ASIA/SYRIA - Archbishop Hindo: the population in Hassakè is at the mercy of the Kurdish factions armed by the West

Thursday, 11 May 2017 wars   sectaniarism   oriental churches   geopolitics  

Hassakè (Agenzia Fides) - Tension returns in the city of Hassakè and across the northeastern area of Syria. While the pressure exerted for years around the main cities of that region by jihadist militants from Jabhat al Nusra and the Islamic State (Daesh) decreases, fragile local balances are put at risk by the military operations and the power of Kurdish groups aiming at imposing their hegemony in that part of Syria, with international support. Syrian Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo, at the head of the Syrian Catholic Archdiocese of Hassakè-Nisibi launches the alarm. "In Hassakè - the Archbishop says to Agenzia Fides - the Yemeni militia of YPG put back check-points across the city, even in front of our bishopric. There are clear signs of new tension which increases with the government army. Today I learned that Kurdish armed groups went to schools to warn that at the end of the lessons they will take possession of all the school buildings scattered in the neighborhoods under their control. Therefore, among other things, a lot of students, especially Kurds, will not even be able to take their end of year examinations".
Kurds supporting the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the militias of the YPG constitute the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is based in Turkey. These acronyms, according to the Archbishop of Hindu, account for about 10 percent of the local Kurdish population, but rely on the rest of the local population by virtue of the logistical and military support of various international actors. These groups are in conflict with other forces and Kurdish acronyms, partly supported by the government of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan and its President, Masud Barzani. Last March, PYD militants had imposed the closure of 44 offices and offices belonging to civil society organizations and movements, mostly Kurdish. Last year, PYD's forces had seized Ibrahim Bureau, President of the Syrian Kurdish National Council (ENKS) in the city of Qamishli, forcing him to abandon the Country under death threat. "Now", comments Archbishop of Hindus, "weapons are sent to those of the PYD by the French, Italian, US ... Having weapons, they impose their supremacy also on other Kurdish groups. But they do not even have enough militias to handle check-points, which are in fact given to salaried Arabs or Bedouins. And out of the city, so many of those now enlisted in the YPG ranks previously joined the militia of al Nusra and other jihadist groups, following the logic of affiliating with those who pay more".
The PYD pursues the intent to modify the demographic composition of north-eastern Syria, by pushing the local Arab and Turkmen population to emigrate with various methods. A phenomenon mostly denounced by Syrian refugees who have found shelter in Turkish territory. "I feel angry", underlined Archbishop Hindo "for what is happening in our territory too: refugees fleeing from the region of Raqqa arrive in areas that are real concentration camps, even without tents. And once they are in, they are also prevented from going out of villages unless they pay a large sum of money. It is a situation managed by the Kurdish militias, without any control and intervention by international organizations". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 11/5/2016)