Category Archives: Kurds and Kurdistan

Joe Robinson: former British army soldier who fought Islamic State in Syria is jailed in Turkey

A former British soldier who travelled to Syria to fight so-called Islamic State has been jailed in Turkey, his mother has said.

Joe Robinson, 25, from Leeds, spent five months battling the insurgents alongside Kurdish armed forces in 2015.

But he was arrested on a beach while on holiday in Turkey last July and charged with terrorism offences.

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ISIS Reportedly Executes Two Kurdish/Swedish Citizens in Iraq

A businessman in his fifties and his nephew, both Kurdish Shiites living in Sweden who traveled to Kirkuk in northern Iraq to meet relatives, have been kidnapped and later appeared to have been executed.

A propaganda film posted by Daesh* has shown two men from Sweden executed by jihadis. The two men have been identified with the help of relatives and friends who contacted the Expressen daily newspaper.

According to Swedish media, the victims were a businessman aged about 50 and his nephew in his twenties, who left Sweden in December last year to visit the city of Kirkuk to meet relatives. At around Christmas they were kidnapped. Later, a video emerged of the two kneeling men being executed, according to the media outlet. One of them was purportedly shot in the head with an automatic rifle, the other one with a pistol.

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The West Betrays the Kurds

The Kurds have a proverb: “We have no friends but the mountains“. In Afrin, however, even the mountains could not protect them from the Turkish warplanes and the Islamist militias allied with Ankara. Although the videos of terrifying executions are certainly not new in the tragic war of Syria, in this instance the video was shot by a terror group operating under the command of a NATOcountry, Turkey.

The video shows members of Syrian militias abusing the corpse of Amina Omar, a female Kurdish fighter who was also known as “Barin Kobani“. She was killed defending Afrin, a city-canton in Syria attacked by the Turkish army of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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US, Turkey on collision course in Syria’s Manbij

The United States and Turkey are on a collision course in northern Syria, threatening to ignite a dangerous new phase in the Syrian civil war, undermine the fight against the “Islamic State” (IS) and redraw the map of the Middle East.

The epicenter of this brewing conflict is Manbij, where the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Turkish-backed rebels face off across a combustible frontline.

Time for some deep fried Turkey.

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Inside the Kurdish courts trying IS group militants

The long and gruesome war that the Kurds have waged against the Islamic State (IS) group has not only left thousands dead but also produced many prisoners. For the first time, a TV crew has been allowed inside the Kurdish courts, where judges following Kurdish laws try the jihadists behind some of the atrocities perpetrated against Syrian civilians and the Yazidi community. What sentences do they face? How will justice be served?

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Who Are the Jihadists Fighting alongside Turkey in Syria?

In its offensive launched on January 20 against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, Turkey has deployed more than 25,000 Syrian rebel fighters who have been equipped and trained by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powerful military.

The offensive, code-named Operation Olive Branch, aims at dislodging the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from the Kurdish enclave of Afrin. On March 18, Turkish military and allied jihadist rebels took control of Afrin’s city center. Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party(PKK), an insurgent group that has been fighting for greater Kurdish autonomy in Turkey’s southeast. Backed by the United States, the YPG has been instrumental in the U.S.-led war on terror in Syria since 2014.

There are no allies to be had among Muslim nations the world over end of story. 

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Turkey’s Erdogan says Afrin city centre under ‘total’ control in Syria as Kurdish forces ousted

Turkish-backed Syrian rebels have taken “total” control of the centre of Afrin, a Kurdish-majority city in northern Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday.

“Units of the Free Syrian Army, which are backed by Turkish armed forces, took control of the centre of Afrin this morning at 8.30 am,” Erdogan said, adding that de-mining operations were under way.

Taking Afrin has been the main objective of Turkey’s operation Olive Branch, a deadly ground and air offensive launched on January 20 with the aim of ousting the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia.

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Turks in Canada pray for military success against “terrorist” Kurds in Syria

Turkish citizens living in Canada held a prayer ceremony on Sunday for the victory of the Turkish military’s counter-terrorism operation in northwestern Syria.

The prayer program was organized by the Turkish Cultural Association in Montreal, a city in southeastern Canada, to show support for the Operation Olive Branch against the PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists in the Syrian city of Afrin.

They also prayed for the Turkish troops carrying out their duties in other places in the world.

Mehmet Ors, head of the association, said at the event that they had gathered to express their support to the Turkish state as well as the Turkish military.

