Are security forces trying to provoke clashes in the Kurdish areas of Syria? This is what seems to be happening as State Security Intelligence and Military Security have begun summoning activists for questioning and arresting some, including members of Kurdish political parties. Today arrests have been reported in Qamişlo and Ra’s al-‘Ayn (Serê Kaniyê) of members of the Kurdish Yekîtî Party of Syria, a poet, and several young activists.
Kurds began demonstrating on 01 April; somewhat later than others in the country. To date, the Kurdish regions have been spared the horrific violence and bloodshed that have defined the protests in Dera’a, Banyas, Homs and other places in the western part of Syria. But in the Kurdish areas of the northeast there have been no incidents of clashes with police, security, or anyone else. Demonstrations have been peaceful with no interference whatsoever.
On Thursday Emergency Laws were lifted in the country. This is only symbolic as there are many other laws that the state apparatus can use to continue its repressive policies. And it has been since Friday that there has been a noticeable increase of harassment of Kurds involved in the protests. So why the sudden about-face in policy?
Desperation is one possibility. The state does not want to see a full-scale Kurdish revolt on top everything else. So they are reverting to their old tactics of sowing fear and intimidation amongst the populace. But it will not work any longer! They are only provoking what they don’t want.
Kurdish Syrian news sites have reported that there are plans to demonstrate tomorrow and the next day in front of the Security Branch in Qamişlo to demand the release of those who have been arrested. On Twitter, #SyriaKurdishRev is calling on those who have been summoned by State Security not to give themselves up.
The Kurdish Yekîtî Party of Syria has condemned the arrests and interrogations and calls for the immediate release of the detainees and the halt to further provocations. They further stated that if the security apparatus continue their actions against the Kurds, that the Kurdish street would no longer remain silent.
In addition to calling for national unity, Kurds have been supporting protesters in Dera’a, Lattakia, Homs, and other cities that have suffered the most. But the Kurds have also been calling for recognition of the Kurdish people and more respect. Below are some of the signs seen in Qamişlo and Amûde.