A United States spokesperson yesterday raised his concerns over the reports saying a demographic change committed by Syrian Kurdish PYD forces in Syria's Tel Abyad where intense clashes with Kurds and the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) are ongoing.
State Department's spokesman Jeff Rathke said they were aware of the reports regarding the ethnic cleansing in the area and concerned by them, "We're seeking more information about them," he said.
A Turkish official, speaking to Reuters on Thursday about Tel Abyad clashes and over ten thousands Turkmen and Arab Syrians who have taken refuge in Turkey from the region, said, "Arabs are being pushed away as Kurds flow in the area. Moving forward, the native population of the region might not have a place to go back to."
Asked about these assertions, Rathke said that he is not a position to confirm the details of the reports and added, "we have raised our concerns with the PYD about their human rights record, including intimidation of rival Kurdish political parties in the past. "
Allegations on the ethnic cleansing are not new. Last week London-based The Times reported that a source from one of the largest humanitarian organizations working inside Syria said that the PYD had been burning Arab villages in areas of northeastern Syria under their control. "The YPG burnt our village and looted our houses. I knew one of them – he is from one of the next villages. He was the one pouring diesel on the furniture of my house. The YPG said to us: 'We will shoot at your children, and you will die if you stay here," Mohammed Salih al-Katee, a Syrian citizen who left Tel Thiab Sharqi, near the city of Ras al-Ayn in December quoted as saying.
President Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday raised similar concerns about Tel Abyad and said that the West was bombing Arabs and Turkmens and leaving their villages in control of PYD and PKK forces.
Kurdish forces continued to progress against ISIS and extended their territory over three Turkmen villages on Friday, Turkish state agency Anadolu Agency reported.
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