Syrian Kurds express grave discomfort with YPG presence in Syria

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 13.02.2019 00:29

Syrian Kurds have called for the end of Washington's support to the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria and declared support for Turkey's goal to eliminate the terrorist organization.

"The U.S. is protecting the terrorists from Qandil [PKK headquarters]. We do not want the enemy of Kurds, the YPG, in Syria,"Abdulaziz Temo, the president of the Independent Syrian Kurds Association, told Turkey's Star daily.

Notables from the region added that it is not right to paint the terrorist organization, the YPG, and the Kurds with the same brush, saying the organization has been oppressing the majority of people and committing murders.

"We, as the Kurds of Afrin, have suffered great damage from the YPG. They took our young people to death. These terrorists are killing the Kurdish people in the name of ‘protecting' us. We want Turkey to expel terrorists from the border. We want to get rid of PKK terror," Azad Osman, one of the clan leaders of northwestern Syria's Afrin explained.

The YPG uses child soldiers in combat by kidnapping them from their families. In 2018, a U.N. annual report on children in armed conflict found 224 cases of child recruitment by the YPG between January and December 2017, a fivefold increase compared to the previous years.

Numerous human rights organizations have documented the YPG's violations of human rights including torture, recruiting child soldiers and deliberately disrupting education and health services. The group also systematically and forcefully displaced locals from their homes to demographically change the region.

"After the YPG seized the region, we realized how cruel they were. They were extorting people, and disposing of the workplaces of those who did not have the money. We want the terrorist organization to be eliminated from there because they do not represent us," Abdo Ibrahim, a Syrian Kurd, said.

The group confiscated the properties of local people and demolished people's homes in areas near the Syrian-Turkish border, such as in Ayn al-Arab and Tal Abyad. Amnesty International has also documented a systematic wave of forced displacement and home demolitions amounting to war crimes carried out by the Autonomous Administration dominated by the YPG in 2015.

Sheikh Mohammad Zahid Alhaznawi, a Kurdish opinion maker, also asserted that the U.S. has not entered Syria to seek the rights of the people and Muslims, adding that the Kurds, Arabs and Turks, who lived in harmony for years, have forgotten "their true enemies and become enemies of each other."

Due to the brutalities of the YPG, Turkey has opened its doors to 512,708 Syrian refugees fleeing from YPG-held areas, while another 300,000 Syrian refugees coming from the region took shelter in Iraq. According to a detailed October report by the Interior Ministry's migration management department, almost 20 percent of the 3.5 million Syrian refugees that Turkey hosts came from YPG-held territories, including 20,832 from Hasakah, 141,903 from Raqqa and 162,973 from Manbij and Ayn al-Arab.

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