‘Our areas are not occupied to be liberated, security comes first’: Assyrian leader

06-04-2014

 

ARA News – Exclusive 

Tel Temir, Syria− Assyrians in the city of Tel Temir in Hasaka province established last week an armed force “to protect the Assyrian component against any potential danger”. 

The city of Tel Temir is since months under the control of the Kurdish forces of the Assayish and the Popular Protection Units (YPG) −affiliated with the Democratic Union Party (PYD). The General Command of the Assayish forces and the YPG repeatedly emphasized that they are the only forces in charge of maintaining civil peace in Tel Temir city, northeast of Syria. 

About the newly established Assyrian armed force in Tel Temir, Kildoon Sauwa, member of the Assyrian Democratic Party (ADP), told ARA News that the group is meant to protect Assyrian-populated districts in Tel Temir and its surroundings.  

“This armed force will bear the responsibility of protecting the Assyrian social component in the area,” Sauwa said. “The group consists of 120 members at the moment, but the number will increase soon to include more Assyrian youth who care about their families and the Assyrian’s existence in Tel Temir, especially with the security vacuum which the city and its environs experience.”   

Sauwa stated that his party (Assyrian Democratic Party) has demanded the Assyrians in Iraq to provide their peers in Syria with support, “but our efforts were unfruitful”.

“That’s why we decided to protect our existence by ourselves without relying on the others,” Sauwa told ARA News. “We all saw how extremist groups have attacked the nearby areas in Hasaka province, and we admit that the Kurdish forces didn’t hesitate to fight against them, but we still need to protect ourselves.” 

According to Sauwa, there is no coordination between the newly formed Assyrian armed force in Tel Temir and the Kurdish forces of the Assayish and the YPG (Popular Protection Units). 

“There is no coordination yet with the Kurdish forces, but we stress the necessity of preserving the area (northeastern Syria) against any possible Kurdish-Arab conflict, especially in Tel Temir,” Sauwa said. 

As for the presence of the forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in the northeastern areas in Syria, Sauwa said that there is no dispute about that, adding that the inhabitants of the region need more security instead of liberty.

“Our areas are not occupied to be liberated,” he argued. 

Commenting on the recently declared transitional administration (also referred to as self-rule) by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its allies in areas north and norheastern Syria, Sauwa told ARA News that the Assyrian Democratic Party (ADP) has some reservations concerning this administration.

“We (Assyrians’s ADP) are cautious regarding any engagement with this administration, because its constitution doesn’t fully recognize our legitimate rights as a genuine nation living on its historical land,” Sauwa said. 

Notably, Tel Temir city embraces a mixture of Kurds, Arabs, and Assyrians. The city saw attacks by the armed Islamist groups in spring of last year, before the Kurdish Assayish and YPG forces control the area. 

 

Reporting by: Dilbirin Shergo

Source: ARA News

 

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