KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 19th-26th AUGUST 2016

NEWS

1. Kurdish-backed council says Turkey’s intervention to make Syrian town “grave for Erdogan troops”
2. US coalition: We support both Turkey and SDF forces in war on ISIS
3. Karayılan: ISIS is an excuse, the target is Kurds
4. KCK: Attack on Rojava is an attack on all Kurds
5. Syrian regime headed for collapse in Hesekê
6. SDF: We support Jarablus Military Council
7. Ehmed: Iran, Turkey and Syrian regime attack Rojava with a new concept
8. Suicide bombing shows how Turkey’s Kurds are getting hit from all sides
9. Turkey shells Kurdish and IS group positions in Syria
10.Turkey, Syrian Kurds on track for conflict in northern Syria
11.YPG official: Syrian regime is trying to satisfy Turkey by attacking Kurds
12. Hunger strike launched in front of CPT for the freedom of Öcalan
13. Human Rights Lawyer Eren Keskin Speaks Out On Newspaper Closure
14. Police Raid on Journalists Zarakolu, Keskin, Koçali

 OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. Muslim: Manbij will be the center of coexistence
2.Turkey Invades Syria, Backed By U.S.
3.’A Lawless Plan to Target Syria’s Allies’
4. HAS TURKEY PREPARED FOR A LENGTHY WAR IN SYRIA?
5. Turkey and Iran Reach Agreement on Conditions for Syria Peace
6. Syria’s Kurds: An embattled US ally in a complex civil war
7.Putin’s Geopolitical Chess Game with Washington in Syria and Eurasia
8. Turkey’s Incursion into Syria Will Escalate Conflict with the Kurds
9. Chilcot Report: How Tony Blair Sold the War

REPORTS
1. Al  Hassaka Incidents Report
2.Rojava at 4: Examining the Experiment in Western Kurdistan

STATEMENTS
1.The Kurdish community supports Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party and the next prime minister
2.
Turkish State Enmity to the Kurds Continues

 EVENTS
Workshops titled ‘Emancipatory Transformations: Engaging Radical Democracy in Kurdistan’

————–
NEWS
1. Kurdish-backed council says Turkey’s intervention to make Syrian town “grave for Erdogan troops”
August 26th/ARA News

The Kurdish-backed Shahba Council said on Thursday that after the Turkish intervention in northern Syria, the town of Jarabulus will become a ‘grave for the criminal occupier Erdogan and his mercenaries.’

The statement is another sign of the increasing tensions between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Turkey-backed rebels of the Euphrates Shield Brigades. 
http://aranews.net/2016/08/kurdish-backed-council-says-turkeys-intervention-make-syrian-town-grave-erdogan-troops/

2. US coalition: We support both Turkey and SDF forces in war on ISIS

August 26th/ARA News

The US anti-ISIS envoy Brett McGurk on Thursday said that the coalition backs the Turkish operation in Jarabulus, but also the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) efforts in the war against the Islamic State (ISIS).

http://aranews.net/2016/08/us-coalition-support-turkey-sdf-forces-war-isis/

3. Karayılan: ISIS is an excuse, the target is Kurds
August 25th/ANF English
PKK Executive Committee member Murat Karayılan stated that Jarablus was handed over to Turkey-affiliated gangs as part of an agreement with ISIS, and the target of the operation was Rojava and Syrian Democratic Forces. Karayılan said that Europe would be affected by the aforementioned agreement the most because ISIS would be able to freely go to Europe via Istanbul.
http://anfenglish.com/features/karayilan-isis-is-an-excuse-the-target-is-kurds

4. KCK: Attack on Rojava is an attack on all Kurds
August 25th/ANF English
KCK Executive Council Co-Presidency stated that Turkey implemented its goal of occupying Jarablus after the liberation of Manbij, and Jarablus was taken over in agreement with ISIS. KCK noted that the target of the Turkish state and gang groups is not ISIS but Syrian Democratic Forces, and described a possible attack on Rojava as an attack on all Kurdish people.
http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/kck-attack-on-rojava-is-an-attack-on-all-kurds

