Local sources in the city of Qamishli in northeastern Syria said that fighters from the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) on Monday evening arrested six Kurdish leaders and 15 young men in the city and its countryside, which is under their control.
The sources told the Analdolu agency that “the commanders and the young men were arrested while participating in a funeral for a Peshmerga fighter of the Syrian Kurdish National Council (which considers itself an opponent of the regime) who was recently killed in a battle with the Islamic State organization in Iraq.”
He said that “the commanders who were arrested were Mohamed Ismail and Nashat Zaza, a member of the political bureau of the National Council, and Saleh Jamil, Abdel Karim Haji, Nefaa Abdullah, members of the council’s central committee, and Mezkin Mohamed Ramadan, a member of the general secretariat.”
They said that the arrests were carried out in the city of Qamishli and the two towns of Cil Axa (al-Jawadiyah) and Girke Lege (Maabda) in Hasakeh province in northeastern Syria.
The organization’s members were at the funeral, in which hundreds of residents participated, two days after the head of the National Council, Ibrahim Biro, was abducted in the city of Qamishli and exiled to the Kurdish region of Iraq.
The sources said that PYD militants set up checkpoints along the route between the Saemalka border crossing between Syria and Iraq to obstruct the arrival of the fighter’s funeral, indicating that the arrest of the young men was carried out under the justification of “compulsory conscription,” as they put it.
They said that the PYD fighters also closed the offices of Kurdistan Democratic Party-Syria (one of the council’s parties) in Qamishli, and detained those inside to prevent them from participating in the mourning.
The sources added that the slain fighter, Habib Qadri, was buried recently in the al-Antariyeh district cemetery in the city of Qamishli after a string of harassment against the mourners as they reached the cemetery.
In the same context, Nouri Breemo, a member of the executive council of the Kurdistan Democratic Party-Syria, said that the PYD forces had detained 14 members of the party, which is included under the Syrian Kurdish National Council umbrella, including five members of the political bureau, during the burial ceremony for two peshmerga in the city of Qamishli who had been killed during military operations near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.
Nouri added that they did not have information about where the organization’s forces had taken the party members, saying: “The PYD is exerting huge efforts to provoke an internal war between it and the Syrian Kurdistan Democratic Party.”
It was unclear exactly how many people were arrested in total in light of the statistics reported by local sources and leaders in the Kurdish party.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.