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Kurdistan’s Weekly Brief November 9, 2021

09.11.2021
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A weekly brief of events occurred in the Kurdistan regions of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey.

Iraq 

  • Iraq’s Kurdish blocs met to discuss the drafting of a new constitution for Iraqi Kurdistan last week. The Secretary of Kurdistan Parliament, Muna Qahwachi, told Rudaw the parties were given two weeks to present their suggestions and observations regarding the formation of a new constitution committee. After forming the committee, the parties will negotiate to resolve disputed points and vote to approve the document before holding a referendum to replace Iraqi Kurdistan’s draft constitution that has been in place since 2009. 
  • ISIS (Da’esh) terrorists launched another wave of attacks in the “Disputed Territories” last week, including two on Peshmerga positions near Perdi and Makhmour and a third targeting Peshmerga near Kifri on Friday. Meanwhile, despite an ongoing failure to fully implement the Baghdad-Erbil security agreement, the Ministry of Peshmerga announced Peshmerga and Iraqi forces conducted a joint operation near Nineveh in a statement that read, “The operation was carried out with the support of Iraqi air forces and coalition aircraft in the upper Kushafi and Lower Kushafi areas, where the area was completely searched and cleared out of ISIS and terrorist remnants.” That said, additional Da’esh operations killed and wounded several Iraqi soldiers. Furthermore, Secretary General of the Ministry of Peshmerga Lieutenant General Jabar Yawar said Da’esh has conducted 206 terrorist attacks in the “Disputed Territories” in 2021.
  • Iraq’s top Kurdish officials joined the international community in condemning the attempted assassination of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al Kadhimi on Sunday morning. While no one has claimed responsibility for the assassination attempt, Iranian-backed militias remain the prime suspects due to the fact armed drones were used in the attack. Iranian-backed militias have recently gathered in front of Baghdad’s Green Zone to protest the results of the nation’s parliamentary elections held on October 10, threatened the Iraqi government, and made dubious allegations of voter fraud. 

Syria 

  • Turkey continued aggressive policies against the Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES). On Tuesday, a Turkish drone struck a vehicle inside a residential area west of Qamishli city. The attack footage showed one person dead inside the vehicle but no official comment has yet been made by the security forces. Furthermore, Turkish military and their Syrian proxies deployed dozens of military equipment near the Syrian Democratic positions of Ain Essa, Kobani, Manbij and Tal Tamer on Monday, which seemed to be a move in preparation for a new invasion. In a statement, the SDF said that “hundreds of mercenaries, accompanied by the Turkish occupation” tried to “provoke” the SDF on several occasions. “Our forces still maintain restraint and adhere to the de-escalation agreement on the one hand, and are ready for any emergency on the other,” read the SDF statement. Separately, the SDF held at least 7 funerals for their fallen fighters without releasing information of their causes of death. Politically, the AANES denied any “current ” talks with the Syrian regime or surrender of any areas to the regime. The AANES described the allegations as “rumors” and “part of a war” on the region. The ANNES once again called upon the Syrian opposition to begin talks and said, “we are open to dialogue with all parties to resolve the Syrian crisis peacefully and democratically.” 
  • The local security forces (Asayesh) announced the arrest of a Da’esh cell attempting to storm an al Haskah prison cell that holds terrorists. The Asayesh operation was conducted with US support in Deai Ez Zor on Monday where many weapons, explosives, and IED were seized. 

Turkey 

  • The Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) released a report showing Turkey’s inflation rate now stands at 19.89 percent. Amidst the rising consumer prices that have hit Turkey’s Kurdish provinces particularly hard, the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) continued pressing the Turkish government to raise the minimum wage and presented the Ministry of Labor and Social Security with a 514-page report on poverty and working conditions in Turkey. The Occupational Health and Safety Assembly (İSİG) reported work-related accidents caused 1,847 deaths in Turkey in 2021. 
  • A mob stormed the HDP building in Diyarbakir Province’s Kayapınar District and attacked it with several petrol bombs late Sunday, causing no reported casualties. The HDP building is located near a police station, and surveillance cameras at a nearby school were damaged after the attack. 
  • A court in Amed sentenced the co-chair of the Kurdish solidarity association MEBYA-DER, Şeyhmus Karadağ, to six years and three months in prison for holding press conferences to address dozens of families petitioning MEBYA-DER for information on relatives killed in Turkey’s ongoing conflict with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). At the same time, Turkish police arrested at least 14 people, including HDP members and activists, on charges related to Kurdish activism on Monday. 

Iran

  • The Hengaw Organization for Human Rights reported Iranian security forces shot and killed a Kurdish shepherd named Waisie Badini near Surkan. Iranian security forces also shot and wounded a shepherd named Azad Rabat and his wife, Shelier Qiran, near Sardasht. Concurrently, Iranian authorities killed a Kurdish border porter (kolbar) named Mohammed Khudaie near Baneh on Thursday and a Kurdish businessman named Farhad Zandi, who was falsely accused of smuggling contraband. Lastly, mines from the Iran-Iraq War wounded a Kurdish man named Hemin Ibrahim near Sardasht’s Dowlahtu village and a 50-year-old woman near Qasir-e Shirin. 
  • Iranian intelligence officers (Ettela’at) arrested two Kurdish teens, Sina Minaie and Abdullah Yousifi, in Oshnavieh (Shinno), a Kurdish man named Behnam Muradi in Marivan, and another named Anwar Shikha in Piranshahr. Moreover, Iranian security forces detained a Kurdish reporter and environmental activist named Ihsan Parsa in Lorestan. 
  • Mashhad’s Islamic Revolutionary Court sentenced a Kurdish cultural activist named Mahmud Neromend to ten years in prison for “ties with opposition groups” and “anti-government activities.” Simultaneously, Saqqez’s Islamic Revolutionary Court sentenced a Kurdish woman named Fatima Karimi to one year in prison for membership of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI). At the same time, Iranian authorities held an initial hearing for seven Kurdish activists accused of “disruption of national security” and “membership of opposition parties” for participating in the “Reviving Kurdistan” campaign in Sanandaj (Sena).

Washington Kurdish Institute

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