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Kurdish Internal Disputes Escalate Across Syria and Iraq

The Kurdish Union Party's (Yekiti) office in Syria's northeastern Qamishli city was burned by an unknown group of armed men most likely linked to the PYD, local sources reported on Wednesday. This while Kurdistan Democratic Party's (KDP) security forces opened fire on a protest in Sinjar district and killed a 21-year old women.

According to a Yekiti media reporter in Damascus, a group of armed men affiliated to the Democratic Union Party (PYD) stormed their office in the al-Siyahi neighbourhood in Qamishli and burned it down.

"Members of the PYD attacked our main office and destroyed everything in the office," a member of the Yekiti party told ARA News on condition of anonymity.

The Kurdish Union Party (Yekiti) is a member of the Kurdish National Council in Syria (KNC) backed by Masoud Barzani, the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and president of Iraqi Kurdistan. This while the Syrian Kurdish PYD is backed by the PKK.

On 3 March, clashes broke out between KDP-linked and PKK-linked fighters in the Yezidi district of Sinjar in northern Iraq. At least 7 PKK-affiliated fighters were reported dead in the clashes. This led to severe tensions between the PKK and the KDP in both Syria and Iraq.

More than 40 members of pro-Barzani parties in Syria were arrested by the PYD-linked Asayish forces or kidnapped by unnamed groups, this while the KDP arrested 32 PKK supporters in Erbil during an anti-KDP protest, of which six are still in jail.

On Tuesday, tensions re-erupted in Sinjar, when the PKK brought Kurds from Syria and Yezidis from the Newroz camp in Derik by buses to Sinjar to protest against the KDP-backed Rojava Peshmergas.

During these protests, Naze Naif Qaval (21), a member of the pro-PKK Yezidi Women's Movement Assembly was killed by KDP-led security forces. Furthermore, 15 protestors were wounded.

Two Kurdish journalists, named Jînda Asmen and Delîla Axîn, were also wounded while covering the protests on behalf of the pro-PKK Yezidi station Cira TV.

It's unlikely that these tensions will soon be over with both the KDP and PKK attacking each other through affiliated armed groups as well as media outlets.

On Wednesday, the PYD-led Rojava Self-Administration reportedly shut down some 23 offices of KNC-linked political parties in Hasakah, Qamishli, Amude and Kobane.

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