatives soon after we've finished forming our communes properly. In this way, we will be an answer to the system's hunger for profit in economy and the state's policy to discipline the Kurdish people with hunger. In the construction works, we give priority to education in the first place. We are currently preparing an instructional programme on communes, assemblies and self-rule for the inhabitants of our neighborhoods. We see now that we will be able to overcome all the problems through the works of our communes and neighborhood assemblies without a need for any institution of the state. Our neighborhoods do no more face problems such as theft, while arguments are being eliminated through the law commissions formed by the people themselves.”

140 communes formed in Cizre as part of building of self-rule, September 24, 2015
Women lead the building of self-rule in Cizre, September 26, 2015

Call for a school boycott, September 23, 2015
School boycott joined by over 80 percent in Van, September 28, 2015

Silvan: Tanks, Detentions, many wounded in attacks, Turkish troops deploy to Ezidi refugee camp
Nusaybin: under seige, Attacks, Artillery fire, Massacre warning, After 5 days, curfew lifted
Lice: Entry & Exit Banned
Bismil: third curfew. The curfew for Ulutürk, Dumlupınar, Fırat and Tekel neighborhoods will last until a further notice. October 6, 2015

According to HDP: Killed civilians in last 70 days in province Sirnak: Cizre 27, Silopi 6, Elke 4, Hezex 1, Şirnak city 5. October 5, 2015

Ahead of elections, Turkey clamps down on press freedom, October 6, 2015

"HacI Lokman Birlik, the brother-in-law of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Sirnak deputy Leyla Birlik, was shot dead by the Turkish special forces on Friday night (2 October)" His body was dragged through the streets of Sirnak behind a police vehicle. Warning: Graphic Video

Turkey Is in Serious Trouble, SONER CAGAPTAY, The Atlantic, 10/2015

David Graeber: We have a Lot to Learn, New Compass, 17.09.2015

Crimethinc: Understanding the Kurdish Resistance, Sep 23rd, 2015

bob mcglynn
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Oct 6 2015 21:20

WHAT DOES ANYONE KNOW ABOUT FORCED CONSCRIPTION BY PYD??? i've gotten a serious report, and it's not the 1st about rojava, but blaimed on some other force...

today in nyt its announced russian troops will have fun and enter the ground war to protect their imperial navel base in syria etc. In their former contigues empire they're busy building military alliances with some of their former colonies, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, and establishing bases--

flint we see none of yer promised hadiwork in getting signers for the petition for kobane, rojava, for turkey to open a safe corridor for med. aid etc. and world day of action nov. 1--extremly sorry for trying to contact u this way- 'messages' went nowhere- no doubt you have too much to do already and maybe i'm hassling you SO SORRY as everyday i see more and more of how important you are but "if you have it, flaunt it" (as a 60's saying went), but things are in a rush, Neither East Nor West-NYC was picked to help with petition as i think we're seen as do-ers and kinda, part of, the prole/rank & file end of rojava aid, to even out the oh-so-famed/baroness's/nobel prizers/professors...

can ya add to this 'kurdish weekly news briefing'-- contact estella24@tiscali.co.uk

the worlds worst speller signs out (do u know how long it takes me to correct and make things half-way readable? painkillerz pleeeeez...)

Flint
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Oct 6 2015 22:23
bob mcglynn wrote:
WHAT DOES ANYONE KNOW ABOUT FORCED CONSCRIPTION BY PYD???

Conscription by the YPG has been discussed several times on Libcom. Most conscripts go into the HXP (Hêzên Xwe Parastinê). They get trained for 6 weeks and have a 6 month conscription. They are largely used as static infantry in their home communities. The best document I've seen is this document from the Danish Immigration Service: Syria: Military Service, Mandatory Self-Defence Duty and Recruitment to the YPG

Bob, don't worry about me. I'm doing my part. Not sure what's going to happen locally for November 1st, but I'm going to follow the lead of the local Kurdish community in Washington DC that I've developed a relationship with. They've organized a number of demonstrations in the past at the White House, the Turkish embassy, the national mall near Congress, etc...

I've asked Black Rose Anarchist Federation to sign on and participate. The organizational secretary should do that soon.

kurekmurek
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Oct 7 2015 14:52

Flint:

Quote:
"HacI Lokman Birlik, the brother-in-law of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Sirnak deputy Leyla Birlik, was shot dead by the Turkish special forces on Friday night (2 October)" His body was dragged through the streets of Sirnak behind a police vehicle. Warning: Graphic Video

Apparently cops also did not forget to take a picture with his tortured body and themselves together:
http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/turkiye/382477/Haci_Lokman_Birlik_in_cenazesinin_basinda_toplu_poz_vermisler.html

MORE IMPORTANTLY: Birlik is told to be a great guy and very selfless in helping the others. He was also into movies. This short movie is his labor (with English and Turkish subtitles):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=124&v=6-iOcHSoGtg

Flint
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Oct 7 2015 14:57

Pictures of Kobani Today

Flint
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Oct 7 2015 18:11
Quote:
"Kurds protested and went on strike in northern Iraq on Wednesday in a show of growing discontent that threatens to further undermine stability at a time when their region is at war with Islamic State.

"Teachers, hospital workers and other public sector employees have taken to the streets for nearly a week demanding their wages from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which is three months in arrears."

