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Rudaw

Kurdistan

President Barzani Vows Help to Syrian Kurds Against Islamist Attacks

By RUDAW 11/8/2013
Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani. Photo: krp
Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani. Photo: krp

 

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani said Friday that his government is “ready to everything in its power” to protect Syrian Kurds who are under threat from Islamist fighters.

“There has been news recently that Al-Qaeda groups have declared war against the Kurds in Syria and that they behead Kurdish women and children,” Barzani said in a letter to the organizers of an important Kurdish National Conference scheduled to be held in Erbil on August 24.

“If those reports are true, the Kurdistan Region is ready to everything in its power to protect the lives of the Kurds in western (Syrian) Kurdistan,” he said in the letter.

Barzani also called for an investigation into reports of attacks on Kurdish towns and villages from groups affiliated to Al-Qaeda, such as Jabhat al-Nusrah.

In the past several weeks fighters of the Jabhat al-Nusrah have been locked in fierce fights with the Kurdish Peoples Defense Units (YPG).

The fights that first started in Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain), where the YPG fighters succeeded in expelling the Nusrah fighters from the town, has now spread to other Kurdish villages, where many families are reported to have been massacred or displaced.

But Salih Muslim, leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) which runs the YPG, told Rudaw TV that he has enough forces to defend the Kurdish areas, and does not need help from any outside forces.

“We have enough forces and we do not want any other party to come to Syrian Kurdistan to fight against the Jabhat al-Nusrah,” he said. “If other Kurdish parties want to help, they should send us ammunition, arms, food and clothes.”

Siamand Hajo, the head of the Berlin-based Kurdocide organization for human rights, told Rudaw that his organization did not have any evidence that massacres had taken place against Syrian Kurds.

“All the numbers we have for victims is 30 people and some of them are members of the YPG,” Hajo said. He added that the PYD may be using stories of Kurdish massacres for its own propaganda purposes.

Syrian Kurds have largely stayed away from the civil war that has engulfed the country for more than two years, and are suspicious of the main rebel fighters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

The PYD, which is affiliated with the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and is accused by other Kurdish groups of carrying out the PKK’s agenda in Syria, has shown little tolerance for other opposition groups.

While consistently accusing other opposition groups of implementing foreign agendas, the PYD recently shifted its isolationist policy by opening channels of dialogue with Turkey and Syria.

Muslim met with Turkish officials last month.  More importantly, he also met with Iranian officials in Tehran last week, a move that invited much speculation, since Iran is currently the main regional ally of the Damascus regime.

Muslim said that Iran has its own interests in Syria and that Iranian leaders follow closely the fight of radical Sunni groups against Syria’s Shiite Alawite minority and other ethnic groups.

“We acknowledge that difference in Iranian and Turkish policies in Syria, but we will not become an obedient servant of either side,” Muslim vowed. 

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Bakur | 11/8/2013
Well first of all the visit of Muslim to Turkey last week was not the first time PYD involved themselves in dialogue with Turkey. Turkish intelligence agency had already been in contacts with PYD prior to that meeting. Would you still comment that PYD has followed an isolationist policy? Second, why does it cause speculations when Muslim meets Iranian officials and means dialogue when he does the same with Turkey? Because you are pro-Turkey? Turkey is openly supporting the armed gangs?!? Third, Has not Muslim actually put it the best way by saying they will not be servant of either side?
Ari | 11/8/2013
Finally!!!!After 2 years of civil war in Syria, somebody is saying SOMETHING from Iraqi-Kurdistan. What happened? Did Turkey told you to send pesmergahs to attack the PYD from THE BACK?? The KDP did BETRAY the Iranian-Kurds in the past(by working together with the pasdaran in the '80s). It did BETRAY the PKK in the '90s by working together with the Turkish army(and by the way for the ones who love history(by dragging the bodies of DEAD FEMALE PKK fighters with cars in Hewler in the '90s)). And last but not LEAST, we ALL REMEMBER the betrayal of 1996 in Hewler with Saddam Hossein. The truth will set you free!!.
Bakir Lashkari
Bakir Lashkari | 11/8/2013
The Kurdistan Legend Leader Massoud Barzani is truly right in his speech that, if the reports are true of killing Kurds and attacking on Kurdish towns and villages from groups affiliated to Al-Qaeda, such as Jabhat al-Nusrah., is the Kurdistan Region ready to protect the lives of our Kurdish brothers and sisters in western (Syrian) Kurdistan.
Rojava | 11/8/2013
@Ari, how can such Jash insult Barzani, the greatest leader in Kurdistan, who fought his whole life for Kurdistan? Barzani already tried to send Pesmerge troops to Rojava earlier this year, but the PYD dont let them to eneter Rojava. Kurdish parties in Rojava agreed to establish a autonomy in Rojava, but the PYD betrayed and promised to Turkey not to declare autonomy. Turkey use Öcalan to control PKK, Öcalan alredy said that he was sorry for what he did and that he is ready to serve Turkey. He promised Turkey to fight against Kurdish nationalism and a Kurdish state if south Kurdistan declares independence.
Silemani | 11/8/2013
The leader of the PYD Salih Muslim, visited Turkey and promised them not to establish a autonomy in Rojava, Muslim even said that they removed Kurdish flags from the border, because Turkey want that. Muslim sells the right of the Kurds to our enemies. But Barzani made that that our enemies recognized Kurdistan, if he vistits other states, its only for economical benefits for Kurdistan and not to sell Kurdish rights.
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