Turkey (Bakur or North of Kurdistan)
- Reuters: Turkey’s state intelligence agency helped deliver arms to parts of Syria under Islamist rebel control during late 2013 and early 2014, according to a prosecutor and court testimony from gendarmerie officers seen by Reuters. The witness testimony contradicts Turkey’s denials that it sent arms to Syrian rebels and, by extension, contributed to the rise of Islamic State, now a major concern for the NATO member.
- Despite the bans by the Turkish government millions of Kurds celebrated Newroz in Turkey. In Amed Kurds held a minute of silence with Kurdish national anthem “Ey Raqîp” for the six hundred civilians who lost their lives during the curfews in the Kurdish cities in Turkey since July 2015.
- In an interview with Sterk TV, Murad Karayilan, a member of the Executive Council of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) condemned the ongoing military operations in Kurdish cities, calling it a war declared by the AKP against all Kurds. “In our struggle, damaging civilians is absolutely intolerable. We want all Kurds and all Turks to be better off.” He said.
- The DBP (Party of Democratic Regions) Committee shared the results of its investigation in Cizre on March 10 and 11 with the public. DBP announced that 80% of the district was damaged and nearly 300 people died-majority of who babies, elderly are and other civilians. Below are the points that the DBP Committee included in its report.
Syria (Rojava or West of Kurdistan)
- Final declaration of the Federal System Constituent Assembly announced. The conference witnessed the participation of 200 delegates and 31 representatives for Arab, Kurdish, Armenian, Turkmen, Chechen, Syriac and many other folks from Northern Syria, Rojava, Shehba region, Aleppo-Minbic areas.
- Jaysh al-Thuwar commander Ebu Heci stated that with its attacks on Tishrin and the Euphrates, ISIS was aiming to prevent a possible Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) operation in the region. Heci stated that with its activity near and attacks on Tishrin and the Euphrates, ISIS was aiming to prevent a possible SDF operation in the region. Heci said that the recent attack on Girê Spî was a similar attack organized by ISIS and the Turkish state.
- Salih Muslim, co-leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), told Al-Monitor that the Russian withdrawal will be positive for the country. “It will help with the resolution process,” he said, referring to ongoing efforts to broker a deal between the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and armed opposition groups. “It will pressure the Syrian regime … and create some trust. The Russian intervention had strengthened the regime.
- Newroz celebrations organised with the slogan ‘From free Rojava towards a democratic federal system’ continue in Kobanê where the resistance of the ages against ISIS cruelty was displayed. The celebration grounds are adorned with posters of Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan and the martyrs of the legendary resistance, flags of TEV-DEM and YPG/YPJ and colors of yellow, red and green.
Iraq (Bashur or South of Kurdistan)
- Adil Abdul-Mahdi, the Iraqi Minister of Oil warned that: “the relations between the KRG and Baghdad have reached a dangerous and critical point, and require serious negotiations to be resolved.”
- On Wednesday March 16, Jalal Talabani the Secretary General of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) received Salih Muslim the Co-leader of Democratic Union Party (PYD) at his office in Sulaimaniyeh. In the meeting, Salih Muslim expressed his pleasure for seeing Mam Jalal and gave him a brief about the liberating Kurdish movement in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan) and its accomplishments. Meanwhile, Mam Jalal expressed his happiness about the visit and the accomplishments Muslim touched upon.
- Kurdistan Region Presidency strongly condemns the cowardly, terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium today. In a statement, the Presidency expressed its condolences to the victims, the Belgium people and government. It added that terrorism is a global threat and confronting it needs collective action by the international community.
- Najmaldin Karim, the Governor of Kirkuk, issued a statement supporting the newly-established federal entity in Northern Syria (Rojava). In his statement, Governor Karim says: “The Peshmerga forces of the KRG have proven to be the most effective force in fighting ISIS in Iraq, just as the People’s Protection Units (YPG) have been in Syria.”
Iran (Rojhelat or East of Kurdistan)
- On March 14, 2016, two Kurdish citizens from Ilam were injured in two separate landmine explosions. It is worth mentioning that the bordering areas of Iran and Iraq have still not been cleared of tens of thousands of landmines almost three decades after the end of the Iranian-Iraqi war. Kurds of Eastern Kurdistan, who share a long border with Iraq, have the lion share of landmine victims.
- On February 25, 2016, Arash Mukri a Masters student at Tabriz University was arrested by Iranian security forces and transferred to an unknown place. Without any judicial warrant, agents of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Intelligence Agency also broke into his house and seized his personal laptop, cellphone, USB flash drive, and his Kurdish books. Despite their efforts, his family still have no idea about his whereabouts.
- A new wave of jamming on satellite channels has been being launched since the run up to the recent parliamentary election in Eastern Kurdistan (Rojhelat) cities. According to Kurdistan Human Rights Association, residents of Rojhelat have no access to opposition Kurdish and Persian channels due to the recent wave of jamming. The jamming is said to increase the likelihood of birth of disabled children from 30-100%, varied kinds of cancer, sterility, and lots of other negative impacts on people’s spinal nervous system.