Valid Abdulrahman. An Image grab of the victim's interview with Rudaw in Sulaimani.
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — A Syrian Kurdish refugee set himself on fire in front of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) bureau in the city of Sulaimani, reportedly protesting the recruitment of his 15-year-old son by the PYD as a fighter in their People’s Protection Units (YPG), a source told Rudaw.
According to a Rudaw correspondent, Walid Abdulrahman, the Syrian refugee from the Kurdish Rojava region, lit himself on fire after hours of striking in front of the PYD bureau in Sulaimani. Immediately after the incident he was transferred to a hospital. Hospital sources told Rudaw he had burns over 23 percent of his body.
“My father set himself on fire when the PYD officials told him that the PYD has transferred my brother to Qandil mountain to be trained by the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK),” Azad Valid Abdulrahman, a son of the victim, told Rudaw.
“We were told that ‘your son is recruited by PKK and PYD has no power to return him,’” he added.
According to the Abdulrahman family, they asked PYD officials to return the son, but they refused. “My father threatened PYD officials that he would burn himself if they didn’t return my brother, but the head of the PYD bureau, Gharib Hasso, told him to just go ahead and do so.”
Hasso was contacted by Rudaw on the matter, but he declined to comment.
The YPG are the armed units of the left-leaning socialist PYD, which has been fighting ISIS in Syrian Kurdistan.