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Liberated ‘Gire Sipi’ to join Kobani canton

Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters hold their organization near Tal abyad (Gire Sipi). photo: AP
Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters hold their organization near Tal abyad (Gire Sipi). photo: AP

By:Umer Kalo

GIRE SIPI, Syria— The ethnically mixed Syrian town of Tal Abyad , known as Gire Sipi in Kurdish, will temporarily become part of the Kurdish-administrated Kobani canton, local authorities told Rudaw on Saturday.
The strategic border town, recently recaptured from the Islamic State, will join the Kobani administrative zone due to its proximity and “shared culture and history,” according to the provisional council that approved the decision.
The council, set up to represent the area’s ethnic and religious groups, voted unanimously for Tal Abyad join Kobani canton. “Canton” refers to a territorial district, in this case of Rojava, the Kurdish name for the ethnic-majority Kurdish area of northern Syria.
“No group was opposed to the idea of, at least temporarily, becoming part of the Kobani canton until things become more stable,” said an Arab representative on the council.
“No one wanted to have anything to do with the ISIS in Raqqa province,” he added.
Originally part of Raqqa province in northern Syria, Tal Abyad has a population of 52,000 people, mostly Kurds and Arabs, but also ethnic Christians and Turkmen who have lived in the area for centuries.
The provincial council said “all groups will have a say” in how the city as governed.
Tal Abyad fell to the jihadist militants in 2013, following the Syrian popular uprising. The recapture of the city was a joint operation by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Kurdish Protection Units (YPG) supported by coalition airstrikes on ISIS positions in and around the city.
“All the different peoples here in the area called on the YPG and FSA to liberate the city from these dark forces,” said one Kurdish representative, referring to the ISIS militants who have controlled most of central Syria since the uprising turned into a bloody sectarian war in the country.
More than 220,000 people had until January this year been killed as a result of the war in Syria, according to the latest United Nation report published in April.
Earlier last week, Kurdish authorities in Tal Abyad rebuffed accusations from neighboring Turkey about closure of the border gate by the YPG with the intention of preventing Arab families from returning to the city.
“Until things become more stable, the administration of the city will be handed over to the canton in Kobane after which people will decide how to run their town,” said one YPG representative in the provincial council.
Tal Abyad is seen as far more strategically important than Kobane because it connects the three Kurdish-controlled areas of Afrin, Cizire and Kobani, while it is the only routes from ISIS capital of Raqqa to the Turkish border.


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fermin | 21/6/2015
Important details left out in this article, Gire Spi is and will always be a Kurdish town, it went through an arabization process in the 60's ordered and carried out by the Baath regime, that's the only reason it was "mixed". It actually had a Kurdish majoraty until 2013 when jihad groups like Al Nusra and IS took the city with the help of Turkey. They drove out 90% of the Kurds from Gire Spi and the surrounding areas, they carried out horrific massacres of Kurds. The only difference is almost no one screamed "ethnic cleansing" back then, only Russia took up the issue in the UN security counsel but nothing happened and it was forgotten. Then the jihadis brought in Arabs and Turkmen from other regions of Syria and settled them in Kurdish homes, now they claim that the Kurds are indruders, it's all Turkey of course.
Help the Yezidis | 21/6/2015
It is extremely important to remember that Gire Sipi was an original Kurdish populated city and that dictator Assad changed it. Therefor the Kurds have a lot to say about th3 destiny of the city. Write in the future solely about Gire Sipi and I hope that he population of Gire Sipi will change the name on all the city entrance boards.
Kandil | 21/6/2015
Biji greater Kurdistan
kurti | 21/6/2015
nothing about this article, but important to know. turkey and outhers accused YPG, in ethic cleaning. the evidence for this. thousands of sunni-arabs and turkmens fled to turkey - the last weeks. (tel abyad) . and among thes refugees was not many kurds. absolutly clear. telabyad and surrounding was holded by isis. every Kurd, Shia, Alevi was murdered or they must flee imediatly ,because of danger to be murdered from isis. so its clear that not many kurds could been in these areas. and by the way. isis-members fled to turkey in the telabyad action. some of these among the refugees. will turkey arrest them ? punish them ?
Ian Birmingham | 22/6/2015
Anwar Eshki, the former consultant of the Saudi Prince and Ambassador in the U.S., Bandar bin Sultan, revealed a plan for the future of the Middle East that depends on establishing Great Kurdistan on Turkish, Iranian and Iraqi lands, and reaching peace with Israel during his speech in a conference of Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in Washington. Eshki said, "We aim to reach peace between Arabs and Israel." He continued, "And to establish Great Kurdistan in order to restrict the Iranian, Turkish, and Iraqi ambitions in the region. Great Kurdistan is to seize one third of the lands of each of these three countries."

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