Kurdish Youth Coordinating Committee Celebrates Its First Anniversary


Amidst international tension, continued violence from the regime, and literal blows exchanged between the opposition, the Kurdish Youth Coordinating Committee celebrated its first anniversary from its branch in Lebanon on Saturday 7 July. The anniversary was marked by a special conference led by the Kurdish youth that discussed many of the important points of the Syrian revolution. The underlying theme of the conference was how to advance the Syrian cause without sacrificing Kurdish rights and values, and what the role of the Kurdish Youth Coordinating Committee should be as they advance forward. The Committee also emphasized its dedication to peaceful tactics, and that it would prioritize non-militarized solidarity with all aspects of the Syrian revolution.

The Committee’s dedication to such tactics is particularly notable considering the tension that has built between Syria and Turkey recently. After Syrian forces shot down a Turkish fighter jet last month, Turkey called for an emergency meeting with other NATO members, prompting fears of imminent military action. Turkey’s recent aggression has caused fear among Syria’s Kurds, fearing that any Turkish military activity will bring chaos to Kurdish communities.

Kurds have continued to fill the streets with protests against the Assad regime, but have thus far avoided taking armed action against regime brutality. Below, a collection of videos, articles and images document Kurdish protests, which have been particularly in Qamishlo and Afrin.

In Afrin, conflicting reports of conflict between various Kurdish groups have emerged related to the increasing tension of the region. PYD forces allegedly prevented some demonstrations from taking place in Afrin in late June, and in early July, an exchange of gunfire left one PYD supporter wounded. An editorial from the Kurdish news source Rudaw made the argument that increasing conflict between different Kurdish groups will likely lead to further misinformation and manipulation of the situation on the ground.

Given the already tumultuous situation as a result of the regime’s crackdown on the revolution, and the encroaching threat of a Turkish aggression, the Kurdish Youth Coordinating Committee expressed its concerns for the potential outbreak of violence. The Committee emphasized the importance of finding mechanisms to work together across differing groups.