Forced displacement in Kurdish villages near Syria’s Aleppo

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19-03-2014

 

ARA News

Urfa, Turkey– Inhabitants of the Kurdish villages in al-Sifera area in the countryside of Aleppo appealed on Monday to human rights organizations concerned with ethnic minorities and victims of armed struggles, in addition to regional, Arab and Kurdish organizations to help them put an end to the violations against the Kurdish villages by both armed opposition groups and Syrian regime forces. 

The appeal −which was distributed on the social media networks− pointed out that the inhabitants of the Kurdish villages were forced to leave their villages on the background of the fighting led by regime forces, Hezbollah fighters, Liwa Abu al-Fadhal al-Abbas and pro-regime members of the National Defense −started on the 5th of November, 2013.

The appeal also pointed out that the Qaeda splinter group of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) pursues discriminative practices against the Kurdish inhabitants in the area, especially at  the ISIL-led checkpoints, as many Kurds are being accused of “apostasy” and links with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

“The ISIL prevents us from passing its checkpoints. We (Kurdish residents) are being detained and exposed to forced displacement from our areas,” the appeal read. “The regime militias force us to join the fight against their rivals (the armed opposition groups), and punishes those who refuse to join by taking over their houses and handing them over to other pro-regime villages in al-Sifera area. The houses then don’t belong to the Kurdish inhabitants anymore, and the owners become wanted as terrorists by the state.”

According to al-Sifera residents’s appeal, the Kurdish inhabitants of the area were displaced towards different areas in Syria and live under difficult humanitarian conditions without getting any relief or humanitarian aid. They are also unable to reach the Iraqi Kurdistan borders to take refuge in the camps the Kurdistan Region, as the Kurdish Assayish forces of the PYD (Democratic Union Party) impose high taxes on those who would like enter Iraqi Kurdistan through Simalka border crossing.  

Azad Arani, a Kurdish activist based in Tel Arran town in al-Sifera area, told ARA News: “We have been troubled by the fighting groups in the area, by pro-regime forces, al-Nusra Front and other FSA groups.” 

According to Arani, Kurds are being forced by these groups to emigrate, and the regime forces threatened them (Kurdish residents) of taking over their houses and handing them over to the pro-regime Arabs of the area if they refuse joining the fight in the ranks of the pro-Assad forces.

Arani accused Arabs of the al-Begara and al-Bari tribes in Tel Arran and al-Sifera area of taking over the houses of the Kurds in Tel Arran, Tel Hassil, Kabara, Tel Alam and Balat since March 14, 2014. Arani also accused the regime forces of using the civilians in Tel Arran and Tel Hassil as human shields during clashes with the opposition fighters.

“Kurdish civilians in these areas are being killed and robbed, and their are being terrorized by the various armed groups,” Arani told ARA News.

Notably, the regime forces launch a military campaign to gain control over villages in the eastern countryside of Aleppo and, meanwhile, target villages of Balat, Kabara and Tel Alam with explosive barrels and heavy artillery.

 

Reporting by: Ridwan Bizar

Source: ARA News

 

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