The Kurdish Situation Report: October 14th, 2015

Image Source: Claus Weinberg, Flickr, Creative Commons Kurdish Peshmerga Peshmerga Soldier from Southern Kurdistan

Image Source: Claus Weinberg, Flickr, Creative Commons
Kurdish Peshmerga
Peshmerga Soldier from Southern Kurdistan

The Kurdish Situation Report is a weekly update on the latest news coming from the four Kurdish regions in Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran. The Kurdish Situation Report is co-produced by the Washington Kurdish Institute and The Kurdish Project.

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Turkey (Bakur or Northern Kurdistan)

Iraq (Bashur or Southern Kurdistan)

  • A total of five people have been killed, and more than a dozen people were wounded during protests in several towns and cities in the Iraqi Kurdistan region. Protesters are demanding salaries, which they claim have been withheld by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for three months.
  • Two Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) offices in Qaladizie and Kalar were set on fire by protesters, who were angry that the presidential debate has still gone unresolved. Tensions between the KDP and Gorran (Change) parties reached their peak when both sides blamed each other over the deteriorating security situation in Iraqi Kurdistan.
  • The KRG’s Speaker of Parliament was blocked from returning to Erbil by a KDP security checkpoint, and several politicians were escorted from the capital of Erbil. This could possibly result in the dissolution of the KRG parliament, the return of political power to the KRG president, and the establishment of a temporary cabinet until new elections take place.

Syria (Rojava or Western Kurdistan)

  • A new military, called the Syrian Democratic Forces, has been formed. This military will be led by the People’s Defense Units (YPG), and will include participation by Syrian Arabs forces, and Assyrian Christians militias.
  • The Director of the KRG’s Parastin & Zanyari Intelligence Agency– Lahur Talabani– announced on Monday that 120 tons of weapons and ammunitions would be delivered to the Syrian Democratic forces by the United States. This effort is a new “equip and enable” strategy by the White House, after the failure of its “train and equip” program with moderate Syrian opposition forces.
  • 175,000 people have returned to Kobani since its liberation from the self-proclaimed Islamic State terrorists. Syrian Kurdish officials from the PYD have called on the international community to help rebuild Kobani, and to help support the education system in Rojava.

Iran (Rojhelat or Eastern Kurdistan)

  • Seven Kurdish activists were executed in Urmia last week by the Iranian government. Since Iranian President Rouhani took power in 2013, the rate of executions of Kurdish activists has risen dramatically.
  • An Iranian Kurd seeking asylum in Germany has taken his own life. Siroius Rasouly– a member of the Komala Party in Iranian Kurdistan– had been seeking asylum in the EU, and was said to have been suffering depression after not being granted asylum.

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