Arab tribal fighters declare war on Kurdish YPG forces, north Syria

21-02-2014

 

ARA News

Urfa, Turkey– A group of Arab fighters who allegedly belong to Arab Tay and Jibur tribes along with other Arab tribes in Tel Hamis town in the countryside of Hasaka announced on Monday mobilization of Arabs against the Kurdish forces of the Popular Protection Units (YPG) −military wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD)− whom they accused of “implementing foreign agendas”.  

The same militant groups had earlier declared allegiance to the al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

In a statement published on YouTube, a tribal leader, who recites a statement in the presence of a large crowd and while two ISIL members appear also in the video addressing the crowd in their turn, said that the Arab tribes in Tel Hamis announce mobilization against the “militias of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)”, in reference to the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed groups. The leader accused the pro-PKK members of apostasy and of betraying the Arabs “as their aggression against Arab residents in northeastern Syria recently increased”

“The war has started against the Shabbiha (pro-Assad militias) and the Arab tribal leaders of Shammar, who supported the YPG forces against ISIL fighters in taking control over the bordering town of Jazaa in Hasaka province,” the leader said. “Leaders of Shammar and other Arab tribes who live in Qamishli city have clearly betrayed us.” 

According to observers, the video which was published on YouTube and in which hundreds of veiled armed young men appeared, had a chauvinistic tone and was an apparent attempt to promote for some radical Islamic ideas. Such a discourse reminds Syrians of those tribal figures who tried to foment sedition in the predominantly Kurdish areas in northeastern Syria and strongly supported the regime in committing “massacres” against the Kurds, namely during the events which followed the 12th of March 2004 (the Kurdish anti-regime uprising). 

Nidal Sadoun, member of the National Commission for Civil Peace in northeastern Syria, told ARA News that the area is at the edge of entering a long-term civil war.

“We have earlier warned that the entry of YPG forces to Arab areas (Tel Hamis and Tel Birak) would fuel strife and might even foreshadow a civil war in the region,” Sadoun said. “The statement clearly  indicates that the ISIL has an influence over these tribes as the group is active in the areas where these tribes live.” 

“The National Commission for Civil Peace called for an immediate meeting with the YPG leaders and Arab tribal leaders to reach a ceasefire and an honor code, and to make clear regulations which both sides have to hold on and that both sides release the detainees they keep,” Sadoun concluded.

Notably, Arab tribes in coordination with rebels of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and al-Qaeda-linked ISIL fighters forced the displacement of Kurdish families from Tel Abyad city in July 2013 under the pretext of fighting against pro-PKK forces (PYD-led YPG forces) after Arab tribes in Raqqa province pledged allegiance to the ISIL. 

 

Reporting by: Ridwan Bizar

Source: ARA News

 

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