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Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

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Re: Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri May 08, 2020 11:12 pm

What is happening in the occupied
territories of Western Kurdistan


The Turkish state occupies large parts of Western Kurdistan

The occupied territories are de facto linked to the Turkish administration by provincial governors and are dominated by militias commanded by Turkey. These groups consist largely of the remnants of the ISIS, the former Al-Nusra front, but also of entire jihadist militias such as Ahrar al-Sham or Faylaq al-Sham. Among them, there is regular conflict over looting, territory or plunder.

There is a climate of terror. Kidnappings, torture and extra-legal executions are commonplace. These conditions mean that more and more of the original inhabitants have to leave the region. Loyal settlers are being accommodated in their place.

Assimilation policy in Kurdish villages

The rest of the Kurdish population is subjected to an assimilation campaign.

There are reports from al-Bab and Jarablus, for example, which speak of forced assemblies of the village population by the Turkish secret service MIT. At these gatherings, under the motto of "education", the inhabitants of the region are repeatedly told that they are not Kurds at all, but actually Turkmen.

The young people are forced to join the extreme right-wing or Islamist "Turkmen" militias. In this context, the Suleiman Shah Brigade, the Sultan Murad Brigade and the jihadist "Islamic Party of Turkestan" play a particularly important role.

ISIS jihadists with Turkish identity cards

Even captured ISIS jihadists have repeatedly reported on the activities of ISIS members in the service of the occupation forces in the region. This often results in serious attacks against the population. On November 18, there were strong protests against such attacks in al-Bab.

Forced participation in Turkish lessons

Secret service representatives put pressure on the population to join the notorious militia "Islamic Party of Turkestan". At the same time, attempts are being made to incite the Kurdish and Arab peoples against each other. In the schools, over which Turkish flags are waving and pictures of Erdoğan are hung, Turkish is taught by force. The Turkish lira was introduced as a compulsory currency in the region.

Settlement policy around Afrin

Last year, a Turkmen belt was also created from Shera to Bilbile district of Afrin. Loyal Turkmen settlers from East Ghouta and other regions of Syria were settled there.

Clashes among the occupying forces

Some jihadist militias, who have faithfully served Turkey for years on the front line, have recently begun to refuse orders and protest. Among these groups are the SNA militias Ahrar al-Sarqiya and Jaysh al-Sharqiya. Both groups are on international terrorist lists and have been responsible for the most serious war crimes for years.

The Turkish state is trying to get rid of the groups by sending them to Libya to support the Muslim Brotherhood regime. However, many members of these militias are not prepared to go into the hopeless fight against General Haftar, who has been upgraded by Russia, and are now turning against the Turkish state.

In places like al-Bab, Afrin and Azaz, the Turkish state has ordered its Turkmen militias to disband these two groups because they did not obey the orders. As a result, there have been fierce clashes between the militias in recent days. The most recent heavy tanker attack in Afrin, in which more than 40 civilians died, must also be seen against this background. In al-Bab, Jarablus and Afrin there are also repeated battles lasting for hours.

Preparations for annexation underway

Hüseyin Velo from al-Bab appeals to the international community to finally do something about Turkey's inhumane policy in the region: "A Turkmen identity is being forced upon the Kurds and Arabs here in the region. They want to do exactly the same thing as they did in Hatay. The demographic structure has already been changed in Turkey's favor. All persons who identify themselves as Turkmen are given jobs, while the rest are condemned to starvation.”
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Re: Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

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Re: Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon May 11, 2020 12:04 am

28 villages in Western Kurdistan
without electricity and water


For seven months now, the power supply to 28 villages in Western Kurdistan has been interrupted due to the Turkish attacks. Since the water supply is also powered by electricity, there is not enough water for agriculture.

The Turkish state and the remnants of jihadist groups such as ISIS and al-Nusra, which have been gathered together under the name "Syrian National Army" (SNA), continue their attacks against Western Kurdistan. Murder, looting and pillage continue in the occupied territories.

