[Marxism] Have the Syrian Kurds Committed War Crimes?

Michael Karadjis mkaradjis at gmail.com
Thu Feb 9 03:02:25 MST 2017

This report sounds pretty damning. Not sure how much I trust all the 
allegations of PYD-Iran collaboration, or especially of PYD-ISIS 
collaboration; and the claim that thousands of Kurds take refuge in 
Turkey to evade YPG conscription, rather than to avoid war, seems 
far-fetched (and in any case, not backed up in this article at least); 
but the large-scale abuses seem fairly well-documented.

Have the Syrian Kurds Committed War Crimes?
This special report, which also exposes their collusion with the Assad 
regime, undermines their claim to be leading a democratic, open society.
By Roy Gutman
Yesterday 3:39 pm

AKCAKALE, TURKEY—The Kurdish militia that supplies the ground troops in 
the US air war against the Islamic State has been a systematic violator 
of human rights in the area it controls in northern Syria, causing the 
displacement of tens of thousands of Arabs and even more massive flight 
by Kurds from the region.
This is the first of a two-part investigation, which was supported by 
the Fund for Investigative Journalism.
A six-month investigation shows that the militia, reportedly under the 
strong influence of Iran and the Assad regime, has evicted Arabs from 
their homes at gunpoint starting in 2013 and subsequently has blown up, 
torched, or bulldozed their homes and villages. The Nation interviewed 
more than 80 Arabs and Syrian Kurdish refugees in the region as well as 
militia officials, former militia members, former Syrian government 
officials, political activists, and officials in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The pace of the expulsions picked up dramatically after the United 
States began joint operations against the Islamic State in Syria in 
mid-2015, as the Kurdish militia threatened Arabs with air strikes if 
they didn’t leave their villages. While they slowed in 2016, expulsions 
continue even as the militia turns on its political rivals and jails, 
tortures, or expels them.

The YPG denies any wrongdoing. “Expulsions never happened in the past 
and they will not happen in the future,” said Sihanouk Dibo, a spokesman 
and senior adviser for the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the political 
wing of the YPG. He said the alliance between the YPG and the (US-led) 
international coalition against ISIS “is another reason why such 
violations can’t happen.”


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