he commission formed by the president of Iraqi-Kurdistan, Masʿud Barzani, to investigate the alleged massacres of Kurdish civilians in Syria [further information] has completed its work. In a statement the speaker for the office of the president, Dr. Amid Sabah, summarized the results of the commission’s investigation. The commission spent five days in Syria’s Kurdish regions and questioned around four hundred people. No evidence was found to suggest that Kurdish civilians were targeted victims of Islamist groups. On the contrary, according to the commission, fighting took place only between various armed groups.
The commission’s findings agree with KurdWatch’s understanding of the situation. In a press release in early August 2013, KurdWatch questioned Russian foreign minister Lavrov’s statements that Islamic groups had murdered four hundred fifty Kurdish civilians near Tall Abyad. Kurdwatch also doubted statements claiming that civilians were the victims of targeted murder in the villages of Tall Hasil and Tall ʿAran [further information]. Even then, KurdWatch proceeded from the assumption that the civilian victims were people killed as a result of the armed conflicts between the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) and Islamist groups.
The events of ʿAmudah in late June, when YPG fighters killed eight people during a demonstration critical of the PYD and subsequently kidnapped dozens of others [further information], could not be investigated. The members of the commission were denied entry into the city of ʿAmudah by the PYD’s security apparatus.