Tensions escalate between Kurdish parties in Syria

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PYD-affiliated Asayish security forces in Syria's Qamishli. File photo

ARA News 

QAMISHLI – The Kurdish National Council in Syria (KNC) organized protests in the cities of Qamishli and Derik to condemn the arrest of its members by the rival security forces. 

On Monday several members of the KNC were arrested by the Asayish security forces –affiliated to the local self-administration dominated by the Democratic Union Party (PYD)– during a funeral of the Kurdish Peshmerga Habib Qadri, who was killed during the fight against ISIS.

The general command of the Asayish said in a statement that they have arrested dozens of PYD supporters that tried to attack the mourners and confiscated their weapons. Moreover, they said they have arrested KNC supporters that alleged “insulted” the Asayish.

Earlier on Saturday, the KNC leader Ibrahim Biro was arrested by the PYD-linked Asayish near the central market of Qamishli city in northeastern Syria. After being held for somce six hours, Biro was expelled by the Asayish to the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. 

“It appears that the PYD-led administration has a policy to force the leadership of its rivals to leave Syria,” Ceng Sagnic, a researcher with the Tel Aviv-based Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, told ARA News.

“And arrests that are not documented or even brought to judiciary serve to deter KNC leaders to stay in Syria,” he added.

The KNC is the main rival of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), and backed by Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). The PYD, on the other hand, is closer to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Both the KDP and PKK have significant influence over the Kurdish parties in Syria.

While the PYD has accused the KNC of working for foreign agendas and Turkey, the KNC has accused the PYD of working with the Syrian regime.

“The intimidation and expulsion of political activists, journalists and PYD-critics is a common practice by the PYD,” the KNC said in a statement. “This practice is, undeniably, antidemocratic and violates fundamental rights of those affected.”

“Thus, the KNC calls on all Syrians and the international community to take a public stance against the abduction and deportation of Ibrahim Biro by the PYD as well as against the PYD’s repressive approach in general,” the KNC said. 

According to the pro-PYD Hawar agency, the protest of the KNC in the city of Derik failed due to lack of attendance, and the Asayish protected the protest.

The arrest of rival Kurdish politicians follows tensions during the funeral of a YPG fighter in the KDP-stronghold of Duhok in northern Iraq last week.

The PYD-led administration accused the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) security forces of attacking the funeral of YPG fighter Firaz Kardo in Duhok, and removing the flag of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) from his coffin.

“Removing the flag from the coffin insults the values of martyrs, this was the sacred flag of Kurdistan, Syria, and became a symbol of the whole world,” the administration said.

Furthermore, Widat Hussein Ali, journalist at Roj News, pro-PKK news agency, was murdered in the KDP-stronghold of Duhok. The KRG president condemned the murder, and said the perpetrators should be brought to justice. But PKK supporters blamed the KDP security forces.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) called on the PYD-led self-administration in northern Syria to release all KNC detainees, including deputy party secretary of the Yekiti party Hassan Salih.

Speaking to ARA News, rights activist Massoud Hamid said that the arrests of politicians in the Kurdish will only benefit the enemies of the Kurds.

“Only the enemy of Kurdish people will benefit from ongoing tension between the Kurdish parties,” he said.

On the other hand, the Asayish security forces called on all parties and citizens in northern Syria to preserve peace and respect the laws of the local administration.

Reporting by: Jan Mohammed

Source: ARA News

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