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Disturbing report alleges killings of 450 Kurds in Syria / Kurds have begun Mobilization

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Published time: August 07, 2013 04:52                                                                             

Unconfirmed reports have emerged detailing a new massacre in which 450 Kurds – including 120 children – were allegedly slaughtered by al-Qaeda-linked rebels fighting against the Syrian government. The report has sparked international concern.

“The task of tackling the terrorist threat is becoming more  and more urgent,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said  on Tuesday, in reference to the report. The current turn of  events “makes the Geneva-2 conference even more pressing. The  longer we wait, the more innocent civilians will die,” the FM  added.

According to Iranian TV channel Al-Alam, militants from the  Jabhat al-Nusra Front attacked the town of Tal Abyad on Monday,  killing 120 children and 330 women and elderly near the Turkish  border.

The channel also ran horrific uncensored footage from the scene –   the authenticity of which can’t be independently verified at this  moment. For ethical reasons, RT will refrain from airing the  video.

Neither the Syrian government nor the opposition has confirmed  the report. RT contacted a number of sources, including several  Kurdish interviewees, who testified that increased fighting has  been taking place in their areas.

RT’s Irina Galushko spoke to Kurdish journalist Barzan Iso, who  confirmed that “Al-Qaeda started attacking Kurdish villages on  the 19th of July. After these attacks they kidnapped many Kurds.  We don’t have a specific statistic,” he said, alluding to the  fact that many of the areas are dominated by Jabhat al-Nusra and  al-Qaeda-linked militants who do not allow Kurds to gain access  and investigate.

Iso explained the Kurds’ non-allegiance to either side of the  Syrian conflict: “Since the beginning of the events in Syria,  the Kurds tried not to be a part of the civil conflict…there are  non-Muslim Kurds, as well as Alawite Kurds – that’s why they  tried to be away from [it]. But now, some of the opposition  groups are using al-Qaeda and al-Nusra to attack Kurds. The main  cause is that they have the mentality of radical nationalists.  That’s why they are using al-Qaeda as an umbrella to attack the  Kurdish people.” 

Iso claims that when he spoke to members of the Syrian National  Coalition, a group of opposition forces, it readily blamed the  killing of Kurds on the idea that Kurdish independence was never  a good idea.

“The al-Nusra militants and other rebel forces surrounded the  village,” Yasin Tarbush, the relative of one of the Kurdish  attack victims, told RT. “They started going door to door,  entering every house. If there were any men, they killed them and  took the women and children hostage.”

 Syrian Kurdish refugees.(AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic)  

Syrian Kurdish refugees.(AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic)

 

The report follows other instances of heavy strife between ethnic  Kurds and al-Qaeda-linked militants in historically  Kurdish-settled northern and north-eastern Syria.

The Suriya al-Ain news portal claims that the terrorists are  executing Kurdish prisoners as “revenge on the Kurds, for  defeats inflicted on them.” One week ago, al-Nusra militants  attacked two Syrian towns, taking around 200 civilians hostage.  It was reported that all of those abducted came from the families  of soldiers of the Kurdish Brigades who were previously part of  the opposition Free Syrian Army, but later defected to the  Kurdish Self-Defense forces.

On July 30, a Kurdish militia has announced its mobilization  against al-Qaeda-linked militants in north-eastern Syria after  the assassination of Kurdish opposition leader Isa Huso.

“We call on the Kurdish people…to step forward…anyone fit to  bear arms should join the ranks of the Committees for the  Protection of the Kurdish People (YPG) and to face the assaults  of these armed groups,” the YPG statement reads.

The Kurds are the largest ethnic group in the world without a  state of its own. Instead, Kurds choose to settle in Syria,  Turkey, Iran, and Iraq.

The civil war – in which western-backed rebels are trying to  topple the government of Bashar Assad – has been raging since  2011, with more than 100,000 people killed and nearly eight  million displaced, according to UN estimates.

On numerous occasions, Western politicians have emphasized that  they do not want extremists running rampant across the Middle  East and gaining access to foreign arms supplies as they did in  Libya and other recent conflicts. However, this seems to be  happening more and more in Syria.

Despite calls by the West to arm Syrian rebels in their fight  against Assad’s government, there is still no accurate way of  distinguishing ordinary opposition forces from Islamic militants  determined to create their own sovereign state in the Middle  East.

 

http://rt.com/news/syria-kurds-massacre-lavrov-132/

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