Rojava Weekly News Briefing 16 Apr – 22 Apr 2016

News

1. 138 civilians killed, 912 wounded in Şêx Meqsud attacks.

2. ‘Sheikh Maksoud is not alone, we are all Sheikh Maksoud’ campaign continues.

3. Rojava Representation Office opened in Sweden.

4. Turkish soldiers kill another Rojava citizen.

5. Social Contract of Federal System is being drafted today.

6. Students in Girê Spî organize an exhibition.

7. Clashes in Qamişlo: Cezîre Canton Asayîş Forces kill 8 Syrian regime soldiers.

8. Call for medical aid for Şêx Meqsûd.

9. Clashes in Qamişlo intensify in two areas.

10. Clashes between Syrian regime forces and Rojava Public Security forces continue.

11. Turkey renews bombardment of Kurdish positions northern Syria.

12. Lavrov: US Needs to ‘Bring Turkey to Senses’ for Blocking Kurds From Talks.

13. Syria Talks Collapse Looming as Only 3 Out of 15 HNC Members Arrive.

14. Britons arrested on Iraq border after fighting IS in Syria.

Comment, Opinion and Analysis

15. ‘Airbase, refugees are why West silent on Turkey’s crimes against Kurds’.

16. A Kurdish Autumn Becomes Turkey’s Long Winter. 3

News

1. 138 civilians killed, 912 wounded in Şêx Meqsud attacks.

Hawar News Agency, 17/04/2016

Attacks of gangs tied to the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) which are ignored by the international community continues since seven months. Whilst 138 people were killed in the attacks, 912 others were wounded. Aleppo’s Şêx Meqsud neighbourhood has been imposed to attacks from the SNC gangs connected to AKP since seven months, causing casualties and damage in the neighbourhood.

The predominantly Kurdish neighbourhood is seen as an area where security and peace has established with the Syrian revolution. Many Turkmens and Arabs moved to the neighbourhood after HELEB-HEJMARA-KOSTIYA-1381clashes took place in local areas. In Şêx Meqsud, each present ethnic structure has formed a joint council for the administration of the YPG/YPJ controlled neighbourhood. Work has been carried out on many subjects including education, health, culture and belief in Şêx Meqsud.

http://en.hawarnews.com/138-civilians-slain-912-wounded-in-sex-meqsud-attacks/

2. ‘Sheikh Maksoud is not alone, we are all Sheikh Maksoud’ campaign continues.

Hawar News Agency, 18/04/2016

The Democratic Society Movement in Lebanon continues its humanitarian and moral campaign, which was launched under the title of “Sheikh Maksoud is not alone, we are all Sheikh Maksoud”, with aims of raising funds to support the families of Sheikh Maksoud.

The Democratic Society Movement met in the area of Al-Dora and Nabaa on Saturday night where people expressed their support for the people of Sheikh Maksoud, with their willingness to stand with the neighbourhood morally and financially.

The contributors denounced the so-called ‘opposition’ gang attacks of the Syrian National Coalition and the Kurdish National Coalition (ENKS) against Sheikh Maqsoud.

http://en.hawarnews.com/sheikh-maksoud-is-not-alone-we-are-all-sheikh-maksoud-campaign-continues/

3. Rojava Representation Office opened in Sweden.

Hawar News Agency, 18/04/2016

A Representation Office of the Rojava, West Kurdistan administration has been opened in Sweden’s capital city Stockholm with a ceremony attended by MPs, NGO representatives and hundreds of people from Kurdistan, Turkey, and Sweden.

Tev-Dem Co-chair Sinem Muhammed and Assyrian National Council Chair Bassam İshak cut the ceremonial ribbon. YPJ Commander Nesrin Abdullah, Cezîre Canton Foreign Minister Abdulkerim Omar and the Greens Foreign Policy Representative Valter Mutt attended the ceremony.

Cizîr Canton Foreign Minister Abdulkerim Omar gave a speech after PYD Sweden representative Şiyar Ali greeted the attendees and said the Rojava representation office was home to not only Kurds but all oppressed peoples, Assyrian, Armenian, Ezidi and all other peoples who are under oppression. 4

http://en.hawarnews.com/rojava-representation-office-opened-in-sweden/

4. Turkish soldiers kill another Rojava citizen.

Hawar News Agency, 19/04/2016

Turkish soldiers bombarded Kobanî villages once again and killed a Rojava citizen.