Kurds protest in north Iraq as discontent grows with government, Isabel Coles, Reuters, Oct 7, 2015

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“In the 1990s, teachers worked for a year without getting paid because we felt it was our duty, but now it’s really different,” another teacher told Rudaw. “We were more equal then, but now there are humiliating inequalities"

KRG finance chief vows to end teachers' strike, Rudaw, Oct 7, 2015

Quote:
Public-sector workers have gone on strike across Sulaimaniya province in the last three days, protesting long delays in salary payments that have resulted from the Kurdistan region's financial crisis.Many hundreds of government employees have left their posts and taken to the streets to picket in Sulaimaniya city and surrounding areas, including Halabja, Said Sadq, Darbandikhan, Penjwin, Ranya, Chamchamal, and Kalar.Strikes also spilled over into neighboring Erbil province on Monday

Strikes spreading over KRG salary delays, MOHAMMED HUSSEIN, PATRICK OSGOOD AND RAWAZ TAHIR, Iraq Oil Report, Oct 6, 2015

KRG teachers launch mass strike over wage delay, Rudaw, Oct 6, 2015

Flint
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Oct 9 2015 19:19

Wage protests in Bashur/Kurdistan Regional Government are escalating.

Quote:
Government employees and public school teachers demonstrated in the eastern Kurdish city of Halabja on Friday, calling on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to pay salaries, which have been delayed some three months. Halabja’s civil servants and teachers went on strike a week ago and criticized the KRG for not paying wages for months.

Government employees, teachers demonstrate in Halabja, NRT TV, October 9, 2015


Video: Footage of today's anti-government protests in Silemani's Qeladize, South Kurdistan, Shar press, October 9, 2015

Mihemed Resul (21) killed & 6 others wounded in protests in district Qeladiz of the province Silemani, Rojnews, October 9, 2015

PUK officials ask for calm as extra security forces are en route to Qaladze, after KDP gunmen killed 3 civilians, as well wounding 17 more, Slemani Times, October 9, 2015

KDP guards have wounded the police chief of Qaladze who was trying to lead demonstrators away from KDP HQ., Slemani Times, October 9, 2015

Video: Sulaimani protesters clash with police, NRT TV, October 9, 2015

Photos; Protesters clash with police in Sulaimani, NRT TV, October 9, 2015

Quote:
At least 17 people were wounded during anti-government protests in Sulaimani on Thursday, medical sources said.

A spokesperson for the Sulaimani Emergency Hospital told NRT that two police officers were among those injured as protesters clashed with security forces outside the Grand Millennium Hotel, where the region’s main political parties were holding talks on the presidency crisis.

“Most of the people transferred to hospital were injured due to tear gas,” the hospital spokesperson said.

The demonstration outside the meetings grew on Thursday as protesters attempted to break through a riot police barricade.

Later in the afternoon, police fired warning shots as well as tear gas and deployed a water cannon truck to disperse the crowd.

At least seventeen injured in Sulaimani protests, NRT TV, October 9, 2015

Kurdistan Parliament Issues Statement Supporting Protesters, NRT TV, October 9, 2015

Video: Sulaimani protests turn violent, NRT TV, October 8, 2015

Video: Protesters clas with riot police in Sulaimani, NRT TV, October 8, 2015

Quote:
Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in cities across the Kurdistan region to protest delayed salaries and the stalemate between Kurdish political parties that has left the regional government without an official president for since July.

At the biggest protest site in Suliamani, Rudaw's Saman Basharty witnessed clashes between the police and protesters who had gathered in front of of the Shary Juan Hotel where the five major Kurdish political parties were holding a meeting....

Dozens of protesters held demonstrations in Erbil and Halabja. In Erbil, a medical official for Rizgari hospital said doctors who have not been paid would continue to help patients, but stressed that the government needs to know the doctors and other workers need their salaries.

On Tuesday, hundreds of teachers took to the streets in Sulaimani and Erbil after declaring a week-long strike earlier this month over delayed salaries. Representatives of the protesting teachers told Rudaw they refused to go back to work before receiving their full salaries, which have been withheld since July.

In response, the Kurdistan Regional Government's finance minister said the teachers would be paid on Monday.

Protests continue across Kurdistan region, Rudaw, October 8, 2015

Video: Protests in Suliamani, Rudaw, October 8, 2015


Protests in Halabja, Xendan, October 8, 2015
Aftermath of riot police use of tear gas in Slemani Iraqi Kurdistan against protesters asking for their salaries, Kurdishblogger, October 8, 2015

Quote:
2 people allegedly killed by police. And demonstrations are continuing in the town of Qeladize. My relatives there are saying the situation is getting real bad.
The families of the killed have armed themselves apparently, so shit is about to go down.

source, October 9, 2015

Officials fail to reach decision on Kurdistan presidency, NRT TV, October 9, 2015

Quote:
Teachers, hospital workers and other public sector employees have taken to the streets for nearly a week demanding their wages from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which is three months in arrears...

"The Kurdistan regional government and officials are to blame," said Ari Ahmed, a 50-year old secondary school headmaster in the city of Sulaimaniyah. "If this is not resolved, we will continue our protest"...

The KRG needs roughly $1 billion per month to break even, of which $700 million is poured into a bloated public sector that employs 1.3 million people in the region of around 5 million.

The Kurds have sought to cover those costs by ramping up independent oil sales since early June, effectively annulling a deal with Baghdad whereby the region agreed to contribute 550,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) to Iraqi exports in 2015 in exchange for the reinstatement of budget payments.

A record 620,478 bpd were exported independently from the region in September, but many Kurds question how revenues are spent: "Oil money should be for the people, not for the mafias," read a banner carried by protesters.

"They (officials) talked about the economic independence of Kurdistan, but now we realize we were better off before," said teacher Nawshirwan Hama Gharib, who joined the protests in Sulaimaniyah.

Poor services and political deadlock have also triggered an exodus of Kurds to Europe. Rival factions have yet to agree on the terms of an extension of President Massoud Barzani's mandate, which expired on Aug. 20.

