Syrian Kurdish bloc calls for entry of Peshmerga after Hasakah’s deadly attack

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Rojava’s Peshmerga forces in Barzan town of Iraqi Kurdistan. File photo

ARA News 

HASAKAH – The Kurdish National Council (KNC) has insisted on the return of 2,000 Syrian Kurds, trained as Peshmerga, from Iraqi Kurdistan. After the Islamic State (ISIS) attacked a Kurdish wedding in Hasakah city, the KNC has emphasized the need for increased security in Northern Syria – Rojava (NSR).

Kamiran Hajo, the Chairman of the KNC’s Foreign Relations Office said: “This perfidious crime shows the importance of protecting the Kurdish territories and the security of the people who are living here.”

“The KNC is determined to establish security and to intensify the fight against terrorism. Regarding this, it is indispensable to enable the return of the Peshmerga of Rojava to Syrian Kurdistan to prevent such horrible attacks,” he said. 

The Rojava Peshmerga were trained by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Iraqi Kurdistan.

“We demand the [Democratic Union Party] dismiss its claim of exclusive control in Rojava and to give the KNC the opportunity to apply its energies, even more, to protect the Kurdish territories in Syria,” Hajo stated.

The Democratic Union Party (PYD), in a statement, said that the recent attack in Hasakah would not prevent them from “continuing the struggle with all democratic forces and political parties that believe in solving the Syrian crisis [by] moving towards a federal democratic system.” 

Speaking to ARA News, Ceng Sagnic, a researcher with the Tel Aviv-based Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies said: “The [PYD] said that the [People’s Protection Units] are the official fighting force of the canton administrations and any other side that wants to contribute to the security of Rojava should join the [People’s Protection Units]. They also argue that the presence of two armies in Rojava will ignite infighting.” 

Kurdish PYD officials administer the three cantons which collectively constitute NSR. PYD officials have repeatedly told the KNC and the Rojava Peshmerga that they can join the People’s Protection Units (YPG) as individuals, but not as a separate entity. 

Idriss Nassan, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Kobane Canton, told ARA News: “There would be a civil war if they come by their own decision.”

“Because the YPG controls the whole [of Rojava], they would not allow any other force to share the achievements they have made with the drops of blood of their martyrs,” he said.  

On October 3, an ISIS suicide bomber targeted a wedding party of the Kurdish Fatime family in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah city.

In a public statement, the Asayish police said: “According to the preliminary investigations, the attack [was carried out] by a suicide bomber, 16 years old, when he blew himself with an explosive belt inside the club at 8:30 PM, which led to the martyrdom of 34 citizens.”

The victims were all civilians, although some Arab-language opposition media claimed that a YPG military commander was killed.

Among the fatalities, was veteran politician Baha Fatîme, a Central Committee member of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria. The party is also known as Yekîtî, meaning unity in Kurdish.

This is not the first time that ISIS has targeted Syrian Kurds. In July, over 25 civilians were killed in an ISIS suicide bombing in the city of Hasakah. Another bombing, also in July, killed at least 50 civilians in the city of Qamishli.

The local self-administrations led by the PYD and its allies announced on March 17 the preparations for the establishment for a federal system for Northern Syria – Rojava. The KNC rejected this announcement, claiming that it was unilateral.

The PYD’s platform calls for a geographic federalism that would not be based on ethnicity. The KNC disagrees, seeking a federal Kurdistan region in Syria, analogous to the Kurdistan region in Iraq.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News 

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