President Masoud Barzani backs Kurds protesting in Syria


President Masoud Barzani

In the past year, Syrians have protested against President Al-Assad’s tyrannical rule. As a result, the Syrian government has responded by killing, torturing, detaining and imprisoning protesters. In the past two days alone, more than 128 people have been killed by the Syrian regime. The United Nations has been unable to track the deaths of protesters since August 2011, and has said the death toll exceeds 5000. The number of activists detained, injured and forced into exile is unknown.

The president of the autonomous region of Kurdistan has voiced his support for Kurds protesting in Syria. He said:

We do not want to interfere in the affairs of Kurds in Syria, but we will help and support your decisions […] But on the condition that you remain united during this sensitive period, and that you avoid internal conflicts […] The situation is important to us because it (Syria) is a neighbouring country, we have a long border with it, and more than two million Kurds live there. It is important to know their future.

Despite enjoying wide-spread popular support in Kurdistan, Kurdistan’s politicians have been slow to throw their support behind Syria’s 11 month long popular uprising. Controversy surrounded President Barzani and his KDP government when Kurdistan’s own protests were violently suppressed back in February and March.