The last serious civil unrest in the region was in 2011, when Kurds protested against corruption and nepotism.

"If we don't get any result from these protests we will resort to other means," Gharib said.

Kurds protest in north Iraq as discontent grows with government, Isabel Coles, Reuters, October 7, 2015

Flint
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Oct 14 2015 21:02

Bakur (South Eastern Turkey)

kurremkarmerruk has already done a good job giving us information about the Ankara bombing and the general strike after it in Turkey News. The statement of the DAF is on libcom's homepage: Massacre at the 'Labor, Democracy and Peace Meeting' in Ankara.

It should noted that after the PKK declared a unilateral ceasefire making way for the elections November 1st, there was the bombing and Ankara and then airstrikes by the Turkey's airforce on PKK camps Zap and Metina in Bashur (northern Iraq).

Bashur (Northern Iraq)

Protests continued to escalate in the Kurdistan Regional Government area of Iraq. KDP offices have been burned. KDP has responded by removing Gorran (the second largest political party and leader of the majority Gorran-PUK bloc in parliament) from Parliament and the city of Erbil, including the speaker of the house. Prime Minister Barzani fired the four Gorran Ministers: Peshmerga Affairs, Finance and Economic Affairs, Trade and Industry, as well as Endowment and Religious Affairs – in addition to chairmanship of the Kurdistan Board of Investment and head of Parliament. Gorran is calling KDP's actions a coup d'etat.

KDP also shutdown the offices of NRT TV. Facebook access was blocked in Erbil and Duhok. Nalia media shutdown in Erbil and Duhok.

Sinjar (Western Iraq)

Between October 8th and October 10th, 2015: YBŞ & HPG(PKK) forces liberated the four villages of Sikeniyê, Jiddale, Heyalê and Wardiya in SW of Shingal (Sinjar). Earlier, it seized a check point sout of the Shilo gate and the Alneban village, which severed the Mosul-Raqqa road (47). Seizure of Wardiya solidfied severing that road.

Dilar Dirik has a new article on the self-determined refugees: Forget the UN! Meet the Self-Determining Refugees in Kurdistan

Dilar Dirik wrote:
During my first visit to the camp in December 2014, the full embargo on Rojava imposed by Turkey and the KDP, the latter controlling the border-crossing on the Iraqi side, prevented any humanitarian aid, including food and blankets, and even books from crossing. Due to political pressure, especially after the resistance of Kobane, some international organizations provide limited aid now, but the embargo continues. The UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, attempted to recreate the camp according to its universal concept, neglecting the fact that there was already a self-determining system in practice. Encountering the camp assembly’s resistance, the UNHCR was forced to respect their demands and now provides material needs, which the people coordinate themselves.

International institutions supposedly in charge have often left these people to die, starve, and suffer, by giving in to state policies. Meanwhile, the refugees, who have had everything taken away from them, create a life in dignity and power.

In September, the photo of the small child Alan Kurdî from Kobane stranded on a beach after drowning in the sea, managed to touch the silent conscience of humanity. My friend and Kurdish activist Mehmet Aksoy wrote: “Sometimes the fate of a child is written a 100 years before they are born. We are not talking of a divine fate, we are talking of historical forces, politics, power, hegemony, economic exploitation and colonialism.”

What makes bodies like Alan Kurdî’s so cruelly disposable is this order which values state-borders more than human beings.

In a world dictated by nation-states, what can we expect from a system like the U.N. that only respects the agency of states, which cause today’s massacres, genocides, ethnic cleansings, mass displacements, poverty, war and destruction to begin with, because it necessitates them by definition, especially considering that the core of it is made up of the top arms-selling states?

Rendering displaced people as dependent, apolitical non-agents, while leading a chauvinism discourse in host countries which established themselves through imperialism, racism, colonization, theft, exploitation, war, murder, and rape, is a strategy of the international order to maintain the racist status quo. Makhmour, Dêrîk, and Shengal, however, having been empowered by the PKK ideology, which rejects the nation-state system, tell another story.

Sabriye, a mother from Makhmour explains: “They fear us, because we stand on our feet. We did not trust anyone to save us, we took our fate into our own hands and created our own self-defense and social system. We made life sweeter by organizing ourselves.”

More than charity, refugees need comrades that help fight displacement causes (like foreign invasions and arms trade) and support the concerned people’s autonomy. Last month, Abdallah Kurdî, Alan’s father, called for the political recognition of the Rojava administration: “I am grateful for your sympathy for my fate. This has given me the feeling that I am not alone. But an essential step in ending this tragedy and avoiding its recurrence, is support for our self-organization.”

The world cried for Alan’s father, will it support his politics as well?

Rojava (Northern Syria)

Announcement of formation of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to be armed by the U.S. and seige Raqqa.

This list is the YPG/YPJ and there already existing allies. It does show Jaish al-Thuwar working more closely with the YPG in the future.

This announcement came at the same time the U.S. declared it would begin to airdrop tons of weapons to the YPG and its allies immediately. Speculation is that this was in the works after the failure of Division 30 and the U.S. Train and Equip Program, but the announcement may have also been in response to more involvement in Syria by Russia including a large number of airstrikes against al-Nusra, Islamic Front and some elements of the Free Syrian Army north of Homs. Ilham Ehmed (PYD, TEV-DEM, Yekitya Star) who I was able to meet last week, also told the media that Russia had offered to collaborate with the PYD.

Amnesty International has put out a report documenting allegations of forced displacement, village / home destruction, and targeted destruction of homes by the YPG.

