‘Conscription law’ causes controversy among Syria Kurds

Supporters of the PYD in northern Syria. File photo

ARA News

Derik, Syria Conscription law issued by the legislative council of the “Democratic Auto-Administration” (led by the Democratic Union Party “PYD”) in northern Syria is still under controversy.

The law stipulates “the duty of self-defence in the Syrian Kurdish-majority areas which falls under the rule of the Auto-Administration”. It obliges families living in the region to send one of their 18-30 year-old members to the defence duty, which lasts for six months, either continuously or intermittently over one year time.

Ahmad Omar is a father for four children; the eldest is 19 years old and he is eligible for this law.

Speaking to ARA News, Omar said: “I have been living in Derik city (northeast of Syria) for forty years during which the regime was so strong and was fighting and expelling Kurds. However, even after the ‘liberation’ of our city by PYD, we still suffer the same practices.”

Omar believes that young men will be recruited and sent to Kobane city to fight al-Qaeda splinter group of the Islamic State (IS) as well as other “extremists”.

“This law is not right. The Administration is not an authorized authority to issue such a law and drag our children into a deadly conflict,” he said. “The Administration attacks our protests and distributes water, bread and other items on their supporters.”

“Hence, their laws cannot be applied on us. Personally, I will send my children to Iraqi Kurdistan to be away from this farce,” he told ARA News.

On the other hand, Egid Abdullah, member of the PYD and supporter of the Auto-Administration in northern Syria, talked to ARA News about the importance of the conscription law under the current situations.

“We need to unify the military efforts under the wing of the Popular Protection Units (YPG) to protect Kobane and other cities from the attacks of IS islamist militants and other expiatory groups’ and mercenaries’ attacks,” Abdullah said.

“Opposing this law is normal. However, the Democratic Auto-Administration is the sole authority and we should respect its decisions,” member of the PYD told ARA News.

Abdulla urged the parties of the Kurdish National Council KNC (rival political body to the PYD) to send the thousands of soldiers they claimed of having.

Commenting on the same issues, Syrian activist Omar Mohamad said: “This law cannot be in force as the two Kurdish Councils (KNC and PYD-linked Council of Western Kurdistan) did not reach an agreement concerning conscription.”

“The Kurdish National Council and the Council of Western Kurdistan should both approve the law. Otherwise, we will not apply it,” Mohamad told ARA News.

The law of conscription caused a lot of fear and tension among Syrian Kurds and pushed many young men to leave the country.


Reporting by: Shivan Ali

Source: ARA News

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