- After a deadly earthquake hit the Kurdish areas in Iran on November 12th, the Iranian regime struggles to provide sufficient medical and humanitarian support to the Kurdish city of Kermanshah. Several Kurdish human rights organizations have stressed worries about the slow reaction from the Iranian regime toward the natural disaster. According to Kurdistan Human Rights Association (KMMK), the regime’s response is slow to deliver aid to the stricken areas.
- The Iranian Revolutionary Guards raided several Kurdish homes in towns of Chalderan and Maku towns. Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) reported that six Kurdish civilians have been arrested and taken to Maku Intelligence Detention Centre. The arrests come after clashes between Kurdish forces and Iranian regime guards earlier this month.
- On November 12th, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit Halabja – a town in the Kurdistan region of Iraq near the Iranian border. The earthquake resulted in casualties and damages to building and properties in both Kurdish cities of Iraq and Iran. In Iraqi Kurdistan, 8 people died, mostly from the town of Darbandikhan and an estimated 200 people were injured. In Iran, so far 407 were killed and 6,700 were wounded as tens of buildings collapsed, mostly in Kermanshah city. The total casualties has yet to be updated by both Iraqi Kurdistan government and the Iranian regime. After the earthquake, thousands of civilians stayed outside during the night fearing aftershocks.
- During a press conference by the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Nechirvan Barzani rejected the decrease of Kurdistan’s budget by Baghdad from 17% to 12%. He said, “We insisted on our share of 17 percent as set out in the constitution.” He added, “Unfortunately there are many issues with the draft and Baghdad has also stopped sending our share of medical supplies.” Following the independence referendum the Iraqi government has not agreed to meet with the Kurdish delegation to address the disputes. Military tensions also remain high between the Iranian backed militias and Iraq’s army against the Peshmerga forces over the Syrian border point of Fishkhabour.
- On November 12th, Turkish warplanes bombarded Asos mountain in Iraqi Kurdistan targeting positions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). On November 13th, a second strike was carried out on Bradost area near the Kurdistan-Turkey border, which resulted in the killing of one civilian, 36-years old Himdad Osman.
- After meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Đà Nẵng, Vietnam both U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a joint statement on Syria. “The document had been drafted by the two countries’ experts and coordinated by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The statement has been specially prepared for the Danang meeting,” read a statement from the Kremlin. During their meeting, both leaders agreed that “there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria.” In an initial reaction to the agreement between the US and Russia, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, ”If a military solution is out of the question, then those who say this should pull their troops out.”
- The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) liberated al-Luzia village 20-miles from the city of Deir Ez Zour. The “Al Jazeera Tempest” military campaign continues since it started on September 20th backed by the US-led coalition. In the western part of the country, the Turkish-backed Islamic groups continued to shell the suburbs of the Kurdish city Afrin. The shellings were mostly by mortars on Ein-Daqna in the Sherawa district – Afrin. In the meantime, Turkish aircrafts continue hovering over the Afrin and Aleppo countryside.
- On November 12th, the Kurdish forces of the People’s Defense Units (YPG) handed over 52 Russian citizens who were accompanying ISIS members to the Russian military. The families of the ISIS members included 13 women and 29 children. A Russian general, Alexander Kim, officially received the families in a press conference from the YPG and the Northern Syrian administration.
- The public prosecutor of Diyarbakir city (Amed) sought 18 years imprisonment against the Pro-Kurdish lawmaker Imam Tascier of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). Similar to the other arrested HDP lawmakers, the Turkish government accuses Tascier of spreading “terrorist propaganda.” Tascier said that Turkey’s President and government have directed the court to “punish us.” Meanwhile the Turkish police have raided several homes in Ankara and Izmir and arrested several people for posting on social media against the Turkish government and other charges. Among the arrested ones are Evren Celik of HPD’s foreign relations office and Öztürk Türkdoğan, co-chair of Human Rights Association (IHD).
- The HPD spokesperson and lawmaker Osman Baydemir was arrested briefly at Istanbul airport on Saturday after the Turkish government issued a warrant against him on Thursday on terror charges. After a few hours the Turkish police released him, though there are several cases against him including “terrorist propaganda” during a speech last year at Kurdish celebration of Newroz.