Kidnappings and Conflicts: Kurdish Civilians Heavily Affected in Syria
Aleppo, Syria: One of the most diverse cities of Syria didn’t see any of the supposed ceasefire that was supposed to be implemented across Syria over Eid al Adha. Aleppo, which hosts a large Kurdish minority and has been the object of intense clashes between pro and anti government forces over the last several months, saw a new development in the conflict when Kurdish forces, independent of both the regime and the opposition, and supposed members of the Free Syrian Army exchanged fire on Friday, 26 October.
The clashes began when a Kurdish protest marched towards a checkpoint help by opposition forces near the Ashrafiyeh neighborhood. The protesters were allegedly chanting against the opposition forces maintaining a presence in a Kurdish neighborhood. The opposition forces then allegedly shot at the protesters, killing 8 Kurdish civilians. Further clashes killed an additional 22 people, from both Kurdish and opposition forces. Below is a video that allegedly shows the protest both before and after it was fired on:
After the clashes, a wave of kidnapping began from both sides that resulted in over 120 Kurds in the custody of opposition forces. They were not released until Sunday, 28 October. One Kurdish man allegedly died after he was released from torture inflicted while he was kidnapped.
As Syria’s struggle against the regime grows more unstable, the Alliance for Kurdish Rights will pay particular attention to the situation of Kurds in Syria, as minority groups are often disproportionately victimized in conflict situations.