ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) has condemned what it calls the Kurdistan Workers Party's (PKK) conduct against "all political parties and organizations" present in western Kurdistan or Rojava, northern Syria, particularly in the wake of armed clashes in Shingal region earlier this month.
"Deeply concerned, we are hearing of rows created at the hands of the PKK offshoot in western Kurdistan as it behaves in a dictatorship way and has imposed itself through the use of weapons and intimidation and has put all the political parties and organizations under a terror and political ideology, running after their members and supporters and filling its prisons with Kurdish activists," read the KDP statement, referring to the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the ruling party in Rojava.
The statement also added that the PYD in Rojava has "prohibited any kind of political activities and without excuses they storm their shelters, loot, and burn them down. Hence, we from the KDP strongly condemn these behaviors."
The statement also accused authorities in Rojava of arresting members of the Kurdish National Council (ENKS), a group of political parties in northern Syria supported by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Tensions between the KDP and the PKK sharply escalated earlier this month when Rojava Peshmerga, a KRG force made up of Kurds from Syria, and the PKK-backed Shingal Protection Units (YBS), clashed in the Shingal region, resulting in several fatalities. Each side accused the other of initiating the conflict.
On Tuesday, a protest against the Rojava Peshmerga in the Shingal region turned deadly when riot police reportedly opened fire. At least one protester was killed and as many as 10 others wounded. A commander of the Rojava Peshmerga maintained that the riot police used plastic bullets to avoid casualties among the protesters.
As Kurds clashed in the Shingal region, in Rojava several ENKS offices were stormed and some set fire to.
The leader of ENKS, Ibrahim Biro, told Rudaw earlier this week that at least 40 members of his party and independent activists had been held in prison, and he claimed a total of nine offices belonging to the party have been set ablaze by the PYD in the Kurdish enclave of northern Syria.
PYD officials have rejected claims in the past that they were behind previous attacks on their rival ENKS group.
There was no immediate counter statement from the PKK or the PYD responding to the KDP’s statement.
The KDP statement also claimed that by all means and through their ideology and conduct the PKK "are against Kurdish values and slogans and any desire towards independence."
It also accused the authorities in Rojava of standing against Kurdish interests in the region.