"We had nowhere else to go": Forced displacement and demolitions in northern Syria (full report)

Syria: US ally’s razing of villages amounts to war crimes (summary article), 13 October 2015

Youtube Video: "We had nowhere else to go": Forced displacement and demolitions in northern Syria. Video includes statements by witnesses as well as reponses from the YPG and Asayiş (Rojava police).

Its important to note that Amnesty International does not level the charge of ethnic cleansing.

Amnesty International wrote:
"While the majority of residents affected by these unlawful practices are Arabs and Turkmen, in some cases, for example in the mixed town of Suluk, Kurdish residents have also been barred by the YPG and Asayish from returning to their homes. Elsewhere, for example in Abdi Koy village, a small number of Kurdish residents have also been forcibly displaced by the YPG. Amnesty International researchers also observed that Arab and Turkmen residents continued to reside unmolested in other areas under the control of the Autonomous Administration, including, for example, in the city of Ras al-Ayn, which is predominantly Arab."

In Hammam al-Turkman
The largest documented displacement in the full report:

Amnesty Internationa wrote:
"1,400 Turkmen families in the village along with 10 Kurdish families... approximately 1,000 homes in the village..."

Skirmishes and 2 VBIEDs after the YPG took the village.

Amnesty International wrote:
"18 June killing a YPG fighter and injuring one civilian and three days later IS shot and killed a second YPG fighter near the clinic. It was after the death of this fighter that the residents were told by the YPG that they had to leave the village... After extensive negotiations, Farid explained that 50% of the residents were finally able to return home on 17 August 2015. “They said that we could return if we told them who supported IS,” he said.

Summary of allegations in the Amnesty International report


Husseinya village taken in June 2015

alleged village / home destruction:

  • Husseinya (west of Tel Hamees): demolition of 90 homes/225 buildings.
  • Asaylem (35km south of Suluk): demolition of 100 of 103 homes
  • Mushayrfa (south of Suluk)
  • Akrasha (Tel Hamees countryside)
  • Safana (Tel Hamees country side)

alleged forced displacement:

  • Forbidding Suluk residents from returning to their town after the YPG took control of the area in June 2015;
  • Forcing approximately 1400 families in the Turkman village of Hammam al-Turkman and approximately 50 families from the Arab village of Raneen, south of Suluk, to leave their villages in June and July 2015, respectively;
  • Forcing residents of Maaghat village, south of the town of Suluk, to leave their village in June 2015;
  • Regularly ordering residents in the Arab village of al-Ghbein, south of the town of Suluk, to leave the area in June-August 2015;
  • Forcibly displacing approximately 500 families in the predominately Arab village of Abdi Koy, in the Tel Tamr countryside, in June 2015;
  • Telling residents of the Arab village of Tel Fweida, in the Tel Tamr countryside, to join the YPG or leave Syrian Kurdistan, in January 2015, which led 100 families to leave the village;
  • Forcibly displacing approximately 800 Turkmen villagers from Mela Berho in July 2015.

alleged targeted destruction of homes:

  • Members of a displaced family from Tel Diyab village, near Ras al-Ayn. Two homes destroyed.
  • Members of a displaced family from Ras al-Ayn city, confiscated homes and shops.

I updated this map to include villages mentioned in the recent Amnesty International report on village/home destruction and displacements.

I couldn't find the following:

  • al-Ghbein (Suluk)
  • Mela Berho (Suluk)
  • Akrasha (Tel Hamees)
  • Safana (Tel Hamees)

    But then, neither could the Washington Post map.

    I'm not sure of the exact location of al-Maghat, but the one marked fits the approximate distance from Hammam Turkman in the Amnesty International Report.

    Finally, a photogallery of daily life in Kobane recently

hood108
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Oct 14 2015 02:19

Only the HDP opposed it??? :<

bob mcglynn
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Oct 14 2015 02:23

DOES ANYONE KNOW OF FORCED CONSCRIPTION IN ROJAVA?- i lost it but i believe it was an x-brit diplomat in nyt who was wowed by rojava, but said some young guys complained of conscription by pyd. we had heard of forced concrip. by OTHERS in rojava, not pyd, that's why we put in our 'statement for rojava'* a note against conscription. 'lions of rojava' i hope are off when they said collectivisation was forced in spain ala civil war - i'd read @'s in catalonia gave a choice of course-- flint i sent the 'kurdish news weekly breifing' (not @ but dig us) yer 'kurdish news' addr which they really dig and will distribute- call 'em at estella24@tiscali.co.uk and please list their 'breifing' as resource. pleeeeeeez get in touch with me and network with 'breifing' so i dont have to be endless middleperson- if this is offed this thread i'll send it as message too---

over + out, "b"oB mcglynn-o-mat-ic

*by Neither East Nor West-NYC

Flint
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Oct 14 2015 03:58

Bob, Rojava/PYD/TEV-DEM has conscription. Here is a study on it:

https://www.nyidanmark.dk/NR/rdonlyres/991BA1A7-84C6-42A2-BC16-23CE6B5D862C/0/Syriennotat26feb2015.pdf

Battlescarred
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Oct 14 2015 14:17

http://www.voanews.com/content/syrian-kurds-accused-of-human-rights-abuses-against-arabs/3003693.html

kurekmurek
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Oct 14 2015 21:28

Flint shared the full report above. Amnesty says YPG does human rights violations against all available ethnicities (including kurds), however YPG says this is because of war and security. And apparently what they do is to force people whom they suspect to have connections with IS, sometimes even as a whole village. And just to note: needless to say this is horrible if it is unjustified (which seems to be so to a certain degree).

