Kurdish Situation Report: November 23rd, 2015

Welcome to The Kurdish Situation Report, 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 Instituteand The Kurdish Project.

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areas of interest for november 23rd

Corresponding locations for this week’s news stories are numbered above.

Turkey (Bakur or Northern Kurdistan)

1. The co-chair of the pro-Kurdish People’s’ Democracy Party (HDP) was targeted by an assassination attempt while travelling in his official car in Amed (Diyarbakir) late Sunday evening.

Speaking to ANF, Selahattin Demirtaş reported a bullet mark on the rear window of his bulletproof official car. Demirtaş said that the bullet mark, which was at head level, was noticed by his guards after getting out of the car, despite none of them heard a gunshot.

Demirtaş said that his official car has been taken by police for further analysis, adding that no bullet cartridge had been found.

2. On Friday, November 20th, Turkish jets bombed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) positions in the Qandil and Karukh mountain ranges in Iraq. Turkish jets reportedly bombed a PKK position on Khwakurk Mountain.

3. Curfews continue in Kurdish-majority cities and towns in southeastern Turkey. A curfew enters its tenth uninterrupted day in the Kurdish-majority town of Nusaybin.

The pro-Kurdish HDP deputies of the Kurdish-majority metropolitan area of Mardin, Gülser Yıldırım, Ali Atalan, Mithat Sancar and Erol Dora went on a hunger strike 4 days ago to draw attention to the situation in Nusaybin.

4. In the Yüksekova district of Hakkari, eight civilians have died during raids by hundreds of government police and military.

Syria (Rojava or Western Kurdistan)

5. Cizîrê Canton’s Body of Education and Teaching reports having reconstructed 452 schools in Cizîrê (Jazira) region, costing the region more than 32.5 million Syrian pounds ($150000 USD).

Reconstruction Committee member, Mecdel Hac Ebdî, says that reconstruction continues in the region, and that 75% of the schools in Cizîrê Canton have been reconstructed so far.

The rest of the schools, said Ebdî, have been almost completely destroyed by ISIS, and to reconstruct these remaining schools, the body will need more resources and effort, he added.

6. The Kurdish counter terrorism force in Rojava captured a Daesh (ISIS) emir (prince) and several insurgents after the terrorists had carried out several attacks in the region.

Adil Mohamad, a political activist in Rojava, said that the Kurdish counter terrorism unit captured the emir and insurgents in Shura, a village near the town of Darbsia.

“The [captured] ISIL emir is responsible for, and planned all the ISIL attacks on Ras Al-Ain, and is the mastermind behind the bomb attacks in Gire Spi,” said Mohamad.

7. According to a written statement by the YPG press office, a mortar attack launched by Daesh (ISIS) south of Jarablus targeted the village of Boraz, southwest of Kobanê. The mortar attack, which took place at 12:30pm on the 19th of November killed two civilians, including a child, and wounded one other.

8. The Turkish military first launched attacks on October 24th, and the military continues to bombard Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG) positions near Kobanê.

The YPG press office reported that the Turkish troops patrolling the Turkish-Syrian border launched an attack on November 19th with A4 heavy weaponry near the village of Silipqiran to the west of Girê Spî.

Iraq (Bashur or Iraqi Kurdistan)

9. On Sunday, the United Arab Emirates energy firm Dana Gas, one of the largest investors in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, said the British High Court had ordered the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to pay Dana’s consortium $100 million (66 million pounds) within 14 days.

The decision reinforces a December 2014 ruling by a London arbitration court which made the same demand of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) with a 30-day deadline, Dana said in a statement.

10. Backed by air support from the U.S.-led coalition, Kurdish Peshmerga forces killed dozens of Daesh (ISIS) militants, thwarting an attempt by the terrorist group to break into the western countryside of Mosul in northwestern Iraq, military sources reported on Monday.

“Dozens of Daesh (ISIS) terrorists have tried to infiltrate into the center of al-Kasak area (25 km west of Mosul), but Peshmerga fighters, in coordination with coalition warplanes, repelled their progress,” said Colonel Kamiran Hawrami, an officer in the Peshmerga army of Iraqi Kurdistan.

11. Daesh (ISIS) terrorists ramped up their efforts to launch an attack against the Peshmerga in the town of Badosh, northwest of Mosul. Daesh primarily used suicide bombers in the assault, but Peshmerga quelled the offensive, and killed several Daesh militants including three suicide bombers.

12. Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, received Japan’s new ambassador to Iraq. Ambassador Fumio Iwai said, “Japan respects and values the Kurdistan Region as it has been successful in preserving stability in the current difficult situation.”

After the liberation of Iraq in 2003, the Government of Japan allocated $7 billion for reconstruction of the Kurdistan Region, including the Halabja water projects, the Erbil wastewater project, and the Deralok Dam project.


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