On 28 August 2018, the YPG proxy Sutoro/Syriac Military Council closed four schools in Qamishli, Derik and Darbasiyah (Al-Malikiyah). This comes after the YPG had announced the closure of minority schools earlier this month. However, the people are marching the streets of Qamishli to raise up against the unrecognized YPG government and its cronies.
The WCA, its Member Organizations and the Armenian government had earlier condemned the decision of the YPG, pointing to the illegality of the decision. WCA’s sources on the ground confirmed that the schools belonging to the Syriac-Orthodox and Armenian-Orthodox Churches were closed.
“The self-proclaimed and unrecognized YPG government, has no authority nor does it have any legal grounds to enforce such decisions”, says Ms. Sarah Bakir, WCA Director for UN Affairs. “The WCA for years has reported on escalating Kurdish aggression in Syria: confiscation of property, killings, kidnappings, forced conscription, and now the closure of schools. We called on the international community numerous times to act, to no avail. The WCA and its Member Organizations stand with the Arameans, and other minorities who suffer under the Kurdish regime, and it strongly condemns the unlawful acts of the YPG and Sutoro/Syriac Military Council. It is conspicuous why those states who have been supplying arms and other forms of support to YPG have not been halting the YPG and why they are still not condemning these growing human rights violations.”
The closure of the schools has been the straw that broke the camel’s back, as Aramean clergymen and citizens of Qamishli spontaneously took to the streets to rise up against the YPG and its accomplices. WCA’s Member Association, Syriac Aramaic Association of Qamishli reported that as the protest progressed, more and more people joined the movement. “The people are fed up with tyrants and their proxies infringing on their human rights”, says Ms. Sarah Bakir, WCA Director for UN Affairs. Anyone speaking against the YPG and Sutoro/Syriac Military Council have received death threats and have been assaulted. Victims of these acts of agression are Aramean community leaders in the diaspora and Arameans in Qamishli.
Pictures and videos of the protests can be found on www.wca-ngo.org. Qamishli (Aramaic: Zalin) was established by Arameans in 1926. The city counted over 40.000 Arameans of which more than half have fled the city because till date. The cities of Darbasiya, Derik (Aramaic: monastery) and thousands of other villages and cities in northeast Syria were also established in the late 1920s by Arameans and Armenians from Turkey.
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