Flint
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Oct 14 2015 21:30

We also already knew that atleast one village was totally destroyed

pkk1978 wrote:
"The only I have seen a village burn was when our unit, some of the fighters I was responsible for, they blew up a house that had IEDs in the doorway. So we blew it up. Then it burned. Then it burned down the house next to it. Then it spread to half the village. When night came half the village was gone! Not only did I get castigated... I got arrested, thrown (unjustly) into a cell in Kobane for it, and had to wait until an investigation was finished into what had happened. To this day I have a black mark for that happening. I suppose we could have not blow up the house? (maybe, but I think if a house is rigged to blow you just blow up the house because you don't know if there are other trip wires connected it). We had to use that village for a nighttime defense operation and there was no way I was going to let that house stay there... all the while it was mined.

Ask Me Anything with a PKK fighter who was in the Battle of Kobane

kurekmurek
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Oct 15 2015 06:55

YPG's response:
YPG General Commander Hemo on Syrian Democratic Force, US Weapons & Amnesty Report
http://civiroglu.net/2015/10/15/ypg-general-commander-hemo-on-syrian-democratic-force-us-weapons-amnesty-report/

I find one part of the interview curious though: he says "One more point, 30% of YPG made up of Arabs." Is there anything that confirms this? Flint? This is rather high in my opinion (and does not directly mean that YPG does not harm arabs. But to certain sense shows how PKK, YPG etc is evolving increasingly towards an ethnically mixed force parallel to their ideological changes -if it is true of course grin - )

kurekmurek
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Oct 15 2015 11:31

Another answer from a voluntary from UK: He says he have been in the places mentioned in the report. There is only temporary moving of people and not real forced migraine policy. Ypg has good relations with arabs. He criticizes that report is just based on "witness accounts" and not actual first hand accounts and invites (head of) Amnesty to come to Rojava.
http://kurdishquestion.com/index.php/kurdistan/west-kurdistan/open-letter-to-amnesty-from-uk-ypg-volunteer.html

Flint
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Oct 15 2015 15:54
kurremkarmerruk wrote:
I find one part of the interview curious though: he says "One more point, 30% of YPG made up of Arabs." Is there anything that confirms this? Flint? This is rather high in my opinion (and does not directly mean that YPG does not harm arabs. But to certain sense shows how PKK, YPG etc is evolving increasingly towards an ethnically mixed force parallel to their ideological changes -if it is true of course grin - )

When Hannah Lucinda Smith made her allegations about ethnic cleansing, there was a radio interview with a PYD member about it. They gave a % of Arab composition of the YPG. Though it was hard to hear. It might have been 30%.

30% is likely. The YPG/YPJ (and Sendadid, MFS, HXP, HPC) is estimated at 50,000. 30% of that would be 15,000.

First, there is Quwat al-Senadid (Forces of the Brave) the Jarba Shammar unit. Its been growing. They have their own logo, but they are part of the YPG. The Humaydi Dahmam al-Assi al-Jarba, a cousin of Ahmet Jarba, former head of the Syrian opposition is local tribal chief of the Jarba Shammar, is co-governor of the Jazeera/Cizire canton (goveronate of Hasakah).

The YPG has had other Arab battalions in it.

The conscription program began in Hasakah/Jazeera canton; which has the largest % of Arabs in of any Rojava canton. Arabs are included in the conscription program. Its primary website is in arabic and there is a lot of arabic in its videos. This may well be where the YPG get's the majority of its 30% Arabs.

2000 fighters from Arabic tribe al-Baggara joined the YPG. They are from the Mount Kazawan/Abdul Aziz area southwest of Hasakah. Other Arab tribes that work with the YPG: Zubayd, Jawala, Sharabi, Benitaba and Rashid

Also, I don't know if they are included in the 30%--there are the Arab groups in Burkan al-Furat and Jaysh al-Thuwar which have combined with the YPG to form the Syrian Democratic Forces (Hêzên Sûriyeya Demokratîk / Alddimuqratiat Quwwat Suria ). The groups that make up Jaysh al-Thuwar: Liwa 99 Infantry (Arabs), Liwa al-Sultan Selim (Turkmen), Special Operations Brigade (Arabs), Kataeb Shams al-Shamal (Arabs & Kurds), Jabhat al-Akrad (Arabs & Kurds), al-Fawj 777 (Arabs), Tajamuu Thuwar Homs (Arabs) and Liwa Saljuqiyah (Turkmen). Some other groups involved: Ahrar Al-Zawiya (Arabs), Atarib martyrs battalion (Arabs), Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa (Arabs), Al-Tahrir Brigade (Arabs) and Saraya Jarabulus (Arabs). The Arabs in the Syrian Democratic Forces are also grouped together as the Syrian Arab Coalition. We may see several other previously FSA affiliated groups of majority Arabs joining the Syrian Democratic Forces because doing so will probably stop Russia from bombing them. Also, the U.S. has shutdown its previous "Train & Equip" program and is instead going to arm the Syrian Democratic Forces. Whatever is left of the U.S. proxy force--Division 30 may be involved; when they were attacked by al-Nusra they fled to the YPG safety of the Afrin canton.

Also worth mentioning is the 2,000 members of the Syriac Military Council that have a strong relationship with the YPG.

The Amnesty International report mentioned that Arabs in the YPG were among the folks issuing demands that people relocate in certain villages.


Flint
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Oct 16 2015 13:57

Quote:
Ruspîs Assembly of Arab Tribes in Cizîr Canton has condemned the Amnesty International over its report on alleged “forced displacement and home demolitions suffered by civilians under the de facto control of the Autonomous Administration led by the Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat (Democratic Union Party, PYD)".

The Assembly said the Amnesty International report was partial and based on a lie distorting the truths.

