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Published On: Wed, Feb 21st, 2018

Iraqi-Kurdish MP’s divided on Damascus-Afrin agreement

nsnbc : Politicians in Iraq’s Kurdistan Autonomous Region (KAR) stand divided on the arrival of pro-Syrian-government forces into Afrin in northern Syria’s predominantly Kurdish region. The patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) fully backs the decision, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) backs it partly, while the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) is the most skeptical. 

The Parliament of the Kurdistan Region on February 20, 2018. Photo courtesy Rudaw TV

The Parliament of the Kurdistan Region on February 20, 2018. Photo courtesy Rudaw TV

Halo Mohammed, a KDP member, and MP in the KAR’s parliament, was quoted by the Rudaw news agency as saying  “I do not know whether an agreement has been made or not. There are negotiations. If there is agreement, it is only for protecting the airspace [of Syria], preventing attacks by Turkey, and for the border points. Anything more than that would not be in the interest of the Kurds.” Halo Mohammed headed the group of Kurdish MPs who visited Afrin earlier this month.

Farid Asasard, a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) leadership council member, told the Rudaw news agency that “This agreement, since it is deemed good by Afrin’s forces, will lead to a good thing. They are reaching an agreement with their legitimate government according to the law.” Asasard believes this is beginning of an agreement between the Kurds and Damascus, but expressed these relations aren’t unprecedented.

The Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) is reportedly more skeptical. “The aim of the conspiracy against the Kurds is for these areas [in northern Syrian] not to remain in the hands of the Kurds. America’s silence, Russia’s overlooking, and Iran’s support in the area [against Afrin] … is for Kurds to be stripped from Afrin,” Osman Karwani, a KIU leadership council member, told Rudaw.

On Tuesday, a pro-Syrian government convoy called the ‘popular forces’ arrived in Afrin to support locals. The forces were to deploy along Afrin’s border with Turkey, YPG spokesperson Nouri Mahmoud stated.  The forces were met with Turkish artillery shelling. Media close to the YPG reported two of the incoming fighters lost their lives; however on Tuesday night, media close to the regime denied the deaths.

The Turkish Army and Turkish-backed FSA have reportedly captured about 14 percent of Afrin district, namely 49 villages. The Turkish military aggression – ironically dubbed Operation Olive Branch – was launched on January 20.

F/AK – nsnbc 21.02.2018

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  1. kev says:

    To be fair Its not a regime its a demacraticly elected goverment and to be fair shouldn’t it be government forces not pro government forces ?

    It would be nice to wake up one day and see the usa military described as regime forces. After all we can invent our own reality with an adjective or two. But then again Its not as if people really mind one way or the other.

    • nsnbc says:

      Kev, f.y.i.
      Merriam Webster: Definition of regime. “lawful control over the affairs of a political unit”. Also, “administration, authority, governance, government, jurisdiction”… N.B. Your comment doesn’t have much to do with the different positions of the KDP, PUK, etc, but I hope Merriam Webster can inform you about the definition of the word regime. ;)
      W.r. Christof Lehmann, editor-in-chief, nsnbc international.

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