Kurdish Yazidi minority in Syria targeted by Islamist armed group

04-09-2013

 

ARA News

Sere Kaniye/Ras al-Ain, Syria − As clashes continue in Sere Kaniye city and its suburbs, violence remains prevalent in the Kurdish areas, north Syria. 

As the Kurdish armed fighters of the Popular Protection Units (YPG)−military wing of the PYD−  achieved a considerable advance on the ground, the extremist armed groups have reportedly changed their military tactics, depending more on the methods of hit-and-run, and the use of land-mines and ambushes on the roads of the YPG especially in the rural south and south-east where they make use of the forests on both sides of the (Aljrajab, Alzerkan) rivers that in turn facilitate the process of disappearance and camouflage. 

 

Random Shelling on the City:

In the city of Sere Kaniye/Ras al-Ain, as the brigades of the al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham (ISIS, or Daash) are constantly storming the city, using tanks and mortars to carry out operations against the Kurdish populated area.

Sources in the city told ARA News that the shelling is focused on the neighborhood of al-Mahatta (the station), which contains the border gate with Turkey, in an attempt to take over the strategic crossing area. Over the last few days, the city saw two fierce attacks by the Islamic militants in an attempt to storm the city. 

The Kurdish attempts to face the Islamist groups and defend the city led those groups to attack Tel Hallaf and Almushrafa, in order to drain the capabilities of the Kurdish forces and exhaust the front of Sere Kaniye/Ras al-Ain.

 

Targeting Yazidi Kurds:

Last week, Sere Kaniye saw a dangerous phenomenon and a new social custom. The city is knwon for the diversity of its social components, including religious and ethnic groups. The Kurds and Arabs, Christians and Muslims, beside the Yazidi Kurds, constitute the social fabric of Sere Kaniye. 

However, Yazidies remain one of the most endangered religious minorities in Syria, especially with the growing power of the al-Qaeda linked Islamist groups in the northern region in Syria. 

Several Yazidi villages were attacked by fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra and the ISIS, including Jafa, Dardara, and al-Asadia. A source in the village of al-Asadia, preferred to remain anonymous, told ARA News that the attack resulted in dozens of casualties among the Yazidi residents, four of them were confirmed dead.

“The same groups looted civilians’ property and funds in addition to forcing the villagers to evacuate the area,” the source added. 

According to sources, leaders of the extremist  Islamic groups called on their fighters last week to take over the Yazidi villages and property describing them as “infidels” and “disbelievers”; the fact that led many Kurdish Yazidi families to leave their homes and resort to other neighboring areas, fearing of any approaching attack by Islamists.

 

YPG Enhancing Control over “Abu Rasein”:

The town of Abu Rasein in the suburb of Sere Kaniye is considered administratively a township center (30 km away from Sere Kaniye). Populated by Kurds and Arabs, the town is dominated by the YPG after the withdrawal of one of the battalions of al-Nusra Front, so it was controlled by the Kurdish forces (YPG) without any resistance.

The YPG fighters −armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD)− took a strategic hill in the town where they installed barriers at the entrances and exits of the town and on the roads leading to it, whereas the road of (Abu Rasein-Tel Temir) is left under control of the battalion of “Matar Abdulhanan Matar” (most of its members are of the Sharabi Arab clan) that work under the command of the YPG. There are continuous negotiations between the Kurds and Arabs regarding the establishment of local councils to run the necessary civil services in the town. 

 

Suffering the Most: 

Civilians are the most affected victim of the ongoing conflict in Sere Kaniye. According to local estimates, more than 90% of the city’s population are displaced, including families that resorted to Turkey, Iraqi Kurdistan and other neighboring areas. 

According to Kurdish activists, the current violent campaign by different Islamist groups against the Syrian Kurds is meant to contribute to the implementation of an already prepared agenda to change the demography of the Kurdish areas in Syria. 

 

Source: ARA News

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