Ruspîs Assembly of Arab Tribes – which include El-Cihêş, El-Begara, El-Niêm, El-Şerabî ve El-Şemer- and Îshaq Ezîz and Tony Kîso on behalf of the Syriac people held a joint press conference in Himo village of Qamishlo and strongly condemned the report involving heavy insults against the YPG...

Describing the mentioned allegations on the forced displacement of Arab people by YPG-YPJ forces as a lie far from reality, the Ruspîs Assembly of Arab Tribes in Cizîr Canton strongly condemned the report, and underlined that; “The Arab, Kurdish, Christian and Êzidî peoples in our region have been living together in peace and mutual trust for centuries. They share each other's sorrow and joy, and everyone has their rights.”

The statement stressed that Amnesty International should have rather talked to the people in the region about the incidents if they really aimed to learn about the reality there. It also noted that the Assembly of Arab Tribes have talked to the region's people about the allegations, who also refuted the claims mentioned in the report.

Recalling previous reports by some media organisations that voiced similar accusations against YPG-YPJ forces, the Assembly said the local people had once again refuted those allegations and described them as a lie when they were asked about their trueness.

"For instance, we had previously received reports that YPG-YPJ and asayish (publis security) forces had expelled our Arab brothers and sisters from Mount Kizwan. As the Begara tribe and Ruspîs, we formed a delegation and visited the YPG-YPJ forces. During a meeting that lasted for four hours, we discussed about the allegations. We later talked to the people as well. After our talks, we decided to ensure the discharge of our people from the area of Mount Kizwan because it was witnessing heavy clashes with ISIS gangs and the people there had no security of life as the enemies were not discriminating between civilians and combatants while they launched attacks. This is a reality. Amnesty International should obtain information from the source itself and have it confirmed. YPG-YPJ forces faced similar baseless allegations also when our Assyrian brothers and sisters migrated from villages in Xabur region. However, the truth revealed itself when we talked to the local people who told that ISIS gangs had forced them to migrate and demolished their houses.”

Confirming the presence of a demolition suffered during the war and conflict in the region, the Assembly said this was however caused by not YPG-YPJ forces as is claimed by Amnesty International, but by ISIS gangs. "It is known by everyone that ISIS gangs blow up houses and lands and lay mines while fleeing an area. This is a reality that has been witnessed in many regions of Syria and Iraq. Amnesty International has grounded its report on sources that want to eliminate the love and co-existence among all social circles and replace it with enmity."

Arab tribes in Rojava say Amnesty International distorts the truths, ANF, October 16, 2015

Flint
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Oct 16 2015 15:36

Quote:
Ruspîs Assembly of Arab Tribes in Cizîr Canton has condemned the Amnesty International over its report on alleged “forced displacement and home demolitions suffered by civilians under the de facto control of the Autonomous Administration led by the Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat (Democratic Union Party, PYD)".

The Assembly said the Amnesty International report was partial and based on a lie distorting the truths.

Ruspîs Assembly of Arab Tribes – which include El-Cihêş, El-Begara, El-Niêm, El-Şerabî ve El-Şemer- and Îshaq Ezîz and Tony Kîso on behalf of the Syriac people held a joint press conference in Himo village of Qamishlo and strongly condemned the report involving heavy insults against the YPG...

Describing the mentioned allegations on the forced displacement of Arab people by YPG-YPJ forces as a lie far from reality, the Ruspîs Assembly of Arab Tribes in Cizîr Canton strongly condemned the report, and underlined that; “The Arab, Kurdish, Christian and Êzidî peoples in our region have been living together in peace and mutual trust for centuries. They share each other's sorrow and joy, and everyone has their rights.”

The statement stressed that Amnesty International should have rather talked to the people in the region about the incidents if they really aimed to learn about the reality there. It also noted that the Assembly of Arab Tribes have talked to the region's people about the allegations, who also refuted the claims mentioned in the report.

Recalling previous reports by some media organisations that voiced similar accusations against YPG-YPJ forces, the Assembly said the local people had once again refuted those allegations and described them as a lie when they were asked about their trueness.

"For instance, we had previously received reports that YPG-YPJ and asayish (publis security) forces had expelled our Arab brothers and sisters from Mount Kizwan. As the Begara tribe and Ruspîs, we formed a delegation and visited the YPG-YPJ forces. During a meeting that lasted for four hours, we discussed about the allegations. We later talked to the people as well. After our talks, we decided to ensure the discharge of our people from the area of Mount Kizwan because it was witnessing heavy clashes with ISIS gangs and the people there had no security of life as the enemies were not discriminating between civilians and combatants while they launched attacks. This is a reality. Amnesty International should obtain information from the source itself and have it confirmed. YPG-YPJ forces faced similar baseless allegations also when our Assyrian brothers and sisters migrated from villages in Xabur region. However, the truth revealed itself when we talked to the local people who told that ISIS gangs had forced them to migrate and demolished their houses.”

Confirming the presence of a demolition suffered during the war and conflict in the region, the Assembly said this was however caused by not YPG-YPJ forces as is claimed by Amnesty International, but by ISIS gangs. "It is known by everyone that ISIS gangs blow up houses and lands and lay mines while fleeing an area. This is a reality that has been witnessed in many regions of Syria and Iraq. Amnesty International has grounded its report on sources that want to eliminate the love and co-existence among all social circles and replace it with enmity."

Arab tribes in Rojava say Amnesty International distorts the truths, ANF, October 16, 2015

Who are these Arab tribes?

