TurkeyOn the night of Saturday Aug. 20, a suicide attack targeted a Kurdish wedding party in Gaziantap province. The suicide attack was carried out by a teenager according to Turkey’s President Erdogan, who also blamed ISIS for the attack. As of Monday, Aug. 22, the death toll rose to 53 people and 67 wounded (of whom 15 are severely injured). During the mass funeral of the victims, people protested and expelled members of the ruling Party of Justice and Development (AKP), accusing Erdogan of supporting extremist groups against the Kurds. The People’s Democratic Party (HDP) condemned the attack, stating that “this attack targets those determined and persistent in peace, resolution, and those struggling for democracy, equality, freedom and justice.”
Turkish anti-terror forces raided the headquarters and the office of the pro-Kurdish daily Özgür Gündem newspaper. The authorities shut down the newspaper and detained several journalists. Later, a few of the journalists were released. Closing down the Kurdish newspaper comes as the Turkish government launched a purge campaign after the failed coup on July 15. The Turkish government accused the Kurdish newspaper of “spreading Kurdistan workers’ Party propaganda.” Separately, Turkish authorities special operations forces raided the house of Shirnak Idil district co-mayor Nevin Oyman Girasun. The raid resulted in the detaining of the co-mayor, Girasun.
After the Kurdistan Workers Party’s (PKK) executive council (KCK) declared its willingness to return to the peace process with Turkey, deputies from the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) called on the Turkish government to approach the KCK’s recent declaration seriously and urged that negotiations should be renewed. In a press conference, HDP deputy Sirri Sureyya Onder, (the lawyer of Abdullah Ocalan) recalled Ocalan’s proposal for peace and cooperation between the Kurdish people and the Turkish government.
Clashes broke out between Kurdish security forces (Asayesh) and pro- Assad regime militias/ Iranian Hezbollah members on Aug. 17. The clashes started when regime forces attacked a Kurdish checkpoint in the Newsha neighborhood in downtown Hesekah. Later on, regime warplanes bombarded the city, resulting in civilian casualties, while Kurdish forces accused the regime of positioning snipers to target civilians. As of Monday, civilian casualties rose to 18 people dead and 70 wounded. The People’ Defense Units (YPG) moved military sectors to support Asayesh forces in Hesekah. Several areas were liberated from the regime, including 90 percent of the Newsha neighborhood and Khweran central prison. Dozens from the city of Hasakah arrived to Amuda fleeing frequent regime attacks. The aerial bombardment by the regime resulted in water and electricity being cut off in the city. According to a report by Al Safir newspaper in Lebanon, a Deputy Undersecretary of the Turkish Intelligence Service (MIT) met with Syrian intelligence officials in Damascus. On Tuesday the parties of the conflict declared a truce.
Hours after of a group of Syrian revolutionary factions in Jarablos area announced the formation of the Jarablos military council (JMC), the commander of the JMC, Abdulsttar Al Jadr, was assassinated. The JMC confirmed its formation via a statement on Sunday, explaining that” the group will protect the civilians of Jarablos in accordance with international laws and will not accept the intervention of any parties.” The group also stated that they would not be “silent in the face of Turkish incursions and [that they] would defend the region and the people on the basis of international treaties.” The JMC accused MIT of perpetrating Al-Jadr’s assassination and announced the capture of two people suspected in his murder. On Aug. 22, Turkish artillery attacked the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), north of Manbij, with Katyusha rockets.
Iraqi Kurdistan President Massud Barzani is scheduled to visit Turkey this week to meet with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and :Prime Minister Binali Yildirim. Barzani will also visit Iran in the near future to meet with the country’s top officials, according to a statement by Iraqi Kurdistan Presidency spokesperson Omar Sabah.
Kirkuk police prevented a terror attack by a teenage suicide bomber against a Shia mosque south of the city.. The 15 year old, now in police custody, admitted that he was trained by ISIS in Mosul and was able to infiltrate Kirkuk among a group of internally displaced people (IDPs). On Aug. 20, one Peshmerga was killed and two were wounded by an ISIS sniper while evacuating civilians who reached Peshmerga defensive lines while fleeing ISIS south of Kirkuk.
HARANA: On Thursday, Aug. 11, a 36-year-old woman in Torjan Base was shot and killed by police forces while in a Toyota car, under suspicion of carrying Kolber (Border workers).
According to Rudaw, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will meet with the Iranian Kurdish opposition “calling on them to not attack Iran from Kurdish territory.” This comes after a KRG delegation, headed by the interior ministry, visited Iran and held meetings with security officials.