According to the local sources reporting to ANHA from Kobanî, today Turkish soldiers opened fire on two Rojava citizens who wanted to cross the border into North Kurdistan. One of the citizens were killed and the other was wounded in the attack of the Turkish soldiers.

The wounded citizen was referred to Emer Hospital in Kobanî.

http://en.hawarnews.com/turkish-soldiers-kill-another-rojava-citizen/

5. Social Contract of Federal System is being drafted today.

Hawar News Agency, 19/04/2016

Following series of meetings with different political parties and social and political organizations, Social Contract Committee started writing the first draft of the contract.

The committee was established on March 24 in order to hold meetings with people and organizations from different ethnic, religious, and political background so that the social contract defend the rights of all and maintain the peaceful and democratic co-existence in Rojava and Northern Syria Federal System.

The committee completed the meetings yesterday and today the committee members will start writing the first draft of the social contract.

http://en.hawarnews.com/social-contract-of-federal-system-is-being-drafted-today/

6. Students in Girê Spî organize an exhibition.

Hawar News Agency, 20/04/2016

Students in Girê Spî (Tal Abyad) organized an exhibition called “Happiness of children”.

The students from 1st to 6th grades at Carrah Primary School in Girê Spî today opened a drawing and handicrafts exhibition in cooperation with Kongreya Star (Women’s organization in Rojava).

Co-chairs of Girê Spî Autonomous Administration Leyla Mustefa and Hemdan Ali-Abid, Chair of Education Committee Tehami Hac Abdullah, representatives of TEV-DEM and YPG, and family members of the students attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition.

http://en.hawarnews.com/students-in-gire-spi-organize-an-exhibition/

7. Clashes in Qamişlo: Cezîre Canton Asayîş Forces kill 8 Syrian regime soldiers.

Hawar News Agency, 20/04/2016

Following attacks of the Syrian regime forces on Asayîş (Public Security) of Cezîre Canton, clashes broke out leaving 8 regime soldiers killed and 12 arrested by Cezîre Canton Asayîş members. 5

The regime forces reportedly surrounded an Asayîş team near Saba Bahrad Crossroad around 11 am and wanted to capture Asayîş members. In response of the Asayîş members, clashes broke out near what the regime calls Security Crossroad in the city centre.

Clashes reportedly continue in the city centre.

http://en.hawarnews.com/clashes-in-qamislo-cezire-canton-asayis-forces-kill-8-syrian-regime-soldiers/

8. Call for medical aid for Şêx Meqsûd.

Hawar News Agency, 20/04/2016

Lawyer Amed Davud from the Kurdish Red Crescent (Heyva Sor a Kurdistanê) spoke to ANF and called upon the international community to deliver medical aid to Aleppo’s Şêx Meqsûd (Sheikh Maqsoud) neighbourhood, which is under the siege and attacks of SNC and ENKS gangs.

Davud emphasized that the Kurdish Red Crescent health centre in Sheikh Maqsoud has been struggling to deliver medical aid since the SNC and ENKS gangs intensified their attacks in February, and the siege of the gangs prevents the delivery of medicine and other materials to the neighbourhood. Davud noted that many injured people died due to the lack of access to hospitals, and called upon the international community to deliver medical aid to Sheikh Maqsoud.

http://en.hawarnews.com/call-for-medical-aid-for-sex-meqsud/

9. Clashes in Qamişlo intensify in two areas.

Hawar News Agency, 22/04/2016

Clashes between Rojava Public Security Forces and the Syrian regime soldiers in Qamişlo intensify.

ANHA reporters on the ground said fierce clashes continue especially at Iweja area to the southeast of the city and Wehde Street in the city center. Details and results of the clashes have not been obtained yet.

http://en.hawarnews.com/clashes-in-qamislo-intensify-in-two-areas/

10. Clashes between Syrian regime forces and Rojava Public Security forces continue.

Hawar News Agency, 22/04/2016

Clashes between Syrian regime forces and Rojava Asayîş (public security) continue since the former one’s attack on the city of Qamişlo (Al-Qamisli) the day before.

Fighting continues on the roads leading to the Wehdê Intersection, Kesb Street and Security Junction.

Dîfa Wetenî paramilitary forces allied to the Regime arrested 2 YPG fighters and took them to Damascus on April 19. The following day, 2 Qamishlo Asayish members were killed as a result of the attacks to which Asayîş forces returned fire. As clashes between two sides spread to areas held by the regime, local units of the YPG (People’s Defense Units) also got involved the fighting. 6

http://en.hawarnews.com/clashes-between-syrian-regime-forces-and-rojava-public-security-forces-continue/

11. Turkey renews bombardment of Kurdish positions northern Syria.

ARA News, 18/04/2016

The Turkish army on Saturday bombed Kurdish positions in Syria without causing any casualties, Kurdish officials confirmed.

