Three Kurds killed in Qamishle in Northeastern Syria

March 21, 2008 § Leave a comment

(Photo of the suspension bridge over the Euphrates in Deir ez-Zour, a Syrian city which has a substantial Kurdish population.)

Syrian security forces shot three Kurds to death and wounded four others in the Northeastern Syrian city of Qamishle which is on the Turkish border and very close to Iraq. The Kurds were celebrating Noruz. (Reuters via RMC daily news report.)

One resident said the youths burned tires and threw stones at the riot police, who are permanently deployed in the city which is home to a large Kurdish population. Another resident said the police fired at the crowd unprovoked.

There is much prejudice towards Kurds in Syria. Many times, they are seen as unclean and uneducated. The Kurdish population in Syria is concentrated in the Northeast and there are some Kurdish pockets in Western Syria. Relations between the Syrian government and the Kurdish population have shifted over time. Former president Hafiz al-Assad cultivated ties for a time with the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) and provided a safe haven for the group, but there the relations between the government and the Kurds have since soured substantially.

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