Hassaké (Agenzia Fides) – The People's Protection Units (YPG), Kurdish militiamen linked to the Kurdish Democratic Party (PYD PKK Syrian Armed Forces) have firmly rejected allegations and suspicions against them regarding the murder of Elias Basil Isaac, a Christian professor killed with a bullet to his head whose lifeless body was found in a village just a few miles from the Syrian city of Hassaké on Friday, July 21st. The
victim, an agronomist expert and dean of the local agrarian college, was well known in the area for his academic and educational activity. The murder was attributed to the Kurdish militiamen. The YPG leaders have issued a statement in which they deny any form of involvement, and claim their role as security forces "at the service of the security of all citizens in the province of Hassaké". Meanwhile, the victim's nephew was arrested on charges of being responsible for the murder, probably for money reasons.
Accusations against Kurdish militiamen are a sign of the tensions that cross that area of Syria, where Kurdish groups linked to armed militia are trying to create an autonomous government outside the control of the regime of Damascus. A few days ago (see Fides 14/7/2017) Archbishop
Jacques Behnan Hindo at the head of the Syriac-Catholic Archbishopric of Hassaké-Nisibi, had described to Agenzia Fides the operations carried out by PYD militants to realize their intent to create a Kurdish autonomous region in the Syrian province of Hassaké, which in the Kurdish media is already indicated by the Kurdish name of Rojava. In that area, the self-proclaimed autonomous administration of Rojava has begun implementing a local taxation system to subsidize public services and to take full control of public order. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 31/7/2017)