“May Allah help our state and our military,” he added.



Background… Turkey’s Operation in Northern Syria

A Turkish assault against Kurdish forces in Syria, such as the ongoing one, was expected by everyone, including the U.S.

Now, three weeks into its controversial offensive against a Kurdish enclave in northern Syria, Turkey’s military is facing fierce resistance from the U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in the city of Afrin.

Observing the daily operations since they began on January 20, it is noticeable that the Turkish military and its allied Syrian rebels, backed by Turkish air support, have made little progress in taking control of Kurdish-held territory — the main objective behind Ankara’s decision to launch the offensive in Syria.

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Syrian Kurds outraged over mutilation of female fighter

Syrian Kurds have accused Turkish-backed rebels of mutilating then filming the body of one of their female fighters after a video emerged of her corpse.

Turkey and allied Syrian rebels have pressed an offensive since 20 January against the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northern Syria, whose Kurdish fighters Ankara views as terrorists.

A Kurdish official identified the woman as Barin Kobani, who took part in a US-backed campaign to drive the Islamic State jihadist group from the northern town of Kobani.

The Kurds blamed the “terrorist allies of the enemy Turkish state” for mutilating the body of Kobani, who was a member of the all-female Kurdish Women’s Protection Units.

Warning Graphic video at link – Translation required.

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Syrian rebels gamble on Turkish alliance to fight Kurds and Assad

The young rebel from Idlib rolled down his sock to reveal a deep, blackened gash, a grim memento of weeks as an Islamic State captive. The man who tortured him in that prison was on his mind when he heard that Turkey was offering military training to 500 men, and decided to sign up.

Like all the recruits to Ankara’s latest experiment, he was a seasoned anti-Assad rebel with battlefield experience but no military education. Turkey promised to drill and discipline them, creating the nucleus of a new Syrian rebel army.

“They told us: ‘You have been fighting for six years, God bless you, but we want to train you to be soldiers’,” the former prisoner said. Like all Syrian fighters and officials who agreed to interviews about the latest offensive, he spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of relations with Turkey.

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Are German imams praying for Turkey to beat Kurds in Syria?

The offensive launched by Turkey in a Kurdish region of northern Syria has also sown the seeds of discord in Germany. One reason may be the reports that German tanks have been deployed in the attacks. But it became a particularly emotional domestic matter following reports that the imams of mosques run by the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB) have apparently called on worshippers to pray for a successful military offensive. Spiegel Online reported that an imam from the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg wrote that his community would pray that “our heroic army and heroic soldiers be victorious.”

“So ‘prayers for freedom’ at DITIB Cologne go hand in hand with illustrations of tanks and the recitation of the Surah Al-Fath?” the Green politician Volker Beck wrote on Twitter. “Can they deceive the public with this strategy?”

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Britons volunteering with Syrian-Kurdish militia head to battle with Turkey

Britons are among tens of foreign volunteers heading to the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northern Syria to defend it from Turkish forces, but have been warned they are doing so without international support.

Huang Lei, 24, from Manchester and two others from the UK left for Afrin with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia on Tuesday, raising the prospect a Nato member army could open fire on British citizens.

For the past four days, Turkish troops and allied Free Syrian Army rebel groups have been battling their way into the canton, which sits along the Turkey-Syria border, but have met with fierce resistance from the YPG militia that controls the area.

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Turkey launches ground offensive in northern Syria against US-backed militias

Turkish ground forces entered Syria’s Afrin province on Sunday morning in a bid to oust US-backed Kurdish militias from the border between the two countries.

The move comes on the second day of Turkey’s “Operation Olive Branch”, which began on Saturday with a barrage of air strikes on the Kurdish YPG militia in the same province.

The ground forces moved in a week after the US was working to create a new Syrian Border Security Force by backing Syrian Democratic Forces, which include militia from the Kurdish YPG.

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French jihadi wives captured by Kurds want to face trial in ‘real country’

Lawyers representing a group of French jihadi wives being held captive by Kurdish fighters in Syria have filed a complaint for not letting the women face trial at home, on the grounds that Syrian Kurdistan is not a “real country.”

A group of around 40 radicalized French women, along with their children and several men, are currently being held in Syria by Kurdish forces after being captured in formerly Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL)-held territory. The issue of what to do with them has been raging in the French media, and now, their team of lawyers have announced they plan to sue the government so the women can trade their cells in the Middle East for ones closer to the Champs-Élysées.

Let the Kurds deal with them.

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