As Turkey successfully continues to carry out Operation Olive Branch, the PKK terrorist organization's Syrian affiliate - the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing People's Protection Units (YPG) - has been escalating its pressure on other Syrian Kurdish groups and preventing its critics from voicing their opinions. According to Siamend Hajo, the former spokesman of the Kurdish National Council of Syria's (KNC) foreign relations office, many politicians who are against the Syrian regime or have good relations with Arabs and criticize the PYD are killed by the terrorist organization. "By killing these people, the PYD want to give the message that if you act like this, this is how you will end up as well," Hajo explained.
In 2016, PYD forces abducted Ibrahim Biro, the chairman of the KNC, in the city center of al-Qamishli, before forcing him to leave the country, threatening to "cut him into pieces" if he returned. The KNC, in a report last April, documented the human rights violations by the PYD. According to the report, the PYD committed 311 violations against civilians, journalists and political parties since 2014. Most of the accusations include the abduction and arrest of individuals as well as preventing social and political activities. Founded in 2011, the KNC is an assembly that composes of 14 political parties and civil society organizations in order to represent the rights of Kurds in Syria and Iraq.
The report also refers to cases of torture and killing of civilians, who criticized the PYD, closing down of media outlets, abducting journalists, offending civilians, forced recruitment, and confiscation of personal or state property.
After publishing the report, almost all offices of the KNC were shut down in Rojava while members were either arrested or expelled by the PYD.
Tired of the PYD's ongoing pressures, many Syrian Kurds, including Hajo, are insisting that the terrorist organization does not represent their society, since it works for the benefit of the PKK, rather than the Kurdish people of northern Syria.
"There has been tension for a long time because of my critical attitude towards the PYD. In the Kurdish National Council and also in my party there is a faction that shares my positions and another that would rather approximate the PYD. It looks like the second group has currently prevailed in the Kurdish National Council," Hajo stated.
"The PYD is a terrorist organization that is under the control of the PKK. Thus, it works for the interests of the PKK and does not care about the interests of the Syrian Kurds," he said, while adding that the domination of the terrorist organization over the northern Syria is not a new phenomenon but instead has a history that dates back to the beginning of the Syrian Civil War in 2011.
Still, Hajo further mentioned that until now, there have been three agreements between the PYD and the KNC, in 2012, 2014 and 2015, respectively, in order to be able to cooperate in northern Syria.
"However, since the PYD did not comply any of its part in neither of the agreements, the agreements do not have any validity anymore," the former KNC spokesman said, adding that this eventually ended up causing an ongoing conflict between the two.
Due to its desire to not to share the power, the PYD escalated its pressure over other Kurdish groups in time.
"In the beginning of these events, I've warned that we, as the Syrian Kurds will suffer under PYD rule. We have offered the PYD to act together in northern Syria. We said that if we act together, Turkey would not consider you as a threat. But the PYD did not want any cooperation," he stated, emphasizing that the terrorist organization is looking for a dictatorship in northern Syria instead of cooperating with other Kurdish groups.
Just like the PYD, the KNC also demands a federal state structure in Syria. According to Hajo, the main difference between the aims of the two is the fact that the KNC supports a democratic federal state while the other is after a dictatorial federal structure.
Meanwhile yesterday, Hajo was suspended from the KNC with a statement from the general secretariat of the council. The move came while Hajo was in Turkey for a panel on the PKK and its Syrian affiliates at the Foundation of Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA).
The statement not only announced the suspension but it also expressed that the KNC have "no relation with this conference".
"After it became known that I would be lecturing at SETA, the PYD or PYD related people on social networks started a campaign against me that referred to me as a traitor. I was advised to cancel my participation. Apparently, the Kurdish National Council has given in to the pressure, and has stated publicly that my membership and that of my party are resting in the Kurdish National Council and that I am not speaking in their name in Istanbul," Hajo said regarding the issue.
Meanwhile, he reminded that the KNC has two factions: one that completely opposes the PYD, like himself, and the other that desires to come to terms with the terrorist organization.
This is not the first time that a Kurdish person faced discrimination and pressure by the PYD due to ideological differences. The PYD's oppression of rival political voices, including burning down their offices, arresting or kidnapping members, has been voiced as a concern by many Kurds in northern Syria.
As a matter of fact, the KNC has been a critical voice against the arrests and abductions carried out by the PYD.
Stating that most Kurds found his participation with SETA wrong, Hajo emphasized that the KNC has used the fact that there was a PYD campaign against him to freeze out a person they were already uncomfortable with.
"They think that my participation in SETA harms the popularity of the KNC," he added.
He further underlined that his suspension has a lot to do with him being in Turkey rather than attending a panel on the YPG.
"This is absurd, I only appeared in a think tank, I have not started talks with the Turkish government," he said.
"The Kurds in Syria have no chance of peace if they have Turkey as their opponent. There are certainly people in the Kurdish National Council who know this," he further expressed, adding that he has concerns over his own security due to the massive amount of threats on social media.
Operation Olive Branch was launched by Turkey on Jan. 20 to remove the terror elements from Afrin in northwestern Syria.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and in the region as well as to protect Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.
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