5. Syrian regime headed for collapse in Hesekê
August 23rd/ANF English
Encircled by YPG, YPJ, Asayish and People’s Defense Forces (HPC) fighters, 230 Syrian regime soldiers and gangs were captured in the villages near Kewkeb on the 7th day of the war in Hesekê. YPG, YPJ, Asayish and HPC had captured 113 soldiers previously, and seized many strategic locations and institutions within Neshwa Sherki and Xweran neighborhoods during the war that started after the attacks of regime soldiers.
http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/syrian-regime-headed-for-collapse-in-heseke

6. SDF: We support Jarablus Military Council
August 23rd/ANF English
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Command has announced full support to the Jarablus Military Council and emphasized their readiness to defend the country against any interference.

The statement by Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Command said; “We as SDF followed the statement published in the name of military factions affiliated to Jarablus against Turkey’s efforts aiming to occupy the city by employing military formations not very much different from terrorists in order to destabilize and disturb the local society”.
http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/sdf-we-support-jarablus-military-council

7. Ehmed: Iran, Turkey and Syrian regime attack Rojava with a new concept
August 23rd/ANF English
Syrian Democratic Council Co-chair İlham Ehmed stated that the Hesekê attack was a result of the new concept among the regimes of Turkey, Iran and Baath, and said it was a new process and situation. Ehmed said: “But it isn’t fully clear whether this is strategical or tactical. It is apparent that there is a great game here and the Turkish state is at the head of it.”
http://anfenglish.com/features/ehmed-iran-turkey-and-syrian-regime-attack-rojava-with-a-new-concept

8. Suicide bombing shows how Turkey’s Kurds are getting hit from all sides
August 23rd/Washington Post
The suicide bomb that ripped through a Kurdish wedding in the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep over the weekend killed 51 people, roughly half of whom were children, and wounded dozens more. Turkish officials say the assailant acted in the service of the Islamic State. If they’re right, that would make the blast the worst jihadist strike on Turkey since the extremists’ brazen assault on Istanbul’s main airport in June.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/08/23/suicide-bombing-shows-how-turkeys-kurds-are-getting-hit-from-all-sides/

9. Turkey shells Kurdish and IS group positions in Syria
August 23rd/France 24
The Turkish army has shelled Kurdish as well as Islamic State (IS) group positions in northern Syria, Turkish media reports said Tuesday, in a bid to open up a corridor for a major rebel assault.

In a double-pronged approach, Turkish artillery shells on Tuesday hit positions held by the Kurdish YPG militants in the northern Syrian town of Manbij while continuing to target areas held by the IS group in Jarablus, according to local media reports.
http://www.france24.com/en/20160823-turkey-syria-shelling-kurdish-islamic-state

10. Turkey, Syrian Kurds on track for conflict in northern Syria
August 23rd/Cross Roads Today

Turkey’s prime minister’s office said the Turkish military and the U.S.-backed coalition forces on Wednesday launched an operation to clear a Syrian border town from Islamic State militants.

The state-run Anadolu Agency said the operation began at 4 a.m. with Turkish artillery launching intense fire on Jarablus followed by Turkish warplanes bombing IS targets in the town.

It’s not clear if any Turkish or Turkish-backed Syrian opposition forces have crossed the border.

The agency said the operation aims to clear Turkey’s border of “terror organizations” and increase border security. It said the aim also is to “prioritize and support” Syria’s territorial integrity.
http://www.crossroadstoday.com/story/32818628/turkey-syrian-kurds-on-track-for-conflict-in-northern-syria

11. YPG official: Syrian regime is trying to satisfy Turkey by attacking Kurds
August 22nd/ARA News
 Polat Can, the representative of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) to the coalition against ISIS, said on Sunday that the Syrian government is trying to send a message to Turkey.