Seven months ago, the Turkish attacks damaged the power lines that supply 28 villages in the area between Til Temir (Tal Tamr) and Zirgan (Abu Rassan). In order to drive the local population away, the occupying troops use further attacks to prevent the repair of the electricity network by the teams of the Til Temir power station.

Particularly threatening with the rising temperatures is the fact that the water pumping from the wells in the region is also powered by electricity. The inhabitants complain that they have had to sell farm animals because there is not enough water. The irrigation of the cultivated fields also lies fallow.
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Re: Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu May 14, 2020 8:27 pm

Occupation forces attack
villages in Afrin countryside


The occupant Turkish army and allied mercenaries have launched a wave of aggression on villages in the occupied Afrin territory

According to reports from the ground, the attack targets the villages of Maranaz and Malikiya in the Shera district, and the villages of Aqiba, Soxanaka and the forested land in the Sherawa district.

The attacks by Turkey and its jihadist auxiliary forces in northern Western Kurdistan have not abated, even in times of the coronavirus pandemic, and are mainly directed at residential areas and civil infrastructure. While civilian population suffers casualties, the power and water supply has collapsed in large parts of Western Kurdistan due to the targeted artillery attacks.

As part of worldwide measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for a global ceasefire on 23 March and called on the parties to the conflict to cease hostilities, saying; “End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world. It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives. Silence the guns; stop the artillery; end the airstrikes. This is crucial.”

In Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) responded by declaring that they would follow the UN appeal in the autonomous region and calling on all other parties to the conflict to immediately observe a humanitarian ceasefire. But so far the other warring parties have ignored this outstretched hand.

Turkey is using the Corona pandemic to expand its zone of occupation in the midst of the crisis. Despite warnings that a Covid-19 outbreak in Syria would pose a deadly threat to 6.5 million internally displaced persons suffering the effects of nine years of war, and a renewed appeal by the UN that a cessation of fighting could help create the conditions for the provision of life-saving aid, Northern areas of Syria and Western Kurdistan continue to be under attack.

In the cities of Serêkaniyê (Ras al-Ain) and Girê Spî (Tal Abyad), which have been included in the Turkish occupation zone in North-East Syria since October 2019, and in the self-governing areas along the Turkish-Syrian border, significant military activities of Turkey's jihadist proxy army ("Syrian National Army", SNA) are taking place.

Afrin has been under the occupation of the Turkish state and its mercenary allies for over two years now. The attacks of the Turkish state against Afrin began on 20 January 2018 and the invasion of the city was carried out on 18 March 2018.

Since the invasion, war crimes have been systematically committed in the region. Almost every day, crimes such as the confiscation of property belonging to local people, kidnapping of civilians for ransom, torture or executions are carried out.

The occupation forces controlled by Ankara use the abductions to extort ransoms. This method has become a lucrative source of income. At least 500 cases of ransom handovers have been reported so far. Turkish-backed militias demand an equivalent of between 3,000 and 100,000 euros, depending on the ability of the victims' relatives to pay.

Last autumn, the UN Human Rights Council published a report on the situation in Syria, which also describes the devastating human rights situation in Afrin. The Council documented that the overall security conditions in Afrin and adjacent districts remained dire with armed factions having carved up the province into geographic zones of influence.

“As a result there is a general absence of rule of law and repeated incidents of kidnappings, torture, extortion and assassination. Victims were often of Kurdish origin as well as civilians perceived as being prosperous, including doctors, businessmen and merchants,” said the report.
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Re: Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu May 14, 2020 8:36 pm

Turkey reduces water flow
into Western Kurdistan


Closing the part of the river that flows into the Syrian side, the Turkish state has greatly reduced the amount of water entering the country thus causing serious problems to both agriculture in the north of Syria and electric supply to vital areas and facilities

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Under a prior agreement between Syria and Turkey, Syria was receiving 500 cubic meters of water per second. But Turkey is now using water as a threat and pressure way. In the summer of 2017, it decreased the flow to 100 cubic meters per second, and this year the flow of the river did not exceed 200 cubic meters per second.