“At about 4 pm today, Turkish army shelled about 6 rockets at Dikmatash village in Afrin and fired at a YPJ [Female Protection Units] headquarters but no casualties confirmed yet,” Idris Nassan, a Kurdish analyst and former official in the Kobane administration, told ARA News.

http://aranews.net/2016/04/turkey-renews-bombardment-kurdish-positions-northern-syria/

12. Lavrov: US Needs to ‘Bring Turkey to Senses’ for Blocking Kurds From Talks.

Sputnik News, 17/04/2016

The Russian foreign minister urged Washington to “bring Ankara to senses” for blocking the delegation of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party from joining the Geneva negotiations.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The United States needs to bring its Turkish partners to their senses, who are still blocking the participation of Kurds in the intra-Syrian talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow Monday.

The Russian, Indian and Chinese foreign ministers held a meeting in the Russian capital on Monday to discuss conflict settlement in the Middle East, Ukraine and Afghanistan and the fight against terrorism.

http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160418/1038196777/kurds-syria-turkey-us.html#ixzz46BnN9YDx

13. Syria Talks Collapse Looming as Only 3 Out of 15 HNC Members Arrive.

Sputnik News, 18/04/2016

The collapse of the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva is looming as only three out of 15 members of the Syrian opposition’s Riyadh-backed High Negotiations Committee (HNC) arrived for talks with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.

GENEVA (Sputnik) — The HNC delegation’s head Asaad Zoubi and chief negotiator Mohammed Alloush are not among those three who arrived, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

HNC members are reportedly divided on whether it is necessary to continue the talks amid escalation of violence in Aleppo.

With the escalation of clashes in Syria’s northern Aleppo province, a member of the HNC decried what they termed “the regime’s offensive” and said it could lead to the collapse of the current round of talks. 7

http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160418/1038202340/talks-collapse-hnc.html#ixzz46d7llrDC

14. Britons arrested on Iraq border after fighting IS in Syria.

BBC, 19/04/2016

A British man who joined Kurdish forces to fight the Islamic State group in Syria has been arrested attempting to cross the Iraqi border.

IT worker Jac Holmes, from Bournemouth, had been fighting with the main Kurdish force in the northern Syria.

He was detained with Joe Akerman, from Halifax, and Irish citizen Joshua Molloy in an area controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Foreign Office officials are due to visit him in prison.

The UK government strongly warns against travelling to the region.

The three men had been returning to the UK at the time of their arrest, the BBC understands.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-dorset-36080116 8

Comment, Opinion and Analysis

15. ‘Airbase, refugees are why West silent on Turkey’s crimes against Kurds’.

RT, 18/04/2016

The West’s silence on Ankara’s activities is the price it’s paying to use the Incirlik air base and for hiring Turkey as the contractor to stop the influx of refugees into Europe said Kani Xulam from the American Kurdish Information Network.

Turkey has been using heavy weapons in fighting inside cities populated by Kurds. Ankara reportedly often violates the sovereignty of bordering states. The Turkish authorities claim their only target is terrorists. However, thousands of civilians have been injured, including people from the Syrian city of Qamishli and the Turkish city of Nusaybin.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan said borders are not an obstacle for his country when it comes to fighting terrorism. RT has started a petition calling for an investigation of the alleged mass killing of Kurds in Turkey.

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/340071-kurds-turkey-qamishli-nusaybin/

16. A Kurdish Autumn Becomes Turkey’s Long Winter.

Centre for American Progress, by Aslı Aydintaşbaş, Tuesday, April 19, 2016

“Kurds were the sore losers of last century, but this century will be ours,” a senior Iraqi Kurdish politician once remarked on a flight between Istanbul and Ankara. Sure enough, Iraqi Kurds have benefited from the U.S. invasion in Iraq by establishing a successful self-governing entity and are well on their way to possible full independence.

But inside Turkey, Kurdish dreams are set back by a bitter and bloody war between the state and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. The conflict resurfaced last summer following the breakdown of peace talks that had been going on for several years.

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/security/report/2016/04/19/135785/a-kurdish-autumn-becomes-turkeys-long-winter/

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