Fear-shadowed Protests In Northern Syria Against Kurdish Forces, Their American Allies

Protests are surging against the actions of US-backed Kurdish groups present in northeastern Syria.

The protests are coming as the Kurdish forces are ramping up suppression of the Syrians in the Kurdish-controlled areas under the support of the Americans. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), militias acting as infantry to the US since 2014, have captured vast parts of Syria’s northeast and east, the regions with the largest oil reserves.

US-backed militias continue attacks on civilians

On Monday, media reports said that the Kurdish forces attacked people in “Police District” in Qweyran town of Hasakah province in eastern Syria asking them to evacuate their homes and leave. They, reports added, assaulted a number of women in the neighborhood.

Official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), citing local sources, reported that a militia of SDF encircled a number of houses in a residential complex in Qweyran and forced the residents out. They assaulted women who resisted the order for evacuation. “The attack left at least a woman and a child wounded and they were transferred to hospital.

The Police District is close to the Qweyran local prison and the building the US occupying forces have illegally seized upon their arrival to the area. The domination of the area is coming by an order of the Americans who want to keep secret their actions and movement.

According to local sources, the Kurdish militias earlier, too, forced people out of their homes near the areas illegally seized by the American troops, the same scenario recently applied to Al-Zohour District in Hasakah.

Over the past months, the SDF fighters destroyed hundreds of homes in Al-Jazira District in Hasakah with bulldozers, forcing people away from their homes. The Americans are forcing the youths of the region to join the ranks of the Washington-sponsored militias.

The actions seem to be meant to introduce demographic changes and also loot the natural resources of Hasakah.

US-backed forces attacked

In response to the SDF and US atrocities in Al-Jazira, on Monday unknown people launched separate attacks on the militiamen killing one and injuring another. The attackers in Markadah town south of Hasakah gunned down an SDF fighter. At the same time, a hand-made bomb went off on the road where an SDF vehicle was moving, injuring a number of militants aboard.

On Saturday, a motorcycle blast in Himo village west of Qamishli left two Kurdish militiamen dead and three others injured. Another man was killed by unknown people around Al-Dariya west of city of Raqqa.

On Tuesday night, also unknown people assassinated a Kurdish military commander. Sources close to the SDF told the New Arab newspaper that the assassinated commander was named Hawal Mazloum, killed by a couple of gunmen in Al-Haswah neighborhood near the Euphrates River. The attackers fled after the assassination, SDF sources said.

Protests against the SDF heat up

The demonstrations against the SDF forces continue in eastern Syria. The protestors condemned the Kurdish forces’ dereliction of the health sector in the areas under their control, as this can pave the way for further spread of coronavirus across the region.

Participants in the demonstration also accused the Kurdish militants of executive and financial corruption, calling for trial of those who loot the assets and sources of the region.

There were also protests in Deir ez-Zor, the home of rich oil reserves in Syria. Residents of Abu Hamam town in Deir ez-Zor’s east took to the streets protesting the deteriorating security and economic conditions. Protests published a statement in the name of the “tribes of eastern Deir ez-Zor, calling for release of the prisoners from the SDF jails, provision of fresh water and power, and fight against corruption.

Sources familiar with the developments there told Al-Mayadeen news network, based in Lebanon, that the Al-Akidat tribe’s leaders at a meeting with the American-led coalition commanders called for handover of the region to the main residents and end the militiamen’s “crimes.”

Telling of the refusal of the tribal leaders to meet the SDF representatives, the source said that they warned that the range of the protests could widen. But the Americans seek to strike a deal between the Kurds and the tribes, ending the standoff.

To end the presence of the occupying American and Kurdish forces, the Al-Akidat tribe has formed a force that is said to be in full coordination with the regular Syrian army.

In addition to Al-Akidat, Al-Bagara tribe stated that the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and People’s Protection Units (YPG) were responsible for the security of the region. The tribe several times called on the Kurdish forces to withdraw.

Last week, Al-Shadadi neighborhood’s residents of Hasakah suburbs held protests, blasting the crimes of the Kurdish militias and their American allies. Local sources told SANA that hundreds of Al-Shadadi residents gathered to voice their protest to the crimes committed by the US-supported SDF fighters.

Informed sources told SANA that the protestors burned tires and shut down main streets of the town. They chanted slogans against the American and Kurdish forces. In response, the fighters opened fire in an effort to disperse them.

Over the past few months, people in Hasakah and Deir ez-Zor held several protests in condemnation of the criminal actions of the SDF and the Americans. The militants dealt with the protests with force, using live ammunition to disperse the demonstration. A number of people were killed and other were injured.

Looting oil resources with the US assistance

Recently, reports said that the SDF has begun selling oil produced in northeast to the terrorist groups present in north and northwest.

The Kurdish forces hold much of the oil and gas fields in the east and northeast Syria.

The actions come as the Syrian government repeatedly condemned their actions, saying that they American forced and their local Kurdish allies are doing nothing in the north and northeast but looting the oil resources of the country. Damascus vowed that it finally will put an end to their “illegal presence” in this part of the country.

But the Syrian Kurds are deeply divided internally and this is rising to be their marked feature. Earlier, Syrian Kurdistan Patriotic Council’s (ENKS) members said that they were unable to pay a safe visit to the northeast. Ebrahim Beru, the former head of the ENKS, said that PYD and YPG threatened to kill him if he crossed the Syrian borders. He was expelled from the north in August 2016. The ENKS is affiliated with the Syrian National Democratic Alliance (SNDA) that is opposed to negotiations with the PYD. Members of the Alliance say that they deem PYD as part of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a terrorist organization. The SNDA leaders say that as long as the PYD and the YPG decline to announce publicly their distance from the PKK, the US-sponsored intra-Kurdish talks will not yield real unity. They insist that distance of the two key Kurdish factions from the PKK would mean dismissal of their non-Syrian cards. The SNDA in fact emphasizes that the only reason it participates in the reconciliation negotiations is the American pressures.


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