El-Cihêş, El-Begara, El-Niêm, El-Şerabî ve El-Şemer
The version of the article in Arabic with latin letters:
eashirat albikarati, alshshirabiiyna, alshshamri, aljbura, alnnaeymu

El-Şemer/al-Shamri/Shammar
El-Begara/al-Bikarati/Baqqara/al-Baggara
Arabic tribe Bagara is ready to join YPG with 2000 fighters

El-Niêm/al-Naeymu/Na’im
El-Şerabî/al-Shirabiiyna/Sharabiya/Sharabi
El-Cihêş
al-Jbura/Jubur

Quote:
The largest qabila in Syria, particularly the Ougaidat, Baggaraand Shammar, are transnational tribal confederations that have constituent clans throughout the country. These qabila are, however, present in the greatest numbers in the Jazirah region. Some qabila in Syria, such as the ‘Anaza of Homs governorate, the Ta’ie of al-Hasakah governorate, and the Na’im are present in Syria in smaller numbers than in neighboring states. Of these smaller qabila, al-Na’im is the largest and some al-Na’im tribesmen have raised an opposition brigade in the Damascus countryside.

Baggara tribesmen are also religiously divided by the conversion to Shi’ism of a reported quarter of the Baggara confederation in villages south of Aleppo as a result of Iranian-funded proselytization (see Terrorism Monitor, June 1, 2012; September 15, 2011). Tribal leaders from the Shammar and Ougaidat confederations offered a cultural explanation for the Baggara’s lack of internal tribal coherence and Sunni to Shiite conversions by suggesting they were the result of the Baggara’s roots as a sheep or goat-herding tribe and not a “noble” camel-herding tribe. (11) In Aleppo, Baggara fighters are reported to work with the Syrian military to attack opposition controlled neighborhoods in the city, and Syrian opposition fighters also claim to have fought Baggara tribesmen supporting the Syrian military during a battle fought to free prisoners held at the Aleppo Central Prison. (12)

Overall leadership of the Baggara was at one point claimed by Shaykh Nawaf Raghib al-Bashir, the son of the now deceased former paramount Shaykh of the Baggara. Shaykh al-Bashir, who was one of the prominent opposition figures who signed the 2005 reformist Damascus Declaration, was jailed by the Syrian government in 2011 and reportedly forced to issue a statement in support of President Bashar al-Assad (al-Sharq al-Awsat, January 18, 2012). Following his defection to Turkey, Shaykh al-Bashir became a prominent leader within the Council of the Arab Tribes in Syria and the leader of the Jazirah and Euphrates Front to Liberate Syria (al-Safir (Beirut), February 21)...

Shaykh al-Bashir has organized several armed groups that have actively sought to attack Kurds in and around the ethnically mixed city of Ras al-‘Ayn in the northeastern area of al-Hasakah governorate along the Turkish border (National (Dubai), January 30). Pro-government Baggara fighters, without links to Shaykh al-Bashir, are also stated to have participated in attacks against the Kurdish Partiya Yekitiya Demokrat (PYD - Democratic Union Party) in the ethnically mixed northern Aleppo neighborhood of Shaykh Maqsud (Welati.info, May 11, 2012). The participation of Baggara tribal fighters in attacks against Kurds demonstrates the continuingly fragile state of Kurdish and Arab tribal relations in ethnically mixed regions such as Aleppo and al-Jazirah (see Terrorism Monitor, June 1, 2012).

The cities of al-Hasakah and Qamishli in the northeastern area of the governorate of al-Hasakah near the borders with Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan have emerged as a site of conflict between Arab tribes and Kurds. In Qamishli, members of the Ta’ie tribe have been organized into pro-Assad “Popular Committees” under the command of the Syrian MP and Ta’ie Shaykh Muhammad Fares and are reported to have engaged in several clashes with Kurdish fighters from the PYD (All4Syria, November 30, 2012). However, local Arab tribal leaders and Kurdish notables who grew up together have formed a joint council in Qamishli to avoid such conflict. The conflict on the Kurdish side is generated by individuals and groups linked to the PYD.

The Tribal Factor in Syria’s Rebellion: A Survey of Armed Tribal Groups in Syria, Nicholas A. Heras, Carole A. O'Leary, Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 11 Issue: 13June 27, 2013

Quote:
The predominate form of social identity and mobilization among Sunni Arabs in al-Hasakah Province is through Sunni Arab tribalism.(8) Sunni Arab tribes in the region include branches of multinational tribal confederations such as the Shammar, the Ougaidat, the Baggara, the Taie, and the Jabbour, and smaller tribal groups such as the al-Sharabiyya and the Zubayd.(9) Ougaidat, Shammar, and the Albu Hassan branch of the Baggara that predominate in the province’s southern sub-districts of al-Arisha, al-Shaddadeh, and Markadah maintain close ties to their kinsmen in neighboring Deir al-Zour Province.(10) Several of the region’s Sunni Arab tribes, including the Shammar, Jabbour, and the Baggara, also have cross-border ties with fellow tribesmen in Iraq which they have drawn upon for social and armed support during the course of the Syrian civil war.[11]

In the northern, Kurdish-majority areas of al-Hasakah Province, many of these Sunni Arab tribal groups were settled in the area from 1965-1976 as part of the “Arab Belt” policy of the Ba`ath government, which established government-built Arab communities on land taken from resident Kurds that were situated amidst Kurdish villages.(12) It is estimated that approximately 60,000 Kurds were displaced from their land by this policy.(13) Ougaidat, Shammar and Baggara, who predominate in the province’s southern sub-districts of al-Arisha, al-Shaddadeh, and Markadah, also maintain close ties to their kinsmen in neighboring Deir al-Zour Province.[14] Some Sunni Arab tribesmen participate in armed opposition groups that fight against both the al-Assad government and the Kurdish militias in the region, including the al-Qa`ida-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra.(15) One particular tribally organized armed group that has cooperated with Jabhat al-Nusra in the region is the “Free Jazira Brigade,” which is organized by Shammar tribesmen and is an affiliate of the Free Syrian Army that has a presence near the Syrian-Iraqi border in the northeastern Yarubiyya sub-district