In order to produce electricity, the flow rate of the river must be at least 300 cubic meters per second. A 300-cubic meter flow can operate a 105-megawatt turbine.

There are 3 dams on the Euphrates River, which run for about 600 km in Syrian territory. The Tişrîn Dam located in Manbij is the biggest dam in Syria.

There are six dams in the Turkish side of the Euphrates river, with Ataturk Dam being the second biggest dam of its kind in the Middle East. This dam has the capacity to store approximately 48 billion cubic meters of water.

Reducing the water level of the Euphrates River is a threat for millions of Syrians in the northeast of the country. It affects drinking water as well as electricity supply. Indeed in the past week there has been repeated interruption of electricity in Western Kurdistan. In addition, reduction in water is a problem for agriculture.
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Re: Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat May 16, 2020 10:54 pm

Pprofit bonanza of
Syria's jihadi groups


A giant revenue stream lies at the heart of the clashes between rebel groups in Syria’s Idlib and Turkish-controlled regions that the Syrian rebels deem as “liberated” areas

The attempts of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the hard-line Islamist group controlling the last rebel stronghold, to revive commercial ties with Syrian government-held areas highlights the importance of revenue generating streams for the region.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and much of the international community, is dragging its feet on forgoing control of the strategic M4 highway in Idlib as called for in the March 5 cease-fire deal between Turkey and Russia.

The first Hayat Tahrir al-Sham attempt came April 18, when the group tried but failed to set up a commercial crossing in the key city of Saraqeb on the Aleppo-Damascus highway.

The second attempt to open such a crossing in Maarat al-Nassan was blocked by rebel rivals opposed to reviving trade with the areas controlled by the Syrian regime. Armed factions staged nine separate demonstrations to protest the move; Hayat Tahrir al-Sham forces dispersed the protests by force, killing one fighter.

The deadly escalation shows the importance of so-called “customs” fees collected at crossings for the armed factions in Idlib. Simultaneously, in-house rifts sparked among the Turkish-backed rebels in Afrin, Tell Abyad, al-Bab and Jarablus.

Aside from foreign aid, the revenue wheel spins on three main pillars: “taxes” taken from shopkeepers, “customs fees” taken from vehicles crossing at checkpoints between regions and criminal activities such as looting, other taking of property and ransom.

Ankara doesn’t impose customs fees on basic needs and foods at crossings linking Turkey and Syria’s rebel-held territories, but Turkish-backed rebels do. Armed rebels have also turned domestic crossings into de facto “customs” points. Such “customs fees” taken from vehicles crossing at checkpoints between regions are often described as “extortion money.”

After seizing the Bab al-Hawa border crossing, and crossings linking Idlib with Aleppo and Hama in 2017, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham began taking the lion’s share of the “customs fees.”

Idlib’s connection with Aleppo and Hama was cut off by the Russian-backed Syrian government’s military push aiming to take control of the M4 and M5 highways, and this has stripped Hayat Tahrir al-Sham of the revenues it was taking at several locations, including Qalat al Madiq, Abu Zuhur, Morek and al-Ais.

The radical group is now pursuing alternative funds to compensate for its losses. Said al-Ahmed, a Hayat Tahrir al-Sham official responsible for crossings, said 95% of the goods that currently enter Idlib are from Turkey and only 5% from government-controlled areas.

Turkey, in turn, buys only 10% of Idlib's production, leading to a product surplus, particularly in agriculture. Regime-held areas stand as the only potential buyer for this surplus.

Saleh al-Hamawi, the former commander of Jabhat al-Nusra — the predecessor of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham — says the armed group was making more than $2 million monthly from six crossings in Idlib, with Morek being the most profitable at some $800,000. According to the Asharq Al Awsat, commercial vehicles had to pay between $300 to $500 at the Morek crossing depending on the size of their cargo.

After losing five of the crossings to Syrian government forces, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham was left with the Mansura crossing. Still, the SyriaCall website claims the militant group gets some $2 million in monthly revenue from Mansura, which was formerly controlled by the Nureddin Zengi Brigade.

