Assyrian leader accuses PYD of monopolizing power in Syria’s north

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An Assyrian fighter during a break from anti-ISIS clashes near Tel Temir in Hasakah province, northeastern Syria. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

QAMISHLI – Since it started to control much swathes of territory in Syria’s north and northeast, the Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and its political leadership of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) have been major powers in the region, especially after expelling the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS) from key cities and towns. However, many Kurds, Arabs and Assyrians accuse this force of usurping power in Syria’s Kurdish region of Rojava. 

Johnny Misso, head of the Assyrian World Council (AWC) on Tuesday accused the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) of monopolizing power in areas under the control of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria. 

“We have released an urgent call to the Human Rights Council about the violations committed against Assyrians in Syria,” Misso said in a press statement. 

“Thousands of Assyrians living in northern Syria are exposed to attacks by the PYD-linked YPG forces,” he said. 

“On January 12, the YPG forces attacked the Assyrian Protection Forces (Suturo) in the city of Qamishli, northeastern Syria, killing one of its members,” Misso stressed.

The Assyrian leader pointed out that the PYD continues to escalate tension in the region, rather than proposing solutions to the crisis, “as it undermines the ongoing peace efforts between the opposition and the Syrian regime, beside threatening the unity of the Syrian territory.”

According to Misso, the PYD monopolizes power and subdues Assyrians in the federal system announced by the group in Syria’s north and northeast. 

“PYD ignores the national and international law, threatening the security of the local population, including Assyrians through its separatism aspirations,” he said.

On 17 March, the PYD and its Arab allies announced a Democratic Federal System for Rojava and Norhern Syria in a two-days conference in the oil-rich town of Rumelan, appointing Hediya Yousef, a Kurd, and Mansur Selam, an Arab, as co-leaders, after those parties were excluded from the Geneva talks. 

However, speaking to ARA News in Qamishli, Sanharib Barsoum, leader of the Assyrian Union Party (AUP), said: “The recently declared federal democratic system for Rojava and Norhern Syria is a guarantee for the rights of all components of the region, including the Assyrians.”

In March 2015, several Syrian human rights organizations released an urgent call to the international community to intervene and stop the attacks of the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) on the Assyrian villages in the countryside of Tel Temir in Hasakah province, in northeastern Syria. The Kurdish YPG forces had played a major role in liberating the Assyrian areas after fierce battles against ISIS. 

“Thousands of Assyrian civilians in the Nineveh Plain in Iraq have been displaced, but no one cared about them,” Barsoum said, pointing out that the Assyrian minority in Syria is facing a similar destiny.

In early 2015, ISIS launched major offensive on several Assyrian villages near Tel Temir in the western countryside of Hasakah, abducting hundreds of Assyrian civilians. Months later, the Kurdish YPG forces, with the support of allied Arab and Christian groups, were able to liberate the whole countryside of Hasakah from the radical group.

Reporting by: Ahmed Shiwesh

Source: ARA News

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