The YGP official said the ongoing attacks by the Assad regime against Kurds in Syria’s Hasakah “are aimed at compensating ISIS losses in front of the Kurdish forces and allies”.

http://aranews.net/2016/08/ypg-official-syrian-regime-trying-satisfy-turkey-attacking-kurds/

12. Hunger strike launched in front of CPT for the freedom of Öcalan
August 23rd/ANF English

Shengal Diaspora Assembly has launched an indefinite-irreversible hunger strike in front of the Committee for Prevention of Torture in Strasbourg, France for the fredom of Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan.

10 people including the Shengal Diaspora Assembly Co-chair Fikret İğrek have started the hunger strike. Hundreds of Kurds from Germany, Switzerland and different cities in France attended the press statement.
http://anfenglish.com/news/hunger-strike-launched-in-front-of-cpt-for-the-freedom-of-ocalan

13. Human Rights Lawyer Eren Keskin Speaks Out On Newspaper Closure
August 17th/Kurdish Question
The former editor-in-chief of recently closed Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem, lawyer Eren Keskin, has spoken to the Firat News Agency (ANF) about the raid conducted by masked special operations police in her home.

Following the court order to close Özgür Gündem for alleged PKK propaganda, the police raided the newspaper and detained 23 members of staff and journalists; the homes of publisher Kemal Sancılı, former editor-in-chief Eren Keskin and columnist Filiz Koçali were also raided by the police concurrently.
http://kurdishquestion.com/article/3362-human-rights-lawyer-eren-keskin-speaks-out-on-newspaper-closure

14. Police Raid on Journalists Zarakolu, Keskin, Koçali

August 17th/Bianet English

Following the police raid on Özgür Gündem daily, police have raided the house of the daily’s reporters Filiz Koçali and Eren Keskin.

Filiz Koçali, like Eren Keskin, was not at home at the time of the raid.

Police have also launched a raid into the apartment of Sinan Zarakolu, the son of publisher, columnist and journalist Ragıp Zarakolu, who was registered at this address.
http://bianet.org/english/media/177876-police-raid-on-journalists-zarakolu-keskin-kocali

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS
1. Muslim: Manbij will be the center of coexistence
August 24th/Hawar News Agency
General Command of People Protection Units said that a joint committee was formed to supervise ceasefire declared to reach a political solution between the Syrian state and the Autonomous Administration, and have assured that it will not hesitate to resort lawful defense right and protect interests of people of different components and sects, and work hard to maintain co-existence.
http://en.hawarnews.com/the-general-command-of-ypg-released-a-statment/

2. Turkey Invades Syria, Backed By U.S.
August 23rd/Information Clearing House
On Wednesday morning, Turkey abruptly launched an all-out military assault on Syria, sending in tanks, troops, and engaging in airstrikes, in concert with airstrikes from the United States, to the northern portions of Syria near the Turkey-Syria border under the guise of combatting ISIS forces. At this time, the military operations seem focused around Jarablus.
According to the BBC, “A dozen Turkish tanks and other vehicles have rolled across the Syrian border after heavy shelling of an area held by so-called Islamic State (IS). Military sources told Turkish media 70 targets in the Jarablus area had been destroyed by artillery and rocket strikes, and 12 by air strikes.”
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45348.htm

3. ‘A Lawless Plan to Target Syria’s Allies’
August 20th/Consortium News
On Aug. 17, TV interviewer Charlie Rose gave former acting CIA Director Michael Morell a “mulligan” for an earlier wayward drive on Aug. 8 that sliced deep into the rough and even stirred up some nonviolent animals by advocating the murder of Russians and Iranians. But, alas, Morell duffed the second drive, too.

Morell did so despite Rose’s efforts to tee up the questions as favorably as possible, trying to help Morell explainwhat he meant about “killing” Russians and Iranians in Syria and bombing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad into submission.
http://azvsas.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/danger-to-rojava-as-united-states.html

4. HAS TURKEY PREPARED FOR A LENGTHY WAR IN SYRIA?
August 26th/Newsweek Europe
Turkey has finally directly entered the Syrian conflict. With support of Turkish tanks, artillery and fighter jets, some 1,500 fighters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) have moved in to take over the strategic city of Jarablus, meeting with little resistance from militants of the so-called Islamic State group (ISIS).
Europehttp://europe.newsweek.com/turkey-may-not-be-prepared-enter-syria-493759?utm_source=email&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_content=headline&spMailingID=694339&spUserID=MTI0NzM2NDEzOTYS1&spJobID=610287684&spReportId=NjEwMjg3Njg0S0

5. Turkey and Iran Reach Agreement on Conditions for Syria Peace
August 19th/Anti-War
In a stunning diplomatic surprise, Turkey and Iran have announced a preliminary agreement on fundamental principles for a settlement of the Syrian conflict.

The dramatic turn in the diplomacy of the Syria War was revealed in Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim’s regular weekly speech to the ruling AKP Party in the parliament and confirmed by a senior Iranian foreign ministry official Tuesday.
http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2016/08/18/turkey-iran-reach-agreement-conditions-syria-peace/

6. Syria’s Kurds: An embattled US ally in a complex civil war
August 25th/Washington Post
Syria’s battle-hardened Kurds have proven their mettle against the Islamic State group, and in the process, carved out an autonomous zone across the country’s north. But their advance has alarmed Turkey, and Ankara on Wednesday sent tanks across the border against IS, and demanded that the Kurds withdraw from recently seized territory.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/syrias-kurds-an-embattled-us-ally-in-a-complex-civil-war/2016/08/25/534436ce-6a98-11e6-91cb-ecb5418830e9_story.html

7. Putin’s Geopolitical Chess Game with Washington in Syria and Eurasia
July 21st 2012/Oil Geopolitics
Since reassuming his post as Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin has lost no minute in addressing the most urgent geopolitical threats to Russia internationally. Not surprisingly, at the center of his agenda is the explosive situation in the Middle East, above all Syria. Here Putin is engaging every imaginable means of preventing a further deterioration of the situation into what easily could become another “world war by miscalculation.” His activities in recent weeks involve active personal diplomacy with Syria’s government as well as the so-called opposition “Syrian National Council.” It involves intense diplomacy with Erdogan’s Turkey regime. It involves closed door diplomacy with Obama. It involves direct diplomacy with Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu.
http://www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net/print/Putin%20Chess.pdf

8. Turkey’s Incursion into Syria Will Escalate Conflict with the Kurds

August 24th/The Real News
On Wednesday, Turkish tanks crossed into northern Syria alongside Turkish-backed Syrian rebels in a bid to push the Islamic State out of the border town of Jarabulus. A Reuters reporter at the scene witnessed intense bombardments, with [palls] of black smoke rising around the town. Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan said the operation was targeting the Islamic State and the Kurdish PYD, Democratic Union Party, whose gains in northern Syria have alarmed Turkey. Ankara views PYD as an extension of Kurdish militants fighting an insurgency on its own soil, putting it at odds with Washington, which sees the group as an ally in the fight against the Islamic State
http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=17102

9. Chilcot Report: How Tony Blair Sold the War
July 6th/The New York Times
WEDNESDAY saw the publication, years overdue, of the official report into Britain’s conduct of the 2003 Iraq war. The inquiry, led by a former senior civil servant, John Chilcot, reviewed thousands of documents and interviewed more than 100 witnesses, and the final report runs to more than two million words.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/07/opinion/chilcot-report-how-tony-blair-sold-the-war.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region&_r=0

REPORTS
1. Al  Hassaka Incidents Report
by The Diplomatic Centre of the Democratic Society Movement (TEV – DEM)
August 24th/Peace in Kurdistan
According to the Algerian online publication “El-Watan“, the Turkish and Syrian governments have been secretly conducted meetings in Algiers to discuss the federalist government the Kurdish PYD regime was promoting inside northern Syria.

Citing a diplomatic source, El-Watan alleged that Turkey requested to meet with the Syrian government to ease the tensions between the two countries; these meetings have been reportedly facilitated by the Algerian government.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/08/26/al-hassaka-incidents-report-24082016/

2. Rojava at 4: Examining the Experiment in Western Kurdistan
August/LSE Middle East Centre
In July 2012, Kurds in northern Syria began taking control of territory. This led to the creation of the largely self-governing areas known collectively as Rojava (Western Kurdistan), and a new experiment in local government which has deep significance for Syrian, Kurdish, Middle Eastern and international geopolitics.
Four years on from this unprecedented development, the LSE Middle East Centre convened a workshop bringing together specialists on Kurdish, Syrian and Turkish politics with colleagues from the UK FCO and DFID to examine the progress and nature of the Rojava project.
http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=3d36dd6f1efd9e75e763f1bb9&id=7f895545a9&e=1a33cb8a9a

STATEMENTS
1. The Kurdish community supports Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party and the next prime minister
The Kurdish community have known Jeremy Corbyn over many years during which time he has earned our profound respect for his honesty, decency and unshakeable commitment to the values of peace, justice and equal rights that we all share. Jeremy’s record speaks for itself. He is a rare MP who is prepared to stand up for his principles, which are founded on social justice and international solidarity. He has never drawn any distinction between fighting injustice in this country and expressing support with people struggling for justice abroad.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/08/24/the-kurdish-community-supports-jeremy-corbyn-as-leader-of-the-labour-party-and-the-next-prime-minister/
2. Turkish State Enmity to the Kurds Continues
August 26th/Peace in Kurdistan
The purpose of the Turkish states’ intervention in Syria is not to attack ISIS, but to destroy the gains made by the Kurds and other groups, in order to further destabilize Syria. On 24 August 2016, the Turkish state occupied the city of Jarablus, North Syria under the pretense of fighting ISIS. The timing of the occupation of Jarablus, which sits on the Turkish Syrian border, is important. The move followed the liberation of an ISIS stronghold, Minbij, by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Minbij military council on 13 August 2016.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2016/08/26/knk-statement-turkish-state-enmity-to-the-kurds-continues/

EVENTS
Workshops titled ‘Emancipatory Transformations: Engaging Radical Democracy in Kurdistan’
In the region, citizens are experimenting with ‘democratic confederalism’ and ideas from feminism and ecology as part of an ambitious project of radical democracy and social justice. The workshop aims to help participants learn, explore, share, and think of future possibilities for direct democracy and democratic confederalism. A call for participants has been issued for researchers, activists, visual artists, filmmakers and others to join the workshop, which is hosted by the STEPS Centre along with members of the Sussex Kurdish Community and members of the UK-based Kurdish Solidarity activist community. The deadline for submissions is 16 September.See below for full details.
<http://steps-centre.org/events/emancipatory-transformations-radical-democracy-kurdistan/>
Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Email: estella24@tiscali.co.uk
http://www.peaceinkurdistancampaign.com
Contacts Estella Schmid 020 7586 5892 & Melanie Gingell – Tel: 020 7272 7890

Patrons: Lord Rea, Lord Dholakia, Baroness Sarah Ludford, Jill Evans MEP, Jean Lambert MEP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Hywel Williams MP, Kate Osamor MP, Elfyn Llwyd, Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, John Austin, Christine Blower, NUT International Secretary,  Simon Dubbins. UNITE International Director Bruce Kent, Gareth Peirce, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, John Berger, Edward Albee, Margaret Owen OBE, Prof Mary Davis, Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Mark Thomas, Nick Hildyard, Stephen Smellie, Derek Wall, Melanie Gingell

 

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