THE BATTLE FOR SYRIA’S AL-HASAKAH PROVINCE, Nicholas A. Heras, Combatting Terrorism Center at West Point, October 24, 2013

Flint
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Oct 16 2015 16:18


Turkey heavy military deployment on Syria border. Photo by IISS , 2013.

kurekmurek
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Oct 19 2015 10:48

http://www.ypgrojava.com/en/index.php/statements/809-statement-by-the-gen-comm-of-the-people-s-defense-units-in-response-to-amnesty-international-s-october-8th-report

This is a point based refutation of Amnesty's report. It is very throughout. However there are some problems related to some arguments which appear to me as problems of language (for example about shooting towards the direction of boys issue), if not deliberate attempts to misdirect. However these problems I mention are minor parts of the text. Other parts, -if it is as far as I know of the situation- really accurate and makes a convincing case about the argument that what is happening is not practice of a policy of "displacement" (secret or public) but maybe a "war crime" (at least in some aspects). However YPG says mostly this is not the case either. They also show some of the suspicious references behind the report. Plus again emphasise how the numbers of Arabic fighters are increasing in YPG side (now like %25) which I find really important.

Flint
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Oct 22 2015 21:36

Entdinglichung's picture
Entdinglichung
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Oct 22 2015 14:59

and then came Zizek: http://kurdishquestion.com/index.php/insight-research/slavoj-zizek-kurds-are-the-most-progressive-democratic-nation-in-the-middle-east.html

Flint
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Nov 6 2015 22:48
Quote:
Teaching Kurdish curriculum in 507 school in Aljazeera canton

head of education body Mouhamed Abdo confirmed that 86,606 students in 705 primary schools in all cities of the canton take lessons in Kurdish curriculum which was prepared by education body for 2015.

He pointed that all the schools in the region of self-administration belong to them and they take the full responsibilities towards these schools and they implement their plans and programs according to the charter of social contract ,so this year the education body has introduced the Kurdish curriculum into schools for the first, second and third grades just for the Kurds students .

About the number of teachers who teach this curriculum he said:

The number of the teachers are 2500 and the education body have assigned 3000 teachers instead of who were expelled by the regime ,and the body give the salaries of all these teachers

Regarding the current and future plans for the education body he added :

We are trying to repair all the schools in the canton in addition provide it with heaters and diesel material ,also they prepare a workshop to produce and repair the chairs of the schools . on the other hand the commission to prepare curriculum started to prepare Arabic and Syriac curriculum on the approach of democratic nation, this curriculum supposed to enter the schools in the next year.

Teaching Kurdish curriculum in 507 school in Aljazeera canton, Kanonrojava.com, November 4, 2015

Some links on mother tongue education:

Quote:
"Kurdish Language and Education Institution and Democratic Society Education Committee in the canton have trained 1625 teachers for 306 schools. 100 of these teachers have been prepared to give lessons in Arabic.

306 schools provide mother-tongue education in Efrîn Canton, ANF, October 20, 2015

If Efrin has a similar teacher-student ratio as Jazeera canton, then Efrin has 55,250 students; of which 3400 are being educated in Arabic.

Mother tongue class opened in Dersim, ANF, February 21, 2015

The KCK said no language was superior to another.

Quote:
“Every language is precious. Language is the spirit of the body. Language and spirit, language and brain, language and life. Nothing has any meaning without this dialectic. Peoples who cannot freely use their language are enslaved. Therefore, hostility to language is one of the cruellest crimes committed against humanity.”

KCK: Let us step up the struggle for mother tongue education, ANF, February 21, 2015

HDP MP: Mother-tongue education is a must of contemporary democracy, ANF, September 17, 2015
DTK calls for a boycott against schools for the right to mother tongue, ANF, September 21, 2015
So across the board of the Kurdish freedom movement, the KCK, TEV-DEM, HDP and DTK are all united in making mother tongue instruction available. Its not surprising that TEV-DEM and the Rojava Cantons are the most advance in this struggle.

I wrote a line by line criticism of two articles critical of the new curriculum.

After 52-year ban, Syrian Kurds now taught Kurdish in schools, Al Monitor, Massoud Hamed, November 6, 2015

Video of a protest against the new curricula, you can clearly see PDK(KDP) flags and the ENKS signs at the end.

The always anti-PYD "Kurdwatch" site says:

Quote:
"Thirteen Kurdish organizations from Syria as well as numerous writers and activists—including quite a few people in exile—issued a statement criticizing the education policy of the transitional administration for the canton of Jazirah, which was appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD). By October 5, the statement had nearly one hundred ninety signatures."

Amudah: Nearly two hundred activists criticize PYD’s education policy, KurdWatch, October 10, 2015

190 signatures INCLUDING "quite a few people in exile". For a school system of 86,606 students.

Quote:
"On September 28, the first day of school after vacation, many elementary schools were reportedly almost empty. One reason why parents are not sending their children to school is that they reject the PYD’s political indoctrination. Another problem is that there are no teachers in Syria who are trained to teach in the Kurdish language.

Schools in the predominantly Arab districts and regions of al‑Hasakah province are not affected by the decree.


Al-Hasakah: PYD seeks to make the glorification of Öcalan a key element of school instruction
, KurdWatch, October 1, 2015

I'm skeptical of KurdWatch's claim that many schools were almost empty.