Syria’s Kurdish Supreme Council (KSC) bans
more refugees from fleeing to Iraqi Kurdistan
Syrian Kurdish children play at a refugee camp in
Kurdistan Region's Duhok province.
The number of displaced Syrian families to
Kurdistan's Dumez camp reached 14139 families so
far, which is about 100,000 refugees, according to
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April 2, 2013
Syria’s Kurdish Supreme Council (KSC) says it is
banning any further emigration of Syrian Kurds
across the border to Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan
Region “under any conditions,” putting a halt to the
large numbers escaping Syria’s anti-regime civil
“The council decided to place constraints on
emigration of the Kurdish people in Syria to Iraqi
Kurdistan due to the large numbers of people who
fled the country and resorted to the region over the
last few months,” the KSC said in a statement
The KSC, a coalition of several Kurdish political
parties in Syria, said it was imposing the ban
because of “the danger of such a mass emigration on
our areas in Syria.” It called on the people to
“show cooperation” in this regard.
It added that its armed Popular Protection Units (YPG),
which control the border areas, will start to
implement the council’s decision immediately,
preventing all citizens without special permission
from crossing the border to the Kurdistan Region.
Kurdish groups in Syria have a hand in the fight to
oust President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, but they
are not part of the main opposition coalition. The
largest Syrian Kurdish group,www.ekurd.net
the Democratic Union Party (PYD) which controls the
YPG fighters, has been accused by the main
opposition of suspicious ties to the Damascus
regime, and of mistreating refugees trying to flee
Syria’s Kurdish regions have remained relatively
untouched by the civil war, which is now beginning
its third year and in which an estimated 70,000 have
been killed nationwide.
“In more than two years of crisis, the Kurdish areas
in Syria saw an intensive emigration by Arab
families from other cities fleeing violence, while
the Kurdish residents themselves are leaving their
homes and lands for some unconvincing reasons,” said
Kawa Ramadan, a member of the YPG forces in Qamishli.
“We need to act responsibly in this historical and
crucial phase, and we have to serve our people and
region instead of fleeing and leaving it to the
Arabs and later on mourning our loss,” he told Rudaw.
But many Kurdish activists consider the KSC’s
decision a “clear violation and abuse” of basic
rights of Syrian Kurds, opposing the “policy of
imposing constraints” on people’s freedom.
Hosheng Ose, a prominent Syrian Kurdish writer and
journalist, told Rudaw that the KSC is trying to
“arbitrarily” deprive the people of their freedom,
after failing to help accomplish any of the basic
demands of Syrian Kurds since its establishment.
“With this decision, the KSC proved its inability to
provide any solutions to the crisis of the Kurdish
people in Syria,” Ose said. He added this was, “As
if the KSC is trying to play the role of a jailor
against our people, through turning the Kurdish
cities into open prisons, and the residents into
prisoners. That’s absolutely the worst way of
The KSC was founded on the basis of the Erbil
Agreement among the Syrian Kurdish political parties
in July last year, sponsored by the Kurdistan
Regional Government (KRG) that controls Iraqi
Ose said that, although it is supposed to be a
coalition between the PYD and Kurdish National
Council (KNC), the KSC is mainly dominated by the
“It became an umbrella for this party to achieve its
goals and enact its private agenda in the name of
the Kurdish people,” he argued.
Another Kurdish activist from Qamishli, speaking on
condition of anonymity for security reasons, said it
was the PYD’s own policies in Qamishli that had
forced many families to flee.
“They dominated all means of life in our cities, and
the humanitarian aid coming from the Kurdistan
Region is only being distributed to their allies and
supporters,” he accused, arguing that the PYD is
using the name of the Supreme Council in order to
gain more supporters among Syrian Kurds, “not to
fight for our rights.”
“Why is Kurdish emigration to the Kurdistan Region
in particular being banned?” he asked.
Saroxan Ali, another Kurdish activist, told Rudaw
that only “the enemies of the Kurdish people” were
benefitting from Syrian Kurds leaving their homes.
“The KRG opened its borders to the Syrian Kurds not
to encourage them to resort to the Kurdistan Region
and leave their homes, but to provide them with the
needed humanitarian aid,” Ali said.
“Undoubtedly, only the enemies of the Kurdish people
will benefit from this emigration.”
By Adib Abdulmajid - Rudaw
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