The most profitable crossing is Bab al-Hawa on the Turkish border, where Turkey directly engages with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham despite considering it a terrorist organization. The armed group earns $4 million from the crossing monthly, according to SyriaCall.

After seizing control of Bab al-Hawa in 2017 from Ahrar al-Sham, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham launched a customs office within its civilian body, the so-called Salvation Government, for the management of border and internal crossings.

At the Bab al-Hawa crossing the group takes between $3 to $60 per ton for each cargo, with food products generally being charged some $5 per ton. The tariff rises further for technology products based on their weight or number of items. Some 115,000 trucks passed through the crossing in 2019.

Furthermore, the group also controls the Deit Balut and Gazaviye crossings linking Afrin and Idlib. Syrian journalist Nurhat Hesen said Hayat Tahrir al-Sham takes $7 minimum per vehicle at these two crossings.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham “also seizes 10% of the humanitarian aid,” Hesen told Al-Monitor. The group makes some $2 million just from the Gazaviye crossing monthly, according to SyriaCall.

The two crossings bear logistical importance as Gazaviye links Afrin to Aleppo to the north and Azaz near the Turkish border to the south and the Atme refugee camp to the southeast.

In addition to those two crossings, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham also controls three unofficial crossings linking Turkey’s border province of Hatay and Idlib.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham’s resources are not limited to the customs revenues. Each shopkeeper in Idlib pays $50 monthly in extortion money to the radical group, Hesen said, adding that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham also sells deserted lands in Harem and Deir Hassan. Each house in Idlib pays $4 for water and $2 monthly in a garbage tax to the group.

A big income source has been energy; Hayat Tahrir al-Sham has monopolized oil products through a company called WATAD. Syria TV said WATAD’s monthly income is more than $1 million, with $250,000 from diesel, $400,000 from gasoline and $400,000 from electricity.

A Hayat Tahrir al-Sham official announced in September that the group’s monthly income had reached $130 million.

In Turkish-backed opposition-held territories, meanwhile, the profit wheel mostly relies on irregular incomes. Bab al-Salam, a Syrian opposition-held border crossing near Azaz, brings in roughly $3 million monthly. The interim government of the Syrian opposition receives 15% of the tax revenues that are being deposited in a Turkish bank account.

The Turkish-backed groups also control 10 more crossings in al-Bab, Aleppo, Latakia, Afrin, Jarablus, Ras al-Ain and Tell Abyad. The crossings in Jarablus, al-Rai and Hammam are mostly used by the Turkish military and allied forces.

“Turkish-backed groups make millions of dollars from the transports to and from the regime-controlled areas,” Hesen said. “Taxes they impose on shopkeepers are also an important source of revenue as well.”

War spoils often lead to clashes among Turkish-backed allied factions. “Turkish-backed groups do not receive adequate salaries. They haven’t been paid in months,” Hesen said. “This is the main driving motive for resorting to stealing, plundering and kidnappings. Furthermore, the groups that refuse to send fighters to Libya have been threatened to have their salaries cut.”

Aside from feeding the warlords, these profit-generating schemes are also undermining the new Turkish plan for a “joint army” on the rebel side. Turkey, in turn, has largely refrained from interfering in the rebels’ revenue-generating means as its main concern is to retain its control in Syria.

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/origin ... s-hts.html
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Re: Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat May 30, 2020 11:52 pm

Children among the dead

Syrian rebel clash in Turkish-held Afrin kills children

Fighting among Turkey-backed Syrian rebel groups in the Turkish-controlled city of Afrin in Western Kurdistan left several civilians dead Thursday, including two children, according to war monitors.

Fierce clashes between the Hamzat Division and the Ahrar al-Sham and Jaish al-Islam factions erupted Thursday, said the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Three civilians, including two children, were killed in the gunfire, the monitoring group said.

Elizabeth Tsurkov, a fellow in the Middle East Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, wrote on Twitter that the fighting started after a group of fighters from the Hamzat Division walked into a shop run by a man displaced from Syria’s southwestern Ghouta region.

“They asked to purchase something for 300 lira [$0.16] on credit. The owner of the shop refused. In response, the Hamzat shot up the place & tossed a grenade, killing the shop owner and his son,” she wrote.

Afrin has been in the hands of Syrian fighters trained and equipped by Turkey since March 2018, when the Free Syrian Army captured the city from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia, which Turkey considers an offshoot of the banned Kurdistan Workers Party.

Human rights groups have since documented the wide-scale persecution of locals by Turkish proxies, including forced conversions among the Yazidi religious minority.

“The current situation for Yazidis remaining in the Afrin is dire as they are forced to hide their identity, unable to practice their faith, and remain frightened for their safety,” the Yazidi advocacy group Yazda said in a statement today.

Yazidi activist and Nobel laureate Nadia Murad accused Turkey and its affiliated rebel groups of an ethnic cleansing campaign in Afrin.

“They are kidnapping women, killing civilians, and destroying houses and shrines,” she said on Twitter. “To date, the international community has failed to bring attention to these crimes.”

Turkey denies war crimes were committed by its proxies.

Afrin was also the site of a deadly truck bombing last month. The YPG denied responsibility after Turkey accused the militia of carrying out the attack that killed more than 50 people.

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/origin ... yrian.html
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Re: Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun May 31, 2020 12:09 am

We want equal partnership
in Western Kurdistan


Opposition parties in Western Kurdistan have demanded a 50/50 partnership in the region’s governance, military and other affairs in their talks with the ruling authorities, an opposition leader told Rudaw English on Saturday

A new round of talks between the ruling Democratic Union Party (PYD) and Kurdish National Council (ENKS) ended “successfully,” according to Mazloum Abdi, general commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which is dominated by the PYD’s military arm.

“We hope that both political parties [ENKS and PYD] prioritize the future and interests of the public. Together and united, we can prevail and write history,” he tweeted.

However, opposition officials have said that they are unwilling to commit to a written agreement with the PYD until further concessions are made.

“No signing took place because we will not sign on something while disagreeing on other issues. It has to be a complete agreement,” Sulaiman Oso, a member of the ENKS leadership told Rudaw English on Saturday.

“We believe that unity should not be limited to [a] political position, but [include] everything: political, administrative, military, economic and security [affairs],” he said, adding that some “political understandings” were reached in the first phase of talks.

The two sides have been at odds for several years, with the ENKS accusing the PYD of being unwilling to share power in Western Kurdistan.

The ENKS-PYD talks first took place in Duhok in 2014. Initiated by Masoud Barzani, then president of the Kurdistan Region and leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the initial talks ended in a deal which was never implemented.

“Our [new] talks began on the basis of the Duhok agreement which says that there must be a 50/50 partnership between the PYD and its allies on one side and the ENKS and its allies on the other side. We are going to talk about administrative, military, security and economic points as well,” Oso added.

Senior PYD official Aldar Xelil told party media that they are not willing to share political and military power with the ENKS, claiming they have no obligation to do so.

    “We believe that the guarantee of our success will be unity between us and other [ethnic and religious] groups. We will never accept a Kurdish deal which is on the account of the destruction of our administration or if it makes us the enemies of other groups,” he told PYD-affiliated Ronahi TV on Thursday
The PYD official also said that they cannot offer administration positions to the ENKS because they have not been elected to the various governing bodies, and rejected the idea of ENKS-affiliated Peshmerga forces deploying to Rojava.

“Our position on military affairs is clear. It is impossible for two military forces to be present in a country. However, if the youths of this country want to do their patriotic duty, they can join [the SDF].

Oso termed Xelil’s comments as “inappropriate,” saying they do not serve the spirit of the ongoing talks.

“What Aldar Xelil said was not appropriate. Dialogues do not take place on television channels or other media outlets, but a place where there is international monitoring.”

He hopes a deal will be reached soon to send a positive message to the international community.

“Kurds can have a unified position and it will send a message to countries in the region that we do not pose any threat to anyone,” Oso added.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/30052020
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