Islamic State Kidnaps Kurdish Family in Syria

Hawar Abdulrazaq

ALEPPO – The Islamic State (IS) militants have kidnapped a Kurdish family near Syrian-Turkish border northeast Aleppo in Syrian Kurdistan.

Syrian Kurdish activists reported from al Bab in northern Syria that the IS militants kidnapped a Kurdish family in a checkpoint near Turkish borders while they allowed the rest of Arab passengers to pass.

They revealed that five children, their parents and aunt have been taken by the jihadists and their whereabouts is unknown.

The IS insurgents are intentionally making the situation intolerable for the Kurds in al Bab district in order to spread fear among the Kurdish civilians, the activists claim.

Hundreds of Kurds have left the area, due to death threats and kidnapping by the IS militants, according to local human rights activists.

source: BasNews

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Assad: Syrian Kurds “Part of Syria and Its Army”

Herman Khalid

DAMASCUS – The Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has insisted that the Kurds are not Syrian regime’s allies but part of the country and its army.

While speaking to the Syrian media, al-Assad claimed that his regime has no limitations for the demands made by Kurds.

He said on Wednesday that they have never had serious problems with the Kurds, due to the Kurdish support for the Syrian regime against the oppositions since the Syrian civil war started in 2011.

Regarding the significant achievements by the Syrian Kurdish forces against Islamic State (IS), al-Assad said that they have fulfilled their duties to defend their country.

“They don’t need to be thanked as they did what they are supposed to,” he stressed.

Concerning the Kurdish autonomous cantons in Syria, the Syrian president pointed out that Syrian constitution can decide on the matter and he will be obeying the laws only.

The Syrian Kurds most notably the biggest Kurdish party in Syria, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) have been accused by the Syrian opposition parties as well as Kurdish rival parties of being an allay of Syrian regime.

source: BasNews

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Hundreds of Yazidi Girls to Receive Medical Treatment in Germany

Hawar Abdulrazaq

BERLIN – Hundreds of Kurdish Yazidi girls, who have been rescued from the Islamic State (IS) militants, will receive medical treatments in Germany.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) signed an agreement with Germany to provide physical and psychological treatments for the Yazidi girls whom had been forced into temporary marriage and traded as sex slaves by the IS militants.

BasNews has learned that about 1,000 girls will be sent to Germany for the first phase of the program, which lasts two years.

According to the agreement, the program will start in February next year, and Yazidi girls will be granted permanent residence in Germany upon their own request.

The program advisor Ilhan Kizilhan revealed to BasNews that also the Kurdish physicians and psychologists will take part in the program.

He pointed out that a special committee will interview the patients and will only chose those who can take benefit of the program.

“About €95 million have been allocated for the program,” Kizilhan said.

source: BasNews

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KRG to Start Gas Export to Turkey in 2017

Hemin Salih

ERBIL – The Kurdistan Region’s gas exporting pipeline is scheduled to come into operation in 2017, which transports natural gas from Kurdistan region to Turkey and then to the international markets.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Natural Resources is taking practical steps to start exporting KRG’s gas as it has already launched oil exporting through its pipelines to Turkish Ceyhan port in Turkey.

BasNews has learned that during his latest visit to Turkey, the KRG’s Finance and Economy minister Rebaz Hamlan discussed the issue with the Turkish officials.

Head of the Kurdistan Region Parliamentary Committee for Natural Resources Sherko Jawdat confirmed the reports to BasNews and declared that the action will boost KRG’s financial capacity “if the process is transparent.”

He also revealed that the gas export revenues will be no less than oil incomes for KRG.

Dilshad Shaban, deputy head of the committee, told BasNews that according to the assessments, KRG would be able to fulfil 30% of Gas demands in the European countries.

BasNews has also learned that the KRG has already signed a gas production contract with Energy giants Exxon Mobil and Turkish companies Botas and Genel Energy.

According to the latest researches, Kurdistan region of Iraq has over 5.7 trillion cubic meters of natural gas reserves.

source: BasNews

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Two of Kidnapped Turkish Workers Freed in Iraq

Hawar Abdulrazaq

BAGHDAD – Two of 18 Turkish workers kidnapped by gunmen in Baghdad this month have been freed in the southern city of Basra, Turkish and Iraqi officials said on Wednesday.

The men were among 18 employees of major Turkish construction firm Nurol Insaat kidnapped on September 2 in the Sadr City area of north Baghdad, where they were working on a football stadium project.

The Turkish ambassador to Iraq, Faruk Kaymakci, said that two workers had been released and were found near a Turkish company’s premises in Basra.

“They are in good health,” he told AFP. “They said the other 16 were also in good health as of yesterday (Tuesday).”

The Basra police issued a statement saying that the two men were found late on Tuesday, while the Turkish foreign ministry spokesman also confirmed their release.

“Two of our 18 fellow citizens abducted in Baghdad have been released. The two released workers are Necdet Yilmaz and Ercan Ozpilavci,” spokesman Tanju Bilgic told the Dogan news agency.

An unknown militant group claimed the kidnappings in a video posted online last week and issued a list of demands it said Ankara must fulfil for them to be freed.

The Sadr City, where the 18 Turks were kidnapped, is a stronghold of Shiite paramilitary forces.

source: BasNews

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Syrian Kurdish Administration to Confiscate Properties’ of Kurds fleeing to Europe

Muhamad Ali

QAMISHLI – The administration of Cizire Canton in Syrian Kurdistan has decided to confiscate the property and belongings of those who have fled the area in fear of war and headed to safety in Europe.

The legislative council of Cizire Canton ratified a law enabling the autonomous administration to seize every property, including houses, farms, industrial factories, vehicles and etc… which are left behind by those who have escaped to safer areas and gone in Turkey in aim of reaching safety in Europe.

The Cizire Canton is now able to put the properties at the service of its administration.

The legislative council claimed in a statement that the decision is to protect peoples’ properties.

Due to the security reasons, thousands of Syrian Kurds have escaped to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq or migrated to other countries and left all the properties and belongings.

source: BasNews

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Syrian Kurdish Peshmerga to Return to Rojava

Hawar Abdulrazaq

ERBIL – The Head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) foreign relations Hemin Hawrami has revealed that the Kurdish leader have agreed for Syrian Kurdish Peshmerga forces to return to the Syrian Kurdistan commonly known as Rojava.

The Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani met with the Democratic Union Party (PYD) leader Salih Muslim on Tuesday September 15th, and during the meeting they discussed the possibility of Syrian Peshmerga joining other Kurdish forces in Syrian Kurdistan.

The United States official were also participated in the Barzani-Muslim meeting.

“Rojava [Syrian Kurdistan] Peshmerga who have been trained by the KRG will return to Rojava”, Hawrami tweeted on his account.

He stated that the Peshmerga would join the People’s Protection Unit (YPG) fighter, which is the PYD military wing and aims to jointly protect Kurdish areas.

Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria (KDP-S) politburo member Nouri Brimo confirmed the reports and said that 3,000 Syrian Kurdish Peshmerga are currently fighting IS near Mosul, and thousands are being trained at the moment.

Kurdistan Regional Government has trained thousands of Syrian Kurds to return and protect their areas, but the PYD has been preventing them to cross the border into Syrian Kurdistan.

Furthermore, The United States has trained and armed the Syrian Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

source: BasNews

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Barzani and Australian Delegation Discuss Anti-ISIS Efforts

Hawar Abdulrazaq

ERBIL – The Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani has met with the newly appointed Australian ambassador to Iraq on Thursday 15th September.

In a meeting in KRG capital Erbil, Ambassador Christopher Langman acknowledged the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Peshmerga forces in their significant role in fighting the Islamic State (IS) and protecting millions of refugees and IDPs while the region facing economic and security challenges.

Langman reiterated that his country would continue its role with the international coalition forces, as they believe that Islamic State is a serious threat not only to the region, but also to the entire world.

He stressed that the Iraqis must stay united in order to overcome terrorism threats.

Then Barzani praised the Australian government for assisting the KRG to encounter the current crises, saying that the international community must increase its role and fight the roots of radicalism as well as their financial sources.

“We need to fight the cause of radicalism so as to no other similar groups rise again,” Barzani insisted.

He explained that the Kurdish Peshmerga forces have sacrificed a lot to protect the innocent people regardless of their religious and ethnicity background.

source: BasNews

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First Australian Airstrike Inside Syria Against ISIS

Hawar Abdulrazaq

CANBERRA – The Australian government has confirmed it has launched its first air strikes inside Syria against targets of the Islamic State militants.

Australia is part of an international military coalition targeting IS strongholds in Syria and Iraq.

Three air strikes were made on Monday, destroying an IS armored personnel carrier and a crude oil collection point, the US said in a statement

Australia’s air force has been bombing IS targets in Iraq for about 12 months.

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott last week confirmed the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) would extend its action from Iraq into Syria at the request of the US.

The UK, United Arab Emirates, Canada, and France were some of the other nations who took part in the most recent bombing raids, according to the statement issued by the US Central Command.

Fifteen air strikes were carried out in Iraq, using attack, bomber, fighter, fighter-attack and remotely piloted aircraft, it said.

Australia’s Defence Minister Kevin Andrews said two RAAF hornets identified the personnel carrier, hidden in an IS compound.

“One of the Hornets employed a precision guided weapon to destroy the target,” said Andrews.

“This was done from a distance or height that preserved the safety of the Australian aircraft,” he said.

source: BasNews

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Barzani, PYD’s Muslim and US Officials Meet and Discuss Fighting ISIS

Hawar Abdulrazaq

ERBIL – The Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani and Leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) Salih Muslim as well as United State official held a meeting in Erbil Tuesday to discuss the latest military efforts against the Islamic State militants.

According to sources close to the matter told BasNews that on Tuesday afternoon President Barzani and Muslim met in Erbil then US department of State officials meet with both leaders.

The BasNews source said the meeting was about future plans in fighting against IS militants in Kurdistan Region and Syrian Kurdistan.

The US Deputy Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter IS Brett McGurk revealed the news of the meeting on his twitter account.

“Important meetings today in Erbil w/President Masud Barzani & PYD’s on combined efforts against ISIL,” wrote McGurk on his twitter.

Peshmerga forces and PYD’s armed wing the Peoples Protection Units (YPG) have been effectively fighting IS across northern Iraq and Kurdish areas of Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava).

The US Ambassador to Iraq Stuart E. Jones Led US Delegation to Erbil for Meetings with KRG President Barzani and Other Officials

The US Department of State and Department of Defense delegation meet with Kurdistan Regional Government officials, including separate meetings with President Massoud Barzani, Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, Minister of Natural Resources Ashti Hawrami, and Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani.

The US delegation included Deputy Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS Brett McGurk, Special Envoy for Syria Michael Ratney, Consul General Matthias Mitman, Lieutenant General James Terry, and Lieutenant General Sean MacFarland.

According to US Embassy statement, President Barzani and Ambassador Jones had a productive discussion on the security and economic challenges facing Iraq, the situation of Iraqi internally displaced persons and refugees, and the important role of the Kurdish Peshmerga in the fight against IS militants.

Ambassador Jones reiterated the United States’ strong support for the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government. Ambassador Jones welcomed and thanked President Barzani for the establishment of the new Joint Coalition Coordination Center in Erbil, which brings together elements of the Iraqi Security Forces and the Peshmerga to begin planning and coordination for the campaign to expel IS militants from Mosul. The Ambassador also praised President Barzani’s continued leadership in the fight to defeat and expel ISIS militants.

Ambassador Jones also pledged technical assistance to the Kurdistan Regional Government’s economic ministries.

source: BasNews

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