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Kurds from PYD want KRG to take ‘clear position’ on Afrin

By Rudaw 14/3/2018
PYD co-chair Shahoz Hassan speaks at a press conference in Erbil, Kurdistan Region, on March 14, 2018. Photo: Rudaw TV
PYD co-chair Shahoz Hassan speaks at a press conference in Erbil, Kurdistan Region, on March 14, 2018. Photo: Rudaw TV
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Kurdish leaders in Rojava would like the Kurdistan Regional Government to take a stance on Turkey's assault of Afrin.

"We hope the Kurdistan Regional Government will show a clear position regarding supporting Afrin as soon as possible," stated the Democratic Union Party (PYD) co-chair Shahoz Hassan on Wednesday at a press conference in Erbil on Wednesday.

A delegation of MPs from the Kurdistan Region visited Afrin in February. They reported their findings to parliament and called for “national unity” with their Kurdish brethren in Afrin.

"We have our doors open to whomever wishes to go to Afrin and support Afrin. This makes us happy. We hope that the Kurdistan Regional Government  will help in this regard for the nation to go to get to Afrin to participate in the nation's resistance in Afrin," added Hassan. 

The Kurdistan Regional Government has yet to take a policy stance on Turkey's Operation Olive Branch.

KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said the Kurdistan Region was "seriously concerned" a week after Turkey launched its January 20 operation.

“Our main concern is the civilians who are in Afrin city. We hope a resolution is found for this problem through dialogue,” he said at the time.

The landlocked Kurdistan Region is heavily dependent on Turkey for imports and oil exports. Its western border with Rojava or Syrian Kurdistan is closed, amid disagreements between the KRG and the PYD.

Edmund Ghareeb, a Lebanese-American scholar at the American University in Washington and a professor at George Washington University, spoke to Rudaw on Tuesday about the geopolitics of supporting Afrin.

"We see that the United States is not in fact doing anything, or saying very much about what's going on in Afrin," said Ghareeb.

He argued that US media has covered the atrocities committed in Ghouta more so than the suffering in Afrin, and this is reflected in statements by the US State Department.

"If you compare [US] positions with what's going on in Ghouta, you see it is a very different way or measure that the United States is using," explained Ghareeb.

So it can be interpreted that "clearly the US considers the Raqqa region, Hasaka, and Qamishli more important probably than Afrin."

Ghareeb also touched on former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's betrayal of the Kurds during the 1961-1970 Aylul revolts in Kurdish areas of northern Iraq.

The United States has attempted to balance propping up the government in Baghdad, support for the Peshmerga of the Kurdistan Regional Government, support for the YPG in Syria, and relations with its "strategic NATO ally" Turkey.

"Or perhaps, they want to see if that will satisfy the Turkish government, and its Syrian allies, the Free Syrian Army, and other forces," said Ghareeb. "Perhaps this way, it will allow the US to maintain its relationship with the Kurds east of the Euphrates..."

Turkey has threatened to “clear terrorists” from Manbij (east of the Euphrates), where US generals have repeatedly made public shows of force with local partnered Kurdish forces.

Through the international anti-ISIS coalition, the United States has supported the Syrian Democratic Forces, which are primarily comprised of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

YPG is the armed wing of the PYD. The US denies currently supporting the YPG in Afrin.

Through Tuesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 215 civilian deaths since the start of Turkish offensive in Afrin that is in its seventh week. Turkey denies targeting civilians. 


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A Kurdish supporter | 14/3/2018
It seems to me that the KRG has adopted the American and European policy to deal with Afrin. Too much talk and solidarity in words but no real action. What fact the KRG delegation want to find in Afrin to make them take action? The Kurdish people lost Kirkuk and now Afrin and soon will be Manjib and Qamishlo. Wake up!
babak | 14/3/2018
It's becoming very clear now that US gave the green light behind close doors for slaughter of Kurds in Afrin. Russia was the political looser in this tragic game as they thought by giving the Afrin air space to Turks they would bring Afrin under Syrian government control.
Kurdo | 14/3/2018
It will not happen, they are too busy to fill their pockets with money. Afrin will be lost to Turks. Congratulations all Kurdish leaders, you are real role models for young Kurds. I cannot beleive that we are not united days like these, that we are still fighting each other for short-term benefits. Kurds made mistakes like these 100 years ago, and we have not learned anything from our mistakes. All Kurds should have supported Mr Barzani, and all Kurds should have supported YPG. One for all and all for one. Please, please, please unite now, before it is too late for all of us. Unite your people, unite and fight back the enemies. A few million dollars is nothing compare to Kirkuk and Afrin, compare to this umiliation and suffering of our people. New cars and houses is not worth anything without freedom of our people. Doesn't metter how many billion dollars Barzani and Talabani have without freedom. So once again, please unite before it is tooo late. Next generations of our people will suffer, they will be tortured and killed by the enemy just like our parents were and we are if you don't unite your people. We, normal people, have no power. You, the leaders can do a lot. Just a few words from the leaders and Turkey would be shaked in the grounds. People wants the leaders to be brave, don't be afraid of a jacket seller or a thief like Erdogan. Just wake up and fight back now.
Farzad | 14/3/2018
The Kurds from Afrin had an opportunity to make a deal with the Syrian government and hand over the security of the region to them, save themselves and prevents the Turkish invasion, but they decided otherwise. Turkey is about to invade Afrin city today, they still haven't figured out their mistake. What is KRG stance going to provide them? And why they insist on it is beyond belief. KRG is not going to war with Turkey on their behalf.
Bero | 14/3/2018
PYD made a alliance with Assad Iran invited their militias to Afrin but always attack KRG. No they paused their verbal attacks against bashur but would start it again if they dont need help.
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