Press Release “Original in Arabic”
June 27, 2015
The fact-finding committee set up by the Syrian Coalition to look into reports of violations in the Tal Abyad area concluded that the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militias committed widespread violations against the civilian population in the area. The report prepared by the fact-finding committee lists violations ranging from sending threat messages via telephone to publishing “wanted lists” on social network sites by persons affiliated with the YPG such as Khabat Ali, son of the head of the so-called Kurdish Provincial Council in Tal Abyad. Ali published lists of names of local residents described as “wanted” by the Kurdish Asayish militia on his Facebook page.
The reports confirm that the YPG militias seized vehicles, livestock, crops, and ransacked houses upon taking control of the Arab and Turkmen villages. They also scrawled anti-Arab racist slogans on the walls of Tal Abayd and the surrounding villages.
Before entering the Tal Abyad area, they sent threat messages to the local population, prompting them to flee their homes. Residents of the area also feared the repetition of the grave violations committed by the YPG militias against Arabs few months ago in rural Al-Hasaka. Moreover, those who preferred to stay in their homes in a number of Arab and Turkmen villages were driven out of their houses by arms such as the villages of Issawiya, Abdi Koy, Al-Thawra, Bab Al-Hawa, Daba’a, Al-Mankali, Mudlij, and Kara Sharaf. In the village of Zahle south of Tal Abyad, which was completely empty of men when the YPG militias entered, the women and children were forced out of their homes in a humiliating manner. Seventeen YPG militants entered the town in five trucks and forced the women and children to walk barefooted until they reached the nearby village of Booz al-Khanzeer.”
The latest forced displacement took place in the villages of Hammam al-Turkmen whose residents were forced out of their homes. The local population confirmed that this is part of the YPG plan to empty the area of its indigenous population and establish a Kurdish state in this area.
The fact-finding committee asked the YPG militias to give it access to the Tal Abyad area and assess the situation through listening to witness accounts and to assess the size of the reported violations. However, the YPG militias repeatedly rejected the demands of the committee which waited at the border crossing for several days. This reinforced fears of the displaced persons who did not dare to return to their homes despite the opening of the border gate. On June 22, 2015 around 2,000 displaced people who fled to Turkey returned to their homes, but the number began to decrease considerably with the spread of the news about the YPG’s blocking entry of the fact-find committee.
The Syrian Coalition calls for the United Nations to immediately send an international investigation mission to enter Tal Abyad and the surrounding villages to look into the violations committed by the YPG and also demands that those responsible for these violations are held to account.
Moreover, the Syrian Coalition also calls for allowing human rights organizations and journalists to enter Tal Abyad to convey the image to the world and the size of the tragedy and the damage the YPG caused to the unarmed civilians.
The Syrian Coalition also calls for allowing the entry of humanitarian convoys and medical assistance to alleviate the increasing suffering in an area that lacks the necessities of life.
The Syrian Coalition calls upon the international anti-ISIS coalition to neutralize civilians in the conflict zones and not to fall for false allegations about the presence of terrorists in the areas already void of ISIS militants. The YPG militias have repeatedly threatened the local population that in case they do not leave their villages they will give the coordinates of their villages to the international anti-ISIS coalition to bomb them on the pretext that ISIS militants are holed up inside these villages.
Long live Syria, and its people, free and with honor.