Multiple reports have indicated that the Kurdish Democratic Union Party’s militia (YPG) in northern Syria attacked the Assyrian Christians in the region, leaving several people dead.
The YPG has known ties to the U.S.-designated Marxist terrorist group, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
Jeff Gardner, director of operations for Restore Nineveh Now, which has discreetly worked to prop up forces that can defend the historical Christian communities in the region, has spent much of his time on the ground in Syria and Iraq.
He provides Breitbart News Network with an account from an Assyrian Christian perspective:
Over the past year and half I traveled in and out of the Middle East some six times, with my latest trip taking me to Northern Iraq and Syria.
While there, I met with key leaders of the Assyrian Christians and Yezidi people, those who suffered most at the hands of [the Islamic State] ISIS. After many days of travel, meetings and inspections I can summarize two major developments in the region that of vital interests to the people of United States.
The first is the very real potential for a safe zone for refugees in Northern Syria, and the second is a critical tipping point in the Syrian war that will, if not addressed, expand the war to other countries and perhaps permanently fracture the Middle East.
Over the course of four days, I traveled throughout Northern Syria, visiting the devastated Assyrian Christian villages of the Khabur Valley (the site of the ISIS attacks and kidnappings in February, 2015) and the cities of Qamishli and Hasakah. These two cities recently withstood massive ISIS attacks and are home to thousands of Assyrian Christians.
While there, I came in contact with, toured and rode with battle-hardened Assyrian Christian police and soldiers who actively want to establish a safe zone in Northern Syria. These men (and even some fighting women) are ideal to take part in the building of a safe zone because they want to stay put and rebuild Syria, are pro-democratic and non-sectarian, have training facilities and programs to stand-up more men for the effort and have a zero infiltration or defection rate by or/to jihadist groups – unlike the 60 so-called Free Syrian fighters who have been trained by the United States.
The US should work with the Christian groups as much as possible.
Next, contrary to the soaring rhetoric of the SOTU [State of the Union address], there is no US-led coalition controlling the situation in Syria. However, thanks to the Obama Administration’s “let’s not answer the phone and maybe they will stop calling” approach to Middle East foreign policy, the next war in Syria, and likely the wider Middle East, is already taking shape.
Northern Syria is now under the near complete control of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party and its militia, the YPG. The YPG is so tightly aligned with the terrorist group, the Kurdish Workers’ Party or the PKK, that some say they are one in the same. The YPG and PKK are hard-core Marxist organizations with long histories of terror and brutality, and they already declared a de facto Marxist-Kurdish State in Syria, calling it Rojava.
These groups routinely terrorize the populace of the region, especially the Christians, extorting money from business and kidnapping young men for forced service in their ranks.
But here is the coming train wreck: When the war in Syria is resolved (and it will be), and when there are national elections held, the YPG/PKK Kurds in the north show no willingness to give up the power they seized, which will certainly ignite a second war with the Arab south and/or the Assyrians in the North. Likewise, Turkey, that NATO ally that lets us fly our planes in and out of the region, has made it crystal clear that they will not tolerate a YPG/PKK State, and are already moving troops into the region.
Afram Yakoub, the chairman of the Assyrian Federation of Sweden, which monitors news linked to Assyrians across the region, told Al Jazeera that at least one Assyrian and eight Kurdish fighters were killed in the “rare” clash in Syria’s al-Hasakah province.
“Taj Kordsh, a Kurd from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), confirmed that the clashes broke out because of the checkpoints, but gave a different death toll,” notes Al Jazeera.
“Two Assyrian fighters were killed in the clashes and five others were injured,” he said, adding that a civilian had been killed and that “Kurdish fighters say these checkpoints have bothered residents and must be removed.”