- The Iranian regime border guards shot and killed two Kurdish border porters known as Kolbars by Sardasht town. Recently the regime has increased their campaigns on Kurdish Kolbars and political activities. Meanwhile the regime guards have sentenced 3 Kurdish activists to prison – one for 7 years and 4 years for the other two – for their political activism.
- After shutting down the borders on the Kurdistan Region of Iraq following the Independence Referendum, the Iranian regime reopened the border crossings in Sulaymaniyah. The Iranian interior minister announce the re-opening after a few months of closure.
- The Kurdistan region security council released a statement warning of activity by the Iraqi army and militias reinforcement near the Kurdish town of Makhmour. “We are alarmed by significant Iraqi military buildup in the vicinity of Makhmour, South West of Erbil, in preparation for an attack on nearby Peshmerga positions,” said the statement. Since clashes broke off between the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi army and some Shia militias, tensions remain high amid Baghdad’s rejection to resume talks with Erbil over the disputed issues.
- Massive protests continue for a second day in the Kurdistan region’s Sulaymaniyah province. Protesters – formed of teachers, public employees and political activists – demanded the pay of their salaries and the improvement of basic services in the region. In Piramagnon, some of the angry protesters burned down buildings of the five major political parties. Meanwhile security forces deployed in the city of Sulaymaniyah and the towns surrounding the city to prevent damages to government buildings. In responding to the demands of the protestors, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said: “The demonstration is a legitimate right for citizens and the KRG will always defend it.” The KRG also warned that destroying public buildings and attempts to destabilize the region “will not benefit anyone except the enemies of Kurdistan.”
- After France, Germany hosted a delegation of KRG officials headed by Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani. During KRG’s visit to Germany, the delegation held meetings with Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel. Germany expressed their support for the constitutional rights of the KRG and the Kurdish people within a united Iraq. The international community have pressured the Iraqi government to initiate talks with the KRG after military confrontation on October 16th following the Independence Referendum held by the KRG on September 25th. So far Baghdad has not agreed to meet with Kurdish officials.
- Factions of federal police and Iranian backed militias have stormed the University of Kirkuk and detained 11 Kurdish students for wearing Kurdish clothes on the flag day. According to one student, after hours of “insults” against the Kurdish culture and language the students were released.
- After comments by Syrian President Bashar al Assad and describing the U.S-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as “traitors,” the SDF released a statement bashing Assad for his atrocities in the country. “We in the Syrian Democratic Forces are not surprised by these statements. Syrian people with all its components generally, and in north east Syria in particular, have rose against against him and his authoritarian oppressive security regime and expelled the tyranny of all its security and military institutions,” read the statement. The SDF also said Assad should be the last person to talk about treason: “The regime is directly responsible for the release of sectarian factions in the country, which have wreaked havoc on Syria’s soil and people,” said the SDF. Assad’s attacks on Kurds came after a significant enforcement by Turkey alongside Syrian’s northwest border to attack the Kurdish city of Afrin. Observers view Assad’s statement as a secret agreement between the Turkish and Syrian regimes to counter the SDF and Kurdish self-governance.
- On December 14th, the Turkish police conducted raids on a dozen members of the Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and arrested them. The police raids were in several districts and two lawyers of the Lawyers’ Libertarian Platform (ÖHP). On the same day, the governorate of Diyarbakir (Amed) declared curfew in several villages due to Turkish military operations there. Earlier this week. On December 13th, similar curfews were imposed on the Kurdish areas of Batman and Mardin for military campaigns.
- After using the word “Kurdistan” during a Parliamentary session, Osman Baydemir, the HDP lawmaker, was banned from two upcoming sessions and fined 12,000 Turkish lira (3,100 USD). On December 13th Baydemir criticized the ruling party of Justice and Development (AKP) in the session for the proposal budget. He called it the “budget of war” then used the word “Kurdistan” while pointing to his heart when asked by the deputy speaker where is Kurdistan.
- After a few absences from his hearing, the jailed co-chair of the HDP Selahattin Demirtas, the Diyarbakır Criminal Court of General Jurisdiction finally agreed for Demirtas to be present in-person during the hearing. However, the Edirne Prison Troop Command where Demirtas is held in jail, rejected the court request due to “busy schedule of duties.” Demirtas’s lawyers demanded his presence during the hearing since his arrest in November 4, 2016. Meanwhile, the Turkish ruling party AKP’s defense have arrived to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding a case against the Turkish government for arresting Demirtas and HDP lawmakers.