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News ::
Arabs Imperialists get taste of their own medicine from Kurdish freedom fighters
15 Mar 2004
Syria on Monday sealed of its borders with Iraq after Iraqi Kurd fighters threatened to enter the country if violent clashes between security forces and their Syrian brethren were not brought to an end.
Syria on Monday sealed of its borders with Iraq after Iraqi Kurd fighters threatened to enter the country if violent clashes between security forces and their Syrian brethren were not brought to an end.

Disturbances continued throughout the Kurdish regions in the north of the country, as an American delegation was sent in to try to stabilize the situation.

The American team has secretly arrived from Iraq to the Kurd region in northern Syria following several days of riots which came on the heels of a violent soccer game between a Kurdish-backed and a mostly Arab-backed team, Kurdish sources and Syrian exiles in Europe told Haaretz on Monday.

The information was also published on Kurdish websites in Europe.

The U.S. team, which includes intelligence officers, contacted senior officers in a Syrian delegation sent to the region by President Bashar Assad to negotiate with local leaders.

According to the sources, two U.S. helicopters arrived Sunday from Iraq to the city of Qamishli on the Turkish border, where the riots began.

The sources believe that the American delegation has warned the Syrian government that if the riots continue, the situation could get out of control and the Syrians will find it difficult to restrain the Kurdish militias in northern Iraq, who want to come to the aid of the Kurds in Syria.

Earlier Sunday Haaretz quoted Kurdish sources as saying that Assad sent his brother his brother, Colonel Maher, his Defense Minister Mustafa Tlas as well as senior intelligence officials to hold talks with local Kurdish leaders.

Kurdish leaders in Syria on Saturday called on Masoud Barazani, one of the Kurdish leaders in Iraq, to help them in what they called "a massacre."

According to Kurdish sources, isolated exchanges of gunfire continued overnight Sunday in several towns, but in general, the violence was diminishing. The sources claim that demonstrations continued in the city of Haleb and that two Kurds were killed during the exchanges of fire in the northern town of Hassake.

The legal advisor of the Paris-based National Council for Truth, Justice and Reconciliation in Syria, George Sara, said that Syrian security services were conducting mass arrests, claiming that 100 people have been detained in Damascus.

Sara claimed he could not determine the exact number of people killed during the riots, but that his organization estimated the number to be between 60 and 100. He expressed disappointment with the lack of coverage of the riots in the western media, but asserted that Kurdish media in Turkey began showing interest on Sunday.

Kurdish sources in Europe claim that in the city of Qamishli on the Turkish border, where the riots began, authorities are stipulating the release of 25 bodies from a hospital with the families conducting quiet funerals that will not again turn into political rallies.

Kurdish activists take over Syrian consulate
Some 60 Kurdish activists took over the Syrian consulate in Geneva on Monday, in what they said was an attempt to raise public awareness in the world to "the massacre of Kurdish civilians being carried out by Syrian army and police forces."

The Kurds agreed to leave the consulate after a few hours, with the intervention of Swiss police and a promise that a letter concerning their matter would be